In the process of becoming more and more independent, we grow much of our own foods. But there is still one thing that is still expensive and is becoming more expensive to purchase. Tobacco. The government is taxing tobacco to death (no pun intended). With the high cost of buying cigarettes, it has occurred to me that we can be growing our own tobacco. I have decided that now is the time to give it a try. I took the plunge and ordered a set of 4 different types of tobacco seeds from eBay. If smoking or the use of tobacco offends you in any way, then you probably should not read this.
I have been researching this heavily, I have found lots of sources for the seeds on line, it’s legal to grow and consume your own tobacco, at least it is in the US, I believe it is in the UK as well, if you aren’t sure, you should check with your local authorities before trying to grow your own tobacco.
It would seem that tobacco plants can grow under most conditions, as long as you have sunshine and a bit of room. The plants themselves can grow from 3 feet to over 7 feet tall, the leaves are large and have a tropical look to them. Some people even grow tobacco plants for purely ascetic purposes. You can also use the tobacco for insecticidal purposes too, just be careful not to apply it to any of the nightshade plants (tomatoes, eggplants, potatoes…), it may infect them with a virus that is particular to nightshades. I live in a high desert/mountain zone, I believe that I should be able to grow the plants with no problems. I have been told that I should start them inside first, then transplant them, I am going to try planting a few directly (direct sow) and see what happens.
I understand that there are a few steps you need to take before you can smoke your tobacco leaves. First you grow the plants, that part is fairly easy. You harvest the leaves and dry them. The leaves go from green to yellow in this step. Next you need to cure them, allow all of the moisture to evaporate from the leaves. Next you need to ferment the leaves, this is the most complicated step, I have read about lots of ways to do it, I have even read that it is not completely necessary to do, but if you want your tobacco to taste more like commercial cigs, then you will need to ferment them, this is when the leaves go from yellow to brown. At this point, it’s best to let your tobacco age, the longer it ages, the better the flavor.
Your tobacco will be 100% additive free and IMHO much safer than what you get from the store. You can buy additives/flavorings to spray on your tobacco, this is strictly optional, but many people like the results and flavor, this is up to you. You can use rolling paper to roll your own cigarettes, you can even get machines that roll your cigarettes complete with a filter for a more commercial style cigarette. You can make your own cigars, or smoke with a pipe. You can chew the tobacco leaves as well. Growing your own tobacco will ensure that you have a pure product, no fillers and no chemical additives. Learn more about growing, harvesting, curing and rolling your own cigarettes here.
Here are a few videos that might give you inspiration and ideas about growing your own tobacco.
I do not condone smoking or using any tobacco product, if you do not smoke or use tobacco, DO NOT START! I do not smoke but my hubby does, I would prefer that he not smoke, but as long as he does, I want it to be as safe (read-no additives) as possible, and I would love to be able to spend less on it and know I will always have a way to get it, so growing my own takes care of everything.
If any of you have grown your own tobacco, successfully or not, please comment and let me know how it worked out for you.
http://shop.ebay.com/merchant/p.m.o.design (this is where I ordered my tobacco seeds)
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