mebaccyIn 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.

Tobacco PlantI 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.

Tobacco PlantsYour 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.

Image sources

http://shop.ebay.com/merchant/p.m.o.design (this is where I ordered my tobacco seeds)

http://www.backfortytobacco.com/

http://thedeliberateagrarian.blogspot.com/2007/08/celebrating-jamestown-in-my-own-special.html

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6 Responses to “DIY tobacco / video”

  1. Wes

    Wow, that is amazing! Thanks for the incredible video, I understand the process so much more now. Question: what were you spraying before putting it in foil and in the oven?

    I am interested in growing my own pipe tabacco. Thanks!

    Reply
    • Wretha

      Hi Wes, those are not my videos so at first, I didn’t know what was being sprayed either, but I found out that it’s honey water, he is using it to maintain more moisture in the finished tobacco. It’s 6 parts water, 1 part honey. Thanks for leaving a comment.

      Wretha

      Reply
  2. Ali

    Hi All,
    the point was made that tobacco has insecticidal properties and that is very true. It must be mentioned though that using nicotine as a pesticide is far more dangerous than just smoking the product. The nicotine levels in a cigarette are usually quite small compared to the levels used when applying to plants. Even pouring some accidently on your skin is a death sentance. I took a class in this and heard some bad horrer stories. If you overdose on nicotine you die, there is no medical answer to such a thing. So please don’t attenpt this unless you really know what you are doing and use lots of appropriate safety gear. Mistakes are deadly.

    Reply
    • Wretha

      Thanks for that heads up Ali, any chemical we use, no matter what the source should be handled with care, gloves and eye protection, perhaps even a face mask would be in order (if you are spraying this).

      Wretha

      Reply
  3. Wretha

    Thanks G, I also hate seeing cigarette butts on the ground, fortunately Mountain Man Bob is fanatical about not leaving butts on the ground.He also hates ashtrays, he thinks they STINK, in fact, if you were to come over, you would never know a smoker lives in our home.

    I am so glad to hear that your hubby is doing so well, more power to him!

    Reply
  4. Gwen

    To quote you: “…but as long as he does, I want it to be as safe (read-no additives) as possible…”
    Amen to that!! Fortunately, my hubby quit 2 months ago and this time, is managing to stay quit. But I’m realistic, and while I want him to continue on this healthier path, it’s a hard habit to break as anyone who has tried to quit knows. I don’t have a problem with anyone who chooses to smoke. I only ask that the store-bought butts be disposed of properly (which is, in my opinion, in a coffee can lined with rocks or some other appropriate receptacle, not on the ground). As I’ve said many times before, thanks for sharing with all of us.

    Reply

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