Friday, November 23, 2012
The Small Time Tobacco Harvest
Most of the really big and good looking leaves were eaten early on. It wasn't until the nights got a bit cooler that the plants seemed to be able to take off and grow some without constant munching.
For curing I decided to try some sun curing like they use in the Middle East and then finish the job with hang curing in a well ventilated barn. I know years ago they used special curing sheds for this step but I am not going to build one so I hung the leaves in the part of the barn where I store the lawn mowers and such for Winter.
At this point it is all guess work because I am not going to worry about humidity and heat in the barn. If this method of curing doesn't produce a useable crop harvest then I may look at other methods but I am not going to sink any resources into this experiment right now. It simply isn't worth it. Besides a usable crop would really go to waste since it would illegal to even give it away at this point or so I have been told. Perhaps gifting it is legal I really don't know.
After the party the bugs had with these plants I can't imagine how much work growing tobacco for consumption would be without modern day pesticides. The hornworm patrol took at least 30 minutes each day and I missed so many of them as well. However as a companion crop these plants had a use that I didn't expect. They kept the hornworms almost completely away from the tomato crop.
I only planted 16 tobacco plants and as I mentioned I really only got to harvest about the top 50% of the leaves because the bottom ones were damaged so bad. If I had been placing more importance on these plants and was in a grid down situation I would have had more time to protect them which may have made a big difference but that is speculation at this point.
I will continue the curing experiment. I guess I need to go shop for a pipe now just to see if this actually produces anything useable. Let's just hope I don't poison myself.
Keep Prepping Everyone!!!