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Posted: 6/11/2009 5:25:54 PM EST
Anyone ever seen instructions or recipes for growing, making, curing your own chewing tobacco? Maybe some for smoking.

I like the pouch kind, Beech-Nut, Red Man and what not.

Can I grow tobacco in northern Michigan? Zone 4/5?



Google has given me a few hits but not many.

Link Posted: 6/11/2009 10:05:28 PM EST
I'm sure it will. You'll just have to start it indoors in February or March.
See this thread for some info: http://www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=10&f=19&t=623352

What sort of gardening experience do you have?

Check your IM's.
Link Posted: 6/11/2009 10:12:26 PM EST
On the grand scale of things, growing it is not the hard part. Its the curing, which can take years, in strict enviormental controls that is a PITA. I bought seed to grow my own. Then I realized all that it would take to go from a mature plant to something smokeable.
Link Posted: 6/11/2009 10:34:32 PM EST
I was looking at one of the grow sites and they claim a 4 week cure in a purpose built box.
I think that if your going to make chaw the flavor won't be as important seeing as your going to add sugar, salt, soak it in apple juice, etc.
You really only need to get all of the "green" out of it.

Remember too, that that's for consistent commercial product.
Some wines age for decades, some are bottled and drunk immediately.
Link Posted: 6/15/2009 12:01:07 PM EST
Paid for the founding of and growth of the good ol' US of A. Glad I dont smoke though!
Link Posted: 6/15/2009 12:39:17 PM EST
My grandfather chewed it straight out of the barn the spring after we stripped it.

I'm not sayin' his tastebuds were the most discriminating...he made his own moonshine too.

But it can be done.

Kitties
Link Posted: 6/15/2009 7:59:22 PM EST
ColonelHurtz....I sent a reply to yer IM twice, but I still show nothing "sent". Let me know If you got it.

My gardening experience is minimal I would say. I'm pretty well read, but I'm still learnin to apply it in the real world. This year is my first real garden. Other than the one broccoli plant I drove into the ground with a big ass cherry log and not being impressed with starting broccoli seed in the ground , I'd say I'm doing okay. No real failures yet. I've got good dirt, good drainage, and pretty good sun.

I haven't got a good Idea of harvest time yet? Is it too late to start tobacco this far north? Could it go in with my second round of stuff in a few weeks and be ready by mid/late september, or am I looking at next year ya think?

Is tobacco frost tolerant at all?

I'm also wondering just how out of place these plants will look in a garden, I hear they're large. I'm in a subdivision and my 40x100 dirt patch has already brought a few friendly but curious neighbors around to see what I was planting so much of. The biggest garden in the hood is about 12x12. Not that big of deal, I just don't want to be an eyesore, plus I'm a little concerned about growing a 7 foot tall plant that nobody around here can identify. End up with a midnight crack raid because of an ignorant do-gooder, coast guard pilot or cop. It'll help when I get my fences/grape vines up though.

Anyone know of any online or shipping sellers I could get plants from? I've only found one and they sold out.
Link Posted: 6/15/2009 9:05:30 PM EST
Check some online retailers, there are different strands of tobacco and some of them as small as 3ft tall if you're worried about plant size.

I though tobacco was primarily a southern crop because it likes a lot of sun and doesn't like cold weather. I'll ask my pops tomorrow though, he used to work tobacco fields in North Florida when he was a kid.
Link Posted: 6/16/2009 1:48:57 AM EST
[Last Edit: 6/16/2009 1:50:41 AM EST by ColonelHurtz]
Tobacco needs a lot of sun to grow big and warmth for the seeds to germinate.
But it's commercially grown as far north as Connecticut.
It's too late for this year to get a crop in but when you get your seed, start it under lights next spring 6-8 weeks before last frost.

It's actually a pretty attractive plant.
It has big broad leaves and pink, white or lt. blue flowers.
Nobody will mistake it for Cannabis.

My plants never hit 6-7'. They usually get about 4' high.
Just tell your neighbors it's giant Albanian spinach.
Link Posted: 6/16/2009 6:31:30 AM EST
[Last Edit: 6/16/2009 6:33:06 AM EST by Kitties-with-Sigs]

Originally Posted By a_number_1:
ColonelHurtz....I sent a reply to yer IM twice, but I still show nothing "sent". Let me know If you got it.

My gardening experience is minimal I would say. I'm pretty well read, but I'm still learnin to apply it in the real world. This year is my first real garden. Other than the one broccoli plant I drove into the ground with a big ass cherry log and not being impressed with starting broccoli seed in the ground , I'd say I'm doing okay. No real failures yet. I've got good dirt, good drainage, and pretty good sun.

I haven't got a good Idea of harvest time yet? Is it too late to start tobacco this far north? Could it go in with my second round of stuff in a few weeks and be ready by mid/late september, or am I looking at next year ya think?

Is tobacco frost tolerant at all?

I'm also wondering just how out of place these plants will look in a garden, I hear they're large. I'm in a subdivision and my 40x100 dirt patch has already brought a few friendly but curious neighbors around to see what I was planting so much of. The biggest garden in the hood is about 12x12. Not that big of deal, I just don't want to be an eyesore, plus I'm a little concerned about growing a 7 foot tall plant that nobody around here can identify. End up with a midnight crack raid because of an ignorant do-gooder, coast guard pilot or cop. It'll help when I get my fences/grape vines up though.

Anyone know of any online or shipping sellers I could get plants from? I've only found one and they sold out.

Your tobacco will not get that big in Michigan. Plus, I doubt you'll be growing a variety that's a hybrid for large leaves the way ours is down here. You have to have perfect conditions for tobacco to get that big, and you don't have those up there. So it won't be seven feet tall.

If you want to camouflage it, grow some castor beans on one end next to the tobacco or something. Just be sure to not shade it. Or grow some really tall sunflowers alongside it. Some with the giant heads. Tobacco is not ugly, but it's very broad leaves are rather distinctive. Much like elephant ears are distinctive in a flower garden.

Oh, and as to the brocolli, there's a reason most gardeners, for years, buy certain plants from the nursery as starts, and do other plants from seed. Brocolli, cabbage, and those tyes of cool-season plants are pains in the butt to start. It can be done, don't get me wrong, but you have to start the seed SO early indoors to hit the correct season that most folks don't want to fool with it. Peas, lettuce, radishes, on the other hand, are early crops and they're super easy from seed.

Tobacco is not frost tolerant. Your tobacco needs to be harvested and "in the barn" well before frost.

Sorry for the disjointed post. No coffee yet.
Link Posted: 6/16/2009 2:20:54 PM EST
The ricin you can extract from your Castor Bean has usefull SHTF properties.
Link Posted: 6/17/2009 3:02:23 AM EST
Originally Posted By ColonelHurtz:
Tobacco needs a lot of sun to grow big and warmth for the seeds to germinate.
But it's commercially grown as far north as Connecticut.
It's too late for this year to get a crop in but when you get your seed, start it under lights next spring 6-8 weeks before last frost.


Hey, I'm Canadian and I grew up working in the tobacco fields each summer - best money I could make as a teen. Other than frost which we were somewhat insulated from being close to the Great Lakes, tobacco grew very well in the sandy soils where I was from. Regarding the OP's question, I worked with a transplanted Virginian who used to chew "rope" which was a partially cured tobacco leaf rolled up very tight then twisted into a sort of braid or rope and then let continue to cure until it held that shape. He would cut off a half-inch piece and chew that. No sugar or other curing additives, just pure tobacco. I never tried it but those who did said it was NASTY and the nicotine would put a horse to its knees.

Link Posted: 6/17/2009 12:30:44 PM EST

Originally Posted By ColonelHurtz:
The ricin you can extract from your Castor Bean has usefull SHTF properties.


Yeah, I probably should have said if you've got little kids who tend to go out and pick stuff and eat it without asking, castor beans might not be the best choice. I mean, I had enough sense to not eat poisonous things when I was a kid, to leave my daddy's guns alone, and never found paint chips appetizing, but it seems all children are not alike.

Link Posted: 6/17/2009 12:39:44 PM EST

Originally Posted By MikeK5117:
Originally Posted By ColonelHurtz:
Tobacco needs a lot of sun to grow big and warmth for the seeds to germinate.
But it's commercially grown as far north as Connecticut.
It's too late for this year to get a crop in but when you get your seed, start it under lights next spring 6-8 weeks before last frost.


Hey, I'm Canadian and I grew up working in the tobacco fields each summer - best money I could make as a teen. Other than frost which we were somewhat insulated from being close to the Great Lakes, tobacco grew very well in the sandy soils where I was from. Regarding the OP's question, I worked with a transplanted Virginian who used to chew "rope" which was a partially cured tobacco leaf rolled up very tight then twisted into a sort of braid or rope and then let continue to cure until it held that shape. He would cut off a half-inch piece and chew that. No sugar or other curing additives, just pure tobacco. I never tried it but those who did said it was NASTY and the nicotine would put a horse to its knees.



This "rope" is pretty much what my grandfather did. Tobacco is sticky anyway, so it was easy to make. In good stripping weather he'd roll a few leaves into a rope, (you just lay the leaves out on a clean surface and run your hand across it and roll it up) make a twist out of it, and in the winter when he ran out of the flavored stuff, he's grab a chew. (I suspect he did it when he wanted a kick in the butt nicotine high too, though I didn't understand that then.) Cut a section off with his pocket knife. Man, he could seriously spit. I never could learn to spit worth a dang (I wasn't chewing tobacco, but as a little kid, I thought it was cool to be a good spitter.) Still can't. Girls, with a few exceptions, just can't spit.

There used to be a company here in the town where I now live that made "Mammoth Cave Twists" which was pretty much exactly this product of which you speak. There was quality control, of course, and they would have chosen particular types of bright leaf tobacco, but it was a rope of tobacco twisted into an interesting figure-eight configuration and packaged. The ladies who did the rolling of the rope apparantly all died early in life––rolling those ropes 8 hours a day with their bare hands gave them one hell of a slow nicotine poisoning.
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