Growing and Harvesting Tobacco
Written by Kevin Godbee

Friday, 20 March 2009

User Rating: / 2

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tobacco terms and definitions



For this process the tobacco leaves are stacked in piles between three and six feet high and the leaves in each stack begin to warm up naturally. Gardeners would call this process composting but who wants to smoke compost?


During this time the leaf structure is broken down by the heat and the leaves actually sweat various oils that are then re-absorbed. It’s not a very pleasant time to be around the tobacco leaves because tobacco leaf contains a large amount of ammonia and that ammonia comes out during the fermenting process. Despite that smell it’s important that the fermenting piles of tobacco leaves are not left alone and the temperature inside each pile has to be carefully and continually monitored.



When that temperature rises into the range of 115 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit the structure of the pile has to be changed so that the leaves on the outside are moved to the middle and replaced with the leaves from the centre of the pile. It’s during this period that the tobacco leaves change from the tan color they were when the fermenting process began to the rich brown color that most of us associate with tobacco.


Into the Factory
The fermenting process can take weeks and, as I said before, each pile needs to be carefully monitored to ensure that the leaves in it are separated and the fermenting process is interrupted at just the right time. And it is only an interruption for the process will continue once the stem has been cut from each leaf.


This work is done in a factory and once the stem has been removed the leaves go back into a fermenting process but this time the temperatures are much lower and the process is much slower. To decide whether or not this part of the process is finished the cigar maker smells the leaves and might even burn one or two of them and from this testing he knows what the potential of the leave will be.


Once the cigar maker has decided that the second period of fermenting is finished the leaf is then packed into bales and moved into storage where it can rest. The resting period can be as long as some years and leaf that is left for that period of time produces the very best cigars.


However these days the demand for cigars is so great that most leaf is only left to rest for several months before it is brought out of storage and turned into the cigars that find their way into your humidor.




0 # ROOKIE GROWING TOBACCOKevin 2009-06-05 15:05
I believe that many people would enjoy a post by a experienced harvester that explains a :HOME GROWN TOBACCO DIRECTIONS:
thanks a lot.

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+1 # Good Information on how to grow tobacco 2009-06-17 10:50
if you need any really easy information on growing tobacco in the backyard go to this website alot of good information i have used. (Just copy and paste the website into the adress bar)

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