Why We Grow Tobacco?
A lot of folks need their daily nicotine. Business gurus will tell you that meeting needs is a great way to profit. Though you can’t legally sell your own homemade cigarettes right now, there may come a day when regulations fly out the window and the free market takes over again. Even if it doesn’t, being the guy that has what people need is a great place to be.
Imagine shipping gets shut down, or the cost of tobacco shoots to the stratosphere due to regulation or the rising cost of fertilizers or any of a number of reasons.
Even if you’re not a smoker, having some tobacco around could be very useful.
Say you have a nice tobacco patch in your yard that you grow each year. Your friend needs a smoke really bad. You want help on a fence, you trade him some leaves and bingo: that tobacco patch has paid for itself.
Sounds pretty smart, right?
“But,” you may ask, “How in the world do you grow tobacco? I know nothing about the plant other than the fact that it smells like burning manure? Dave! Help me! I’ll trade you some .22LR rounds and a can of beans!”
Alright… because you asked so nicely… and because I’m hungry… and because .22LR is roughly equivalent to gold bars these days… I’ll help you start growing your own tobacco.
Now here’s the artistic part of this whole odyssey: curing. People will tell you it’s “not worth growing tobacco because it’s a pain to cure.”
However, it all depends on what you’re looking for. If you want a smoke, all you need to do is dry and smoke the leaves. I used to park my car in the sun with the windows cracked open and spread leaves all across its dashboard.
One afternoon in the sun and they were nice and crispy.
I’ve also hung leaves in the barn for a year to dry and cure (those tasted better than the dashboard leaves.)
If you’re used to the taste of cigarettes, know this: that taste isn’t what raw natural tobacco tastes like. It’s a product of factories and flavor sprays and special blends. The taste of raw tobacco is smoky, grassy, biting… and yet still enjoyable.
If you’re more of a cigar smoker, you may not ever be happy with your homegrown smokes. Curing cigar tobacco is an art, much like wine-making. It can most definitely be done, but it’s beyond the scope of this article.