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When the Government starts taxing unreasonably I start growing....... and it's working!!!

#1
I just tried my first shot at growing, harvesting, and curing a batch of Perique. I made a lot of mistakes but I ended up with a test sample of Perique that doesn't bite or make me cough up a lung, it stays lit and my wife doesn't shoe me out of the house when I smoke it. Its pretty mild but you know, when the American/ Canadian taxation system shuts down the international shipping options for us in Canada and elsewhere I'll get by. My batches can only get better! I picked up a book by C.A Goff "Blend Your Own Pipe Tobacco" after a retired US Marine friend (now spending his golden years in Canada) suggested it. This guy is one tough SOB; out in winters minus 30 degree temps having his pipe as his residence rules don't permit smoking indoors - one heck of a nice guy and if he's in here I am grateful for the book suggestion. I haven't read all of it yet but my first impression is the book is a gift to fellow pipe smokers everywhere who may be in my same position (Australia?) and looking for a way to make their own. I'm quadrupling my planting efforts this year with seedlings already started a month ago so I'll continue the Perique style from last year using an old apple cider press with a Latakia smoker this year. Air dried Virginia is easy already. For those of you with the land and will to grow it is not the end of the world for pipe smokers. It is certainly not MM 965 or Squadron Leader I am making but I relish not having to suffer disappointment when my blend of choice disappears from online retailers in minutes, has vanished forever or my online order shows up in the post having changed from a $15 pouch to a $70 pouch with the excise taxes.
 

Hoosierpipeguy

Well-known member
#3
I've had the pleasure and opportunity to smoke multiple blends supplied by two folks who grew the leaf, performed the processing and blending. All were very good and certainly wouldn't make one quit smoking their pipe if that became their only source for tobacco. In fact, I would actually buy their product if they were in the business. Thanks for sharing and good luck with your endeavors. Perhaps when I retire, I'll pursue this as it sounds like it could be both fun and rewarding. I would add Ozark Wizard was one of the two, his blends were amazing.
 

Olmstead

Well-known member
#5
@scotmix - I'm really sorry to hear that you're being charged $70 for a pouch of pipe tobacco. That's criminal, and speaking of that, there are several very illegal vices that aren't much different in cost! The war on tobacco outside of cigarettes is just crazy; it's nonsensical and (IMO) infringes on [what should be] the inalienable right to do what you want so long as it doesn't cause anyone else harm. Where are you living exactly? It wasn't quite clear in your post. Canada?
..but I digress..
It's wonderful that you're getting your hands dirty (literally) with learning how to grow, cure, and blend. I thought about growing tobacco this year, but I missed the window; too late to start now I think. Each winter for the past three years I've told myself, "I'm growing tobacco plants next year, yep, definitely next year!"
But then the springtime rolls around, sales heat up at work, then I procrastinate and before I know it, it's too late to plant.

I like your choice to make Perique also, as that's something I'm very interested in. Of all the condiment tobaccos, Perique seems like the hardest to get right, though I imagine learning to grow and cure a tasty plain leaf is probably the hardest of all. Still, if you can make Perique that you enjoy, you've certainly accomplished something great.

Well anyway, I just wanted to add my ten cents (or dollars, haha) to this and give you some words of encouragement. Take some photos of your plants and fermenting/finished product if you can—it'd be great to see what you've got cookin'!
 

CoreyR

Insane Asylum, head nut speaking!
#6
Be careful growing tobacco. Agriculturally speaking. I come from a long line of tobacco growers and I live on land that was, until a couple of decades back, tobacco crop land. Tobacco is a plant that takes from the soil and puts nothing back. If you keep growing it, in the same plot, year after year, you will end up with soil which is nearly sterile. Nothing but sand, like my yard! You do need to rotate where you grow it and put something else in there during the off years, to revitalize the soil.
Just my two cents worth.
Even if it is a small plot, perhaps especially so then.
 
#7
Be careful growing tobacco. Agriculturally speaking. I come from a long line of tobacco growers and I live on land that was, until a couple of decades back, tobacco crop land. Tobacco is a plant that takes from the soil and puts nothing back. If you keep growing it, in the same plot, year after year, you will end up with soil which is nearly sterile. Nothing but sand, like my yard! You do need to rotate where you grow it and put something else in there during the off years, to revitalize the soil.
Just my two cents worth.
Even if it is a small plot, perhaps especially so then.
We have a fairly large garden Corey (3500 sq ft) and try to follow the permaculture philosophy. I hear your warning and it is much appreciated as I was not aware of that depletion issue. The permaculture idea is big on returning nutrients to the soil and not tearing it apart every year by tilling. I have a massive five tine garden fork I just aerate the soil with each spring; its hard bull work but it preserves the soil better. I think we would be in trouble over time as you say with repetitive crops given the nutrient demands of tobacco if we didn't add nutrients back. We also keep a fair number of chickens and goats here and use a deep litter method in their coops and stalls which means we have a ton of good compost material come spring. My wife seems to have a passion for cooking compost and is constantly blending the live stock litter with horse dung, leaves and what ever animal carcass she comes across . That pile of compost is literally cooking away (its hot to touch!) and you'd think it would smell awful but it smells like terrific dirt for growing. She blends it into her garden rows so I think that effort may offset the nutrient demands of tobacco. We can grow it here (Canada) legally up to a certain weight limit which I don't see myself exceeding as I can't smoke that much in a year!