Tobacco curing ? : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

My mother has a few tobacco plants, same as are planted all over NC (picked up and planted a few starts that fell to the wayside during planting). They are now grown and going golden and she is picking the leaves and trying to cure them in my grans attic, on drying racks. The attic is HOT all summer and most fall (it's in MO), but neither of us know what else you are supposed to do with the leaves. How long do you dry it? Is that all there is to curing? How do you prepare it for smoking (pipe, I imagine)? Any other hints would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.

-- Soni (, August 28, 2000


Not being a smoker, and not being a tobacco farmer I can't really say. Most people hang the entire plant upside down to cure out in a barn for a few months, then pick the leaves and grade them, bale them, and then sell the bales (grading and selling one year when my buddy needed help is about all the tobacco experience I have). I would imagine that after the leaves are cured, you could shred them to smoke in a pipe... I've seen people just roll a leaf up and smoke it too...

-- Eric in TN (, September 01, 2000.

Soni, of course my rememberance held no time line. But remember it was smoked until brittle/crisp. Guess that accounts for prior relative, in a previous life, going to the heated barn, everyday, to check the progress. Can only imagine in earlier times, they let the leaf go brittle, then crushed it up. Sans stalk, of course.

-- Calling every effort (from@Uncle, September 01, 2000.

Don't grow tobacco but we work for people setting, topping, cutting, hanging, and then stripping. The tobacco here has to be moist, sticky, and not too dry. After a few days of rain the tobacco "comes into order" in the barn. If we touched it dry all the leaves would shatter and be no good, when it is fully cured and sticky we can get it down from the rafters and strip it without loosing much. It can come into order and then go out again, and we have to wait for rain. You can mist your plants hanging, needs humidity. Most tobacco in pouches is sticky. I am waiting now for it to cure, most of it is in the barns, we always strip when it is cold, November, December, sometimes January. These farms do from 2,000 to 15,000 pounds. It is so much fun, very hard work, but fun and boy does cutting get you into shape! When we strip we put it into the bailing boxes by grade, tips, plugs, trash. Trash is the bottom of plant, plugs is middle, and tips are tops. Trash is dry and brittle but you still get allot of money for it, just not as much as the tips and plugs. No one I know smokes any they grow. But when we start stripping I could ask. Plugs are golden brown, tips are dark brown and it leaves sticky goo on your hands. Hope this helps some. There was an article in the magizine I remember.

-- (, September 03, 2000.

Dear SolidRockRanch. Please help me here. My only old time rememberance had to do with piped gas into an old time barn. Do not remember any mist, but then again, memory is selective. Tobacco, curing, had a nice smell. Once upon someone's life, they stoked the actual wood burning fires, to cure a barn. To your rememberance, was there mist there too? Thank you for an experience. I have invoked the name of my Uncle who did such a thing, many years ago. Who knows? But I am willing to try. While I write this, something about water keeps nagging me, on the outskirts. Maybe I am remembering the house gas heat where we had to keep a pot of water on the stove, else our nostrails went dry. Same might have applied to tobacco curing. If so, please set me straight.Ya know how memories are selective. If such a mist devise existed back in the 50's, how did it work? They weren't Brain Scientists, yet they lived.

-- Calling every effort (, September 03, 2000.

This is how they do tobacco now in Kentucky. If the weather gets too dry with no rain towards the end of curing the tobacco will be too dry to handle. We hang sticks of 6 plants on tier poles in the barn, usually 4 tiers high, starting way at the top. They are spaced a little to let air flow to cure. And the tobacco barns are not tight, you can see thru the board spacing. The rain is important to the curing process, we will be stripping for 2 weeks straight then have to stop to wait for rain to get it moist again. If we climb up there and try to get it down while it is too dry it crumbles allot and falls on the barn floor and a lot is lost. If it is too wet we can't strip it either, it has to be just right. Green is not ready yet. It will turn brown and like soft leather. If I was curing a little for myself I quess I would hang the whole plant upside down in a shed with air flow.

-- Cindy in Ky (, September 04, 2000.

I just hung it upside down in a shed like i was told. i couldn't smoke it! It didn't seem moldy or anything, but boy was it strong! The first year i dried it in my dehydrater and it dried down a nice bright green ( it looked rather illegal ) Didn't smell like tobacco, but it did taste like it when i smoked it and it was more mild.

-- Jeanette Springer (, September 04, 2000.

i am also in the middle of experimenting with tobacco growing. here in australia it is not illegal to grow tobacco but if you sell it you can be fined for avoiding state and federal fisrt attempt to grow it was in clay type soils and the plants only grew to 3ft high.i cured them to a golden brown over about 8 weeks. although i have given up smoking(10 years) i was able to take several very pleasant drags with virtually no bad side effects except for a mild headspin.the curing was probably over the end of summer thru to the cooler month.and as said mist spraying was used to handle it once it had become to main problem is the processing,folding and shredding.a friend told me his father used to grow his own and he can remember him pressing it into blocks and then slicing it fairly fine with a small hand guillotine slicer as used for paper.this year i am going to try about 500 plants on some aluvial river flats i expect it to grow a lot larger than my last lot!i will let you know the outcome all the best mal cliff

-- malcolm .d.cliff (, November 21, 2000.

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