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Seeds of Revolt

February 28, 2011

I make no secret of my affection for the briar and baccy. I am a smoker, I enjoy it and I enjoy my pipes every day. For me, the thought of giving it up would be akin to stopping breathing. There are those out there in the great big world that would deny me this simple pleasure and if I am to believe their incessant lies, I should have been dead twenty odd years ago as tobacco is killing thousands of people at a distance of some miles due to so-called second hand smoke. Wierdly, I’ve been sucking first-hand, directly injected smoke for donkeys and amazingly, I still wake up in the mornings. Maybe the second hand, used variety is deadlier. As a smoker, I wouldn’t know. I’m not new-religious. And frankly, my dears, I don’t give a damn.

What really gets my craw up, is the obscene taxation that our oh-so new religious, anti-everything-enjoyable government is forcing upon me in order to “regulate” my behaviour. I’ve had enough. The time has come to revolt. To deny them their pornographically high extraction of my hard earned cash. I hereby declare my independence of their tobacco taxes. Or at least, the beginnings of that revolt.

I have a garden. Little but doubtless productive, I have decided to dig in the earth and prepare it for war. Not by digging trenches. Oh no. I’m planting tobacco. I’m gonna grow my own. Tax-free and legal. And no-one’s gonna stop me.

I’ve sent off for seeds, been to the gardening centre and bought all the necessary paraphernalia to get my seeds going and now I am waiting for the ground to thaw. While I’m waiting, I can get my seeds sprouting and will have time to prepare for the coming agricultural adventure. Obviously, all the hard work starts when I can get digging but until then, I have a lot to learn. My father was the gardener. Not me. So the learning curve will be long and steep. I then have to learn about drying, curing and storage of the expected harvest. One can’t really just pick a leaf, cut it up and smoke it. There are many processes involved after the growing is done before one actually gets to enjoy the weed.

There are places I can go to read all the information necessary. I have joined an internet forum to help me get started. I am not alone with this. I am making contact with other home-growers and a few professionals. I won’t say success is guaranteed, but it is achievable.

The first blow has been struck. I have planted my seeds today and await their germination in about five to ten days time. Six weeks from now and they will be transplantable and will probably go into pots for a hardening period. By then, the weather should have improved enough to start serious planting.

I’ll be back on this topic later. Wish me luck.

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. Caro permalink
    February 28, 2011 23:56

    How exciting! Please keep us updated with your discoveries each step of the way. I normally only grow what I can eat. This seems like another wonderfully hedonistic reason to dig. Good luck.

    I shall certainly return to this topic as I progress. Updates at regular intervals.
    Exile.

  2. John permalink
    March 1, 2011 12:11

    I have wanted to do this for so long.

    When I was a boy I had an uncle with a tobacco farm who gave my father an enormous ‘plug’ of pipe tobacco. It looked like a small wooden stump and it lasted him well over a year. It was this powerful, rich, sweet, resiny stuff and I can still clearly remember the aroma of the tobacco itself and the smoke from my father’s pipe.

    My knowledge is limited but I know it is a labour intensive crop. I couldn’t imagine anything more wonderful than spending a relaxing morning pruning your plants (if that’s the right term) with a full briar and a mug of lapsang souchong.

    Hi John and thanks for your comment. The thing is, if you have a patch og earth handy, why not give it a go? You don’t have to plant big. Start with a dozen or so plants and see how it goes. Live your dream… the baccy and lapsang sounds good.
    Exile

    • March 29, 2011 02:58

      Hi John:
      Tobacco is really not that hard to grow. You plant the seed, and watch them grow. They will grow up to 6 feet tall. They get a wonderful pinkish flower on them. You cut the flower off, that is called topping the tobacco plant. Then about a week later, when the leaves are really large, the farmers cut the stalk, put it on a wood stick, and hang it upside down in the barn to dry. You need to watch them for a little green worm. That is called the tobacco worm, It can eat a whole plant. I agree, that you should plant some seeds, and enjoy the “smokes of your labor”

      I think this is directed at the second comment above. Either way, it sounds like good advice. And for once, I’m going to include the link on this comment. I don’t normally do that, but this particular link is related to the subject matter at hand. Thankyou Linda. I don’t think we have tobacco worms here in Denmark, but we do have cabbage butterflies and their larvæ. I’ll keep a good eye open…!!
      Exile.

  3. Bubba Hahn permalink
    March 2, 2011 00:21

    I wish you well. We live in Virginia and the taxes on pipe tobacco are outrageous. Our small town [5000 +-] has also seen fit to add their share, so I drive 14 miles over the mountain to second tobacco store owned by our local store just to avoid the town tax. I have also written to the town manager to say that I will spend no money inside town limits except for the one restaurant that has a smoking section. We must stay together and constantly fight the nonsmoking crowd. Looking forward to your updates. Bubba Hahn

    I can’t understand, that a State which owes its very existence to Tobacco can be so stupid as to tax its citizens so harshly. I fully understand your actions and hope that more get on the bandwagon. Is there any law preventing you personally to grow tobacco? After all, you’re in the right place!
    Reciprocal good wishes and thanks for your comment.
    Exile.

  4. Jim permalink
    March 2, 2011 16:30

    I will be looking for your updates. I have thought about doing this same thing. I am in an apartment now but will be looking at rental houses with room for a garden this summer. With any luck by the spring of 2012 I will be starting a small crop myself.

    Hi Jim, in that case, good luck with both projects..!!
    Exile.

  5. Old Tom permalink
    March 4, 2011 02:13

    Wishing you the best of luck!
    Growing up in a tobacco-growing region and having friends who worked in the fields I know the difficulty and hard work involved in growing and curing tobacco.
    Don’t forget the curing and blending you’ll need to learn and do.

    Thanks Tom,
    I’m aware of the challenges before me but totally ignorant of the size of the task. I’ll learn as I go and find the advice I need wherever possible.
    Curing, fermenting; that’s the challenge. Blending has to come later.
    Exile.

  6. John permalink
    May 20, 2011 16:41

    How’s the revolution progressing?

    Plants are in the ground.. waiting for them to really get going. I think I may have to wait for slightly warmer weather!
    Exile.

  7. August 27, 2011 18:34

    Watching your blog now – I bought some seeds a while back but haven’t planted them as I haven’t gone and picked up the necessary items to tear up a spot in my back yard.

    A spade and a garden fork is all you need. Getting started is always the hard part. Once you’re growing stuff, it gets easier. Good luck with the project.
    Exile.

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