About Me

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My tremendously supportive husband & I have 3 wonderful children, 1 dog, 12 laying hens, 2 dairy goats, 3 bee hives, and a 2000 sq foot vegetable garden on a small 1/4 acre lot in the city. In the center of it all is our small 1,000 sq foot house purchased in 2008 as a foreclosure that we fully renovated to host our growing family, home school adventures, and small home business (CozyLeaf.com). We have a desire to learn a path to self sufficiency finding ways to be good stewards of the resources God has given us. We want to learn to live with less as we laydown roots to our little homestead.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Harvesting Tobacco

Bryan has been counting the days to his tobacco harvest! We were very impressed how well these plants turned out. One of the plants grew to almost 8 feet tall! Bryan started by picking all the leaves and placing them in a laundry basket to bring inside for rinsing. He organized them into 3 different groups based on the 3 levels of the tobacco plant: Ligero, Seco, Volado - All house blends are formed by mixing various combinations of these 3 leaves.

Ligero: (Top of the Plant) Dark and Flavorful leaves which power comes from the natural oils produced. This is a very slow burning leaf and is typically the smallest of the tobacco leaves. Ligero is found in the middle of a cigar as they can be compacted and rolled very tight to enhance the burn time.

Seco: (Middle of the Plant) These leaves are lighter in color and flavor and are excellent for rolling the Ligero leaves before they are compressed.

Volado: (Bottom of the Plant) These leaves impart little flavor to the cigar, but they are used primarily for their excellent burning qualities and cigar wrapping abilities. These are harvested from the bottom of the tobacco plant and typically are the largest leaves which make them best for wrapping.

After all the leaves were harvested and sorted, they are rinsed to remove any debris. Tobacco leaves are quite sticky which makes rinsing them quite necessary to remove any dirt or bugs that have been stuck to the plant.
Once all the leaves are rinsed and sorted they are ready to be hung and cured.
 We used a large knitting needle with thick twine to string all the leaves together. The vein of the leaves are quite thick and will hold the weight of the leaves perfectly.

 After the leaves are all strung together, they need to be hung in a temperature controlled location. We don't have a special temperature controlled location for our tobacco, so we just hung them in the garage where they could have a fan and constant air circulation.
This is our first attempt at home grown tobacco and home rolled cigars. We are just so excited that the plants actually lasted and grew so prolifically. There are several processes to reaching the final product and it could take up to a year... We are definitely not experts, but we will let you know how it turns out...in about a year!

UPDATE: The tobacco leaves have been drying for several weeks and are starting to look quite nice! We have a box fan near the leaves helping to circulate air and aid in the drying process.

1 comment:

  1. I love your love of learning new things...that means I get to learn them, too! I can now add ligero, seco and volado to my vocabulary :)