View Single Post
  #9   Report Post  
Old 22-02-2003, 11:15 AM
Posts: n/a
Default Has anyone ever grown tobacco?

I grew up on a tobacco farm in North Carolina and I can assure you that
growing tobacco is not easy. At that time the government controlled the
production of tobacco by allocating the number of acres one could grow.
Therefore, everyone tried to get as many pounds of tobacco per acre as
possible. Rows were grown so close together that no mechanical equipment
could be used. Instead we used mules for the heavy work. Tobacco is very
nasty. The leaves are covered with sticky stuff and one is filthy after a
day in the field. Any many people get so sick working in tobacco that they
can hardly eat. We grew flue-cured bright tobacco which is hand picked,
cured in heated barns, and hand graded. Lots of labor involved. (I left out
a lot of steps, such as the steaming before grading. The steam room smells
very much like the Lapchoon souchon (I know this isn't even close to the
correct spelling) tea.) Then after all the wok the farmers do, the tobacco
companies do more before cigarettes are made. They blend the tobacco and
chop it up. The price of cigarettes is mostly taxes, not the cost of
tobacco. If you want to save money on tobacco, see if you can't buy it
direct from the farmers after it's been cured. Once it's at the tobacco
market it's a controlled substance. By the way, the reason the government
controls the amount a farmer can grow has nothing to do with the fact that
tobacco is a dangerous product, but instead is part of the USDA price
control system. When I was living on a farm the government guaranteed the
minimum price of tobacco and it bought and stored tobacco if it didn't sell
above that price. Just like butter and milk. I'm surprised that they
didn't give it to the schools as part of the school lunch program.

Washington, DC
Zone 7
"Phisherman" wrote in message
One post said growing tobacco was easy, and that is not my
understanding. All the work is done by hand and the leaves need to
be cured. Not too many (tobacco smoking) people would enjoy smoking
the dried leaves, but those who I knew that did are not living today.
It is very strong. One farmer used to chew the leaves, but after
several years developed tongue cancer.