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Whole Leaf Tobacco

Blossom Bags input requested

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#1
I am looking at producing Blossom Bags in bulk in order to offer them at reasonable prices per piece to the members of this group.

I am seeking input as to the final design of this bag.

So far the idea is a bag made from agribond, in a size between grocery shopping bag to queen size pillow case size. with either a piece of cord included or actually sewn into the bag. It has already been suggested that a string simply be sewn to the bag with a couple of stitches. preventing it from being lost. sewing an entire hem into the bag to create a gathering string is overkill. I tend to agree.

One other comment I have gotten that I feel is worth mentioning. when considering the size of the bag. keep in mind it is not necessary to cover the entire top of a plant. enclosing just a single branch of a cluster will protect many thousands of seeds. A huge bag is not always necessary and possibly not even desirable.

Any comments or suggestions are welcome. Keep in mind this bag is meant to meet the wants and need of all of you. I only know what to consider if you make it known.

The basic questions I would like to see information on.
1. What material to make them from
2. the size (there will only be one)
3. draw string preferences.

I would also like to get some idea of the demand. I cannot give a price at this time but will asap. but for now lets say cheap. cheap enough to make it worth buying rather than making anyway. I want an idea how many to have ready so that it is not an instant, oops wait a month for your order type thing.

I have years of experience in other groups at doing things just like this. The process is somewhat lengthy but I have always found it to be helpful to start by getting ideas from the members themselves. I also realize that those ideas can and probably will get far roaming. please be considerate of the ideas of others. They are all helpful. many may very well be used as the product develops.

Thank you all in advance.
 

Jitterbugdude

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#2
Daniel, To answer your questions. I don't plan to buy any but I use Organza bags. The bag size I like is 16 x 18 inches. This is a big bag and it has a sewn in draw string. I tried a smaller, 6x12 bag this year. That is way too small. I had to cut off a lot of extra seed pods so the bag would fit
So:
1. Material: Organza or Arigabon (much cheaper)
2. Size: about 16x18 ( or a tad bit smaller)
3. Draw string: yes.. makes it very convenient to just slip over and cinch down.

Randy B.
 
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#3
Randy, Thanks. I started with organza until I saw Agribond suggested a few weeks ago. My problem at this time with organza is finding it in bulk at a price that can compete with Agribond. If anyone has a source for Organza that will get close to the price needed (about 10 cents for a bag the size Randy mentions here. Please let me know). Also if it turned out most people prefer Organza I will change the material as well.

I did do some preliminary materials type work yesterday. Without knowing the time it will take to actually make a bag. I am hoping to get them made for about 50 cents a bag or less. That figure is subject to change if I discover anything I totally did not expect. There is not a lot to not know here though. cloth, string, sew. Not a lot to monkey up the works.
 

deluxestogie

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#4
Daniel,
Agribon comes in multiple thicknesses. I would strongly recommend the Agribon-AG15, which is the lightest. Compared to organza, the Agribon bag also protects against wind-borne pollination, which might be a small factor in closely planted varieties. I made and used 32 Agribon-AG15 bags this season. I found that a 24" x 30" bag is about right. (A few varieties, such as FL Sumatra, wanted the bag to be even longer, because of their continued, vigorous height growth.) The need for width varies from those varieties with "closed" vs "open" bud heads, which can be reviewed in the GRIN "observations." A 24" width worked for my most open-headed varieties. Because the bag is not full of holes, the entire seed head, still inside the bag, can be cut and hung to dry, without the risk of losing the small percentage of seed that spontaneously falls from the dried pods.

With regard to a tie-string, I exclusively used a separate, 12" nylon string. This allowed me to roll the length of the bag to a shorter length when initially placing it on a young bud head, then gradually unroll and retie it as the head grew. This would not be possible with an attached string. The advantage of gradually adjusting the size is that there is less of a wind sail stress on the top of the plant while it is younger and less able to endure it, but provides the added length if needed for more vigorous, older bud heads.

One addition that I have found invaluable was to sew a 1" x 6" strip of white Tyvek into the side seam, near the top. This has allowed me to label each bag with the variety, using a black Sharpie. This stays with the bag after the head is cut from the stalk, clearly indicating the variety. Because the interior of the bag is forever contaminated with pollen of that specific variety, the label will allow it to be reused on the same variety in the future, rather than discarded.

Agribon-AG15 is light enough and permeable enough that it does not cause the bud head to heat in the sun, as happens with denser materials (e.g. muslin and paper). While tiny bugs may be able to enter an organza bag, and moths may be able to lay budworm eggs right through the organza, this is not possible with Agribon-AG15.

Since I find it easy enough to sew my own bags, I likely would not purchase any, unless my sewing machine unexpectedly died.

Bob

EDIT: This is a photo of some of my seed heads hanging to dry on my enclosed back porch. Notice the vast difference in the sizes of one variety's seed head from another. Also note the Tyvek label strip.
 
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#5
Nice touch with the tag idea. i have already looked at the agribond 15 and it is going to be hard to beat as far as price. Good point for not attaching a string as well. You have enough seed there to start your own plantation now. I hope to place my first order for agribond in the next couple of days. Will give that a shot and let the bag develop further over time. Maybe add a selection of sizes in the future. For now I am thinking it is safer to go larger rather than smaller. It's a bit hard to make more space in a small bag but a larger bag can be rolled up etc to make it smaller.
I really like that tag idea, thanks
 

mkd321

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#6
I would be interested in buying 15-20 of these, when and if they are available. Next year will be my first season growing so I cant really give any input into the design of the bag.
 
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#7
mkd, I just received the Agribond on monday. We are working out how to handle the sheet to get it cut and we will have bags shortly after that. Hopefully I will have some completed this weekend. I will PM you when we have them. I expect them to be less than $1.00 ea. maybe even lower than that.

The bags are going to be about 20 inches wide and 30 inches long. We also plan to sew a tag in the seam as Bob described btu have not found the material for that. Not a big deal just need to run to a craft store to pick something out.
 

deluxestogie

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#8
We also plan to sew a tag in the seam...have not found the material for that.
Daniel,
If you go to an office supply store, you can buy a box of 9" x 12" white Tyvek envelopes. Discarding the printed margins, I believe I was able to get at least 2 dozen clear white 1" x 6" tags from each envelope.

Bob
 

Cerasaan

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#10
We also plan to sew a tag in the seam as Bob described btu have not found the material for that. Not a big deal just need to run to a craft store to pick something out.
I get Tyvek tags at a shipping supply store, and i use a marker (dry erase or permanent both work), it takes over a year for that to fade. But if you can get them free...
 
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#11
I would also like to get some idea of the demand. I cannot give a price at this time but will asap. but for now lets say cheap. cheap enough to make it worth buying rather than making anyway. I want an idea how many to have ready so that it is not an instant, oops wait a month for your order type thing.
I think you should count me in for about ten bags. That is if you're willing to ship them to Denmark for reasonable prize.

BTN
 
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#12
Nature, No problem with international shipping. I do it all the time. My postage charges are going to be actual postage. I don't do the handling thing. I will have pay pal fees added since it is the only way I have to collect payments. The weather here has put a damper on the progress for the next few days. Don't fear though We never have really bad weather for long.
 
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#14
I will PM those that have posted interest in bags as well. But this is a general announcement that I plan to make a push to complete bags this weekend. Somebody please explain to me why it always gets so busy after the gardening is done...Hmmmm?
Anyway lots to do this weekend and bags are on my list.
The price at this time will be $0.75 each plus postage. I combine actual postage, Usually priority flat rate of $4.95 with the pay pal transaction fees of 30 cents per transaction for a total postage of $5.25 (International $11.95). In the case of these bags I will be able to ship smaller orders via first class at a lower (about half) although the pay pal fee will still apply. I ship to other countries only via Priority flat rate.

You must point out you are i another country when placing your order. IF not when I do eventually read your actual address I will refund the payment and message for the corrected one. Save the time and hassle. Pay pal does not refund quickly. I assume everyone lives in Texas.

The way I usually do it is I will send you a pay pal invoice for the order that will charge for priority postage. If the package mails for less than that priority I refund the difference when you postage has been printed. This reduces the risk that I have to contact you for more money and at your end it results in good news rather than bad. Having to make a second payment results in a second pay pal fee also.

Second I have enough material to make about 60 bags and so far 45 or more of them seem to be requested. Please feel free to contact me if want some but understand I may already be falling behind. We have had to move some things out of the way to make room to do this. Sort of like putting summer away to make room for fall. I would really like to have some idea of how many bags to have stocked up for next summer when we will not have room to make them. I plan to make them in the fall and winter and be able to focus on gardening again next spring. So messages like I want some for next year but won't buy them until spring are fine with me.

I am also remodeling one bedroom this fall as well as experimenting with a bee hive and a wood burning stove. Yeah way to many irons in the fire but that is my style. I am not making excuses just giving fair warning that if you say you want bags don't be to anxious. I will get them by the time your plants are blossoming next year. If you are in the southern hemisphere where summer is just starting or otherwise need them sooner like in Florida. Please let me know. I can get them out if necessary in limited numbers.

Thanks to everyone for your support. I genuinely hope this group becomes more than a place to chat about growing tobacco but becomes an actually source for getting it done.

For now I am happy to make this small contribution to that end. My real passion is to work on a shredder. I see that as the single largest missing link. If anyone has any thing they are using that is reliable I would appreciate your comments on it. You can PM me or e-mail me if you prefer to remain private. I keep private conversations private and only refer to them in public as "I got a comment" sort of references. I never mention names with private comments. I assume a person used oen one one methods to communicate for a reason and I don't think I know what those reasons are.
 

Chrism

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#15
Daniel, sounds like a good demand for home growers. I for one probably maybe be interested also (10 bags). A good made shredder below the outrageous price of a cutoff would sell good. 18" or so cutting length, motorized, variable speed :).
 
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#16
Well folks, I am starting to think this conversation needs it's own thread somewhere. The first production run of bags have been sold out pending payments. There will be a delay of a week or so as I order more material.

For those that are ordering. I have a small request. please post what you think of the bags. good bad or otherwise. I don to mind negative comments at all as they help me improve the product and make it more what the members want it to be.

Thank you all for the support and best of luck with your tobacco growing next spring. I am confident these bags will do absolutely nothing to make your tobacco grow better. But they will go a long way in helping you do it again anyway.

I will try to post a picture of a completed bag later today. I had my wife pick something out for a tag material. She brought home ribbon. I tried it and permanent marker will bleed on it just a bit. so either use a fine marker or write very large letters on the tags. We ran out after the first 20 bags and will have to go find more material. I will go with her and find Tyvek this time.
 
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