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Whole Leaf Tobacco

Deluxestogie Grow Log 2018

OldDinosaurWesH

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Goose is better than turkey. But I'm not much of a wild game eater. I'm not really interested the mess that results after you've killed one of the damn things. The grocery store is way too convenient...and consistent.

The only thing I have against geese are their filthy ways. There a number of parks around here that have become unfit for human habitation due to goose filth. The fish and game guys have to have roundups from time to time to winnow the population down and thus reduce the filth problem.

On a completely different subject, I'm going to go out there and pick one of those squash and have some squash for supper. Said squash haven't gotten fully colored yet, but I don't care. I want to see if they are fit to eat.

Also, I am gearing up to start stalk-harvesting the remainder of my tobacco stems. I even bought a new sharpie! So maybe you will be able to read my measurement sheet. Also, I needed a new sharpie so that I can read my own tags! I'm going to start Saturday and see if I can't have the majority cut and hung by Sunday.

Wes H.
 

deluxestogie

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Stacked Basma Inspiration

The beautiful, stacked Basma sample that I received from WLT (and recently reviewed) inspired me to spend some extra effort on my stalk-harvested, sun-cured Düzce leaf. My original plan was to just stuff all the nearly 1000 leaves into a single bag for kilning. But that Basma was such a pleasure to shred, since it was laid-out and meticulously clean.

My Düzce had little bits of debris (dead gnats, budworm poop, stray grass clippings, occasional spider webs, etc.) on many of the leaves. While this is not much of an issue for cigar filler, since each leaf would be individually cleaned and stemmed just prior to rolling, the Oriental leaf always is piled and shredded for pipe blending. Cleaning each of those leaves at the moment of use would be a pain in the butt.

The Düzce sun-cured beautifully, with hardly any green. I decided to spend some up-close, personal time with it, prior to kilning. Since my humidity rises to nearly 100% during each night, but drops precipitously after the sun rises each day, I placed the Düzce in smallish batches in a bushel basket, left it out on the porch overnight, then arose early, to clean and stack as much as I could, before it became unworkable.



I handled one leaf at a time, carefully cleaning and stretching each one. These spotless leaves were then stacked. I performed this with a mug of coffee and a cigar, out on my porch, working quickly to beat the sunrise. If I look at the process as work, then it's genuinely tedious. Instead, I approached the task as something of a Zen meditation, attempting to identify bird varieties solely by the sound of their voices or by the noise of their flight. (Doves are clumsy oafs, and make a racket when they depart from a tree branch.) Coffee, cigar, Zen. When the sun rises above the horizon, this delicate Düzce leaf immediately becomes stiffer.



Once the time is up for a session of "meditation", I slide the tidy stack into one of my 10" x 30" poly-Nylon, vapor-proof bags, and I'm done with Düzce for the day.



I will kiln the open bags in my next kiln run. I estimate having 3 bags of Düzce similar to the one in the photo. I still don't know what this stuff tastes like.

Bob
 

deluxestogie

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I drove out to the VA Hospital this morning, and got my super deluxe flu shot.

Epidemiology Lesson of the Month:
The spread of a particular disease within a given population is dependent on both
  1. the probability of an infected individual transmitting the disease to contacts (average number of effective encounters during the period of infectivity)
  2. and the proportion of the population that is susceptible to that disease.
If everybody is susceptible, then only that first factor determines the ultimate number of people who become sick. The "effectiveness" of an immunization (if everybody gets the shot!) determines the proportion of the population that is susceptible to that disease.

While the flu shot in any particular season may offer only a 50% reduction in the likelihood that a particular, exposed, susceptible person will become infected, it likewise
  1. reduces the number of infected individuals by one half
  2. and simultaneously reduces the proportion of the population that is susceptible.
That often means the difference between sporadic cases vs. an epidemic. It's a statistical thing, rather than a personal assurance of immunity.

Bob
 

deluxestogie

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Well, there it is. The whole crop of cob corn this year. [There are two or three very tiny ears left on the stalks.] Not too impressive. I'm not sure what the problem was with the unbagged ears. There were some lengthy stretches of continuously rainy days that might have hampered natural pollination. The fat cobs are about 1.5" thick.

With hand-pollinated, bagged ears, it's not uncommon to get only a band of kernels, corresponding to when a particular range of silks was viable at the time of the intervention. But this is considerably poorer a yield of seed than on the other 5 varieties that I've bagged in the past. That skinny, bagged ear was pollinated with pollen from a different stalk--loser! The other two were selfed. Altogether, there are just 29 seeds for propagation.

One surprise is that the cobs seem to achieve the same thickness, regardless of whether or not kernels are formed. Prior to seeing this, I did not know if the thickness of the cob might be determined by successful pollination and production of kernels. But the bare stretches of cob appear to be just as large a diameter as the populated ones. What remains to be seen is if the density or woodiness of the cob is the same, with and without having produced kernels.

Note the genetic variation of cob color in both the open-pollinated as well as the bagged ears.

I'll allow these to dry down for a few months, before shelling them, and sawing cob segments. This was an interesting grow. Thank you @Jitterbugdude for the seed.

Bob
 

Alpine

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Do you plan to plant the seeds next year Bob? It is my understanding that MM original seeds are hybrids. I bought the seeds from Aristocob last year, but didn’t plant them (or anything else for that) this spring. I was wondering if hand pollination and bagging would produce viable seeds and consistent to the parent plant

Pier
 

deluxestogie

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Aristocob said:
Conversations with Missouri Meerschaum’s General Manager Phil Morgan led us to believe that your best approach to successfully growing your own corn would be to plant 9 seeds in a 3’ by 3’ square, with one plant centered in each square. That said, we are both concerned about the corn’s ability to germinate, so we will include extra seeds to increase your odds of success. We predict that you will likely yield only two ears of corn that may be suitable for making a pipe, so we are including shanks and bits to complete two pipes.
Aristocob does use the term, "hybrid", though it is unclear if the seed is now a stable variety, or must be planted from F1 hybrids.

In the quote above, 9 stalks produce 2 cobs "suitable for making a pipe", which brightens my day, since I believe I have 5 suitable cobs in the photo. If I recall, I grew either 12 or 16 stalks. (I'm too lazy to hike out there and count them.) Even at 16 stalks, that's nearly 1/3 of stalks producing suitable cobs. That's no too bad. Of course, my cobs may shrink away to nothing, once they've dried fully.

Bob
 
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I honestly don't get the hybrid thing. I don't feel bad about that because I know genetics is well outside my focus and level of education.

But the mystery behind it all makes me feel like I'm being conned.The Alvaro melons I grew were F1's. But they were all the same, right? But we all know F1 tobacco (and pumpkini) absolutely do not produce predictable results. How is it that they can make F1 corn, cantaloupe, and petunias, each with little grey Gorbachev-birth-mark shaped centers, consistently, but say the next generation is going to be variable or even infertile? Isn't the F1 least likely to be consistent?
 

deluxestogie

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Genetics Lesson of the Month

UPPER CASE = dominant
lower case = recessive

Tissue cells have two instances of each genetic trait--they are diploid. Gamete cells (egg or pollen) will have only one instance of each genetic trait--they are haploid.

If parent 1 is abcDEf in certain, relevant traits (you don't want a, b c, and f, but do want D and E), and parent 2 is ABCdeF, then all the F1 phenotypes (what traits they show) will appear to be ABCDEF. But all those recessive sleepers are hidden within the diploid code of that F1 generation. Some of the gametes of the F1 generation (that will produce the F2 generation) are recessive in particular traits, and some are dominant. The two instances of each trait will get divided up, pretty much randomly when the haploid gametes are formed.

So, even for a single trait, say 'A' in which the dominant trait is for example, "Gorbachev", whereas the recessive 'a' is "Putin", if F1 all appears to be Gorbachev,
the F1's offspring (that is the F2 generation) will produce:
  1. 25% AA Gorbachev
  2. 25% Aa Gorbachev
  3. 25% aA Gorbachev
  4. 25% aa Putin
Any of them with at least one dominant A (75% of the F2 generation) will appear to be Gorbachev. The remaining 25% of the F2 generation will appear to be Putin.

When you are dealing with multiple desirable and undesirable traits, the math starts to look like quantum mechanics, but the basic message is that what you see (smell, taste) in the F1 generation may be different in the F2 generation.

Bob
 

OldDinosaurWesH

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Ooooh...Punnett Squares. I remember them from college. I also remember our statistics professor saying that Mendel must have been a statistician, because his results were a little too uniform.

Bob: I like you examples using Gorby and Putin. Bringing a little humor to a serious subject makes it easier to understand and remember. You sure you weren't a professor at one time?

Wes H.
 

deluxestogie

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Mendel just happened to study several truly simple, independent traits (blossom color, etc.) of peas [Pisum sativum]. Everybody ignored his results for nearly a half-century.

Bob
 

deluxestogie

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The rainbow was gone by the time I had rolled this cigar. The filler is entirely 2016 Long Red. I selected the least ratty of these filler leaves to make a wrapper. Most of the filler is darker than the wrapper. For a double binder, I used sacred Besuki (tabakanbau)--well, it was very holey, but the holes didn't overlap.

Yummy stuff. All aged and kilned and aged some more. Dark wood, leather. And a touch of edge from the Besuki--almost like the air drift from a hot chili.

Bob
 

deluxestogie

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Corojo 99 Orphanage Update







These are not shabby, but even if we grant them that extra foot of height consumed by the horizontal stalk segments, 3' isn't impressive for Corojo 99 at 10 weeks post transplant



They do seem to be growing decent leaf. If they have another 4 weeks.... It does appear, from the extended weather forecast, that they will get at least another 10 days--maybe longer.

Regardless, I will stalk-cut them just prior to the first frost, and hang them indoors--on my back porch, each ensconced in its own, personal humidity poncho.

Bob
 
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