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First Time Grower: eekay in Canada

eekay

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Mar 31, 2020
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Red Deer, Alberta
Good morernernoon everyone.

I'm in the beginning stages of priming some leaves from some Canadian Virginia plants that I grew this summer.

This is a first time grow. I occasionally smoke a pipe with a preference for Virginia flake , which is my end goal.

I began growing both out of frustration with Canada's tobacco laws and taxation ($80 for a 50g tin of flake) as well as a fun experiment born out of a "what if" scenario at the beginning of COVID. I wanted to see just how hard it would be to grow, process, make available tobacco in a post-pandemic world where I could use it as a means of barter. (This is far fetched but still a fun experiment).

I have been pouring over these forums for months, making lists and making a game plan for the eventual harvest , curing, and kilning.

I have collected about half a dozen broad leaves that had sustained some damage from a prairie wind storm to test some environments in my home.

Currently I have them strung from the basement rafters using marker flag wire. I have a Vornado fan set to slow for gentle circulation. The ambient temperature is 18C/64F with a RH of 68%. The leaves are beginning to yellow nicely with no early signs of molding.

I have at hand poly drop sheets, a humidifier, InkBird Hygrostatic Controller, InkBird Thermostatic Controller, and a Space Heater.

Would it be beneficial to hang a few sheets of poly to create a cell in my workshop and boost the temps to 20C and 70% RH? Or can I coast along at my current 16C/68% RH and just see what happens?

I have all of the materials I need to construct an Exoskeleton kiln so that will be my next order of business.

For I know I need to prep an area to handle a harvest from 9 mature plants.

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.
 

eekay

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Mar 31, 2020
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Location
Red Deer, Alberta
You can occasionally order from places like 4Noggins and customs will give it a pass. The most recent tin of Frog Morton Cellar (RIP) got snagged and I ended up with a $65 duty on top of the retail, currency conversion, and shipping. Canada has extremely strong handed taxes (Gotta pay for that universal healthcare some how).
 

eekay

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Red Deer, Alberta
Welcome to the forum. If you intend to flue-cure your leaf, then try to get that done this weekend. Fully mature or ripe leaf can go directly into a flue-cure run.

Bob
I intend to just hang dry it until color cured and then kiln. Don't have the means right now for a safe flue setup , but I plan on it for next year's run. I just need some more education on electrical safety.
 

plantdude

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Looks like they are color curing nicely. Bob @deluxestogie as well as many other members of this forum are much more of an expert than I am. From what I've heard so far you if you are just air curing a kiln speeds things up greatly or you can wait for close to a year for the leaves to cure and age to a nice state. If you are wanting to flue cure and keep the leaves a nice golden color you will need to get them in a kiln pretty soon.
I'm mostly just air curing and keeping my leaves in a bag in my hot attic as a makeshift kiln for about three weeks (120 F temp but not warm enough to flue cure). The attic method may not be an option in your cooler climate though.

I had the same thoughts as you about having a tobacco supply on hand "just in case".
 

Radagast

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I got a crock pot from Value Village ($7) and a repurposed garbage can ($0) with some blankets and a thermistor from eBay ($3) for some flue curing and it's working like a charm. If you're nearby, Victory Cigars in Oshawa Ontario is a great (and possibly the last) tobacconist within 100 km and I can pick up a tin of Klondike Gold flake there for about $50. Heck, that little thermostat was so cheap I got two, so if you want I'll send it to ya. Pm me if you want it. Welcome to the forum.
 

eekay

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Red Deer, Alberta
A small snapshot of two of my 9 plants. The plant on the right is grown in a 10gal cloth grow bag, the one on the left in a standard 7gal nursery pot. The difference is staggering. The cloth grow bag plant is definitely much happier, healthier, and the leaves are double or more in size. I have two others that were planted in the ground a little later on and are looking very nice.



 

Oldfella

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A small snapshot of two of my 9 plants. The plant on the right is grown in a 10gal cloth grow bag, the one on the left in a standard 7gal nursery pot. The difference is staggering. The cloth grow bag plant is definitely much happier, healthier, and the leaves are double or more in size. I have two others that were planted in the ground a little later on and are looking very nice.



Nice looking plants. And incase I haven't said so before, welcome to the world of all things tobacco.
Cheer's
Oldfella
 

plantdude

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Arkansas
A small snapshot of two of my 9 plants. The plant on the right is grown in a 10gal cloth grow bag, the one on the left in a standard 7gal nursery pot. The difference is staggering. The cloth grow bag plant is definitely much happier, healthier, and the leaves are double or more in size. I have two others that were planted in the ground a little later on and are looking very nice.



Nice plants. It looks like a color difference as well between the two. Are those the same variety and have the same soil? I wonder if the increased air flow to the soil in the cloth bag is helping. The roots may be enjoying the extra oxygen for respiration. @Radagast put a bunch of holes in some of his pots for his orientals and his plants seemed to be doing pretty good. I think you guys are on to something.
 

eekay

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Location
Red Deer, Alberta
It looks like a color difference as well between the two. Are those the same variety and have the same soil? I wonder if the increased air flow to the soil in the cloth bag is helping. .

Same soil and fertilizer regimen. There is definitely a contrast in color. The whole concept with the grow bags is that they are breathable. So the roots are "air pruned", and will not become root bound. Given what I've observed I would definitely reccomended the grow bags for anyone who's is restricted to container gardening. Pack of 5 off of Amazon is like $20 CAD and they come in 15gal, 20gal (I use for potato) and up.

Next year , if my in ground plot isn't ready, I'll be growing my entire crop in cloth bags.
 

eekay

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Mar 31, 2020
Messages
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Location
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Perhaps someone can fact check my understanding here.

My intention was to yellow the leaves (either by hanging or box method, still deciding) and then dry them by reducing humidity. Once the harvest was fully dried, I was going to re-hydrate the leaves and place them in a DIY kiln to speed up the aging process.

Once done I would de-stem and place the leaves in a neat order in some square tubing and compress with a C Clamp for x ammount of time for plug.

My biggest fear is that in my wormy brain I've somehow misinterpreted some of the How To's out there.
 
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