Growing Tobacco

Growing Tobacco

The following passage is mainly for Cuban cigars, but the process is, broadly speaking, related elsewhere.
Cigars are a pure product; the standard of a cigar is directly related to the type and high quality of leaves utilized in its building, just as the standard of wine depends upon the type and quality of grapes used.

Tobacco seedbeds must be in flat fields, in order that the seeds aren't washed away. After being planted, the seedlings are covered with material or straw to shade them from the sun. This protecting is gradually removed as they start to germinate, and after round 35 days (during which the seedling shall be sprayed with pesticides), they are transplanted, normally within the second half of October, into the tobacco fields proper. The leaves are watered both by rain and the morning dew, and irrigated from below.

The tobacco plant is considered in three elements: the top (or corona), the center, and the bottom. As the leaves develop, buds appear. These must be eliminated by hand to forestall them from stunting leaf and plant growth. The quality of wrapper leaf is crucial in any cigar. Vegetation called Corojos, specifically designated to provide wrapper leaves for the very best cigars, are always grown below gauze sheets held up by tall wooden poles. They forestall the leaves from turning into too thick in a protective response to sunlight. The method, called tapado (covering), also helps them to remain smooth.

When harvesting time arrives, leaves are removed by hand using a single movement. These chosen as wrappers are put in bundles of 5, a manojo, or hand. The leaves are picked in six phases: libra de pie (at the base), uno y medio (one-and-a-half), centro ligero (light heart), centro fino (thin middle), centro gordo (thick heart), and corona (crown). The libra de pie section isn't used for wrappers. Every week passes between every phase. The best leaves discovered in the course of the plant; the top leaves (corona) are often too oily to be used for wrappers, apart from home consumption, and are sometimes used as binder leaves. The entire cycle, from transplanted seedlings to the end of harvesting takes some 120 days, with every plant being visited a median of one hundred seventy occasions making it a really labor-intensive process.

Wrapper leaves grown under cowl are labeled by shade as ligero (light), seco (dry), viso (glossy), amarillo (yellow), medio tiempo (half texture), and quebrado (broken), while those grown beneath the sun are divided into volado, seco, ligero, and medio tiempo. The ligero leaves from the highest of the plant have a very strong taste, the seco from the middle are much lighter, and the volado leaves from the underside are used to add bulk and for his or her burning qualities. The artwork of constructing a very good cigar is to blend these, along with a suitable wrapper leaf, in such proportions as to present the eventual cigar a light, medium, or full taste, and to make sure that it burns well. The leaves are also labeled by measurement (massive, common, small) and by physical situation (unhealthy or damaged leaves are used for cigarettes or machine-made cigars). If all of the leaves are good, every wrapper plant can wrap 32 cigars. The condition and quality of the wrapper leaf is crucial to the engaging appearance of a cigar, in addition to its aroma.

The bundles of leaves are then taken to a buy tobacco seeds in Australia barn on the vega, or plantation, to be cured. The barns face west in order that the sun heats one end in the morning and the other within the late after-noon. The temperature and humidity in the barns is rigorously controlled, if mandatory by opening and shutting the doors at each ends (often saved shut) to take account of adjustments of temperature or rainfall.

As soon as the leaves reach the barn, they are strung up on poles, or cujes, using needle and thread. The poles, each holding round one hundred leaves, are hoisted up horizontally (their place high within the barn permits air to circulate), and the leaves left to dry for between 45 and 60 days, depending on the weather. During this time, the green chlorophyll in the leaves turns to brown carotene, giving them their attribute color. The poles are then taken down, the threads reduce, and the leaves stacked into bundles in accordance with type.


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