I've just tried my first smoke of dried flower-heads.
It's not what I'm used to at all. The smoke had a floral hint to it. I have to say it was very pleasant indeed and next year I'll pay far more attention to those flowers.
There is a hurricane allegedly on the way, it might hit the UK on Monday or it might not but this weekend, I think I'll pull whatever leaves are left anyway. Those tall plants suffer in high winds and if the hurricane does hit, they'll be ruined. Besides, the frosts aren't far away. It could be another nasty winter.
Drying - so far, some have dried correctly, some went mouldy and some have dried too far, too fast.
Get rid of mouldy ones as soon as you spot them. Mould will spread.
The overdry ones, I'm wondering if I can rehydrate those. Worth a try.
So, some leaves are now in little jars, some on their own, some with a dash of brandy poured over them. Others will get the quick-boil and redry treatment because that's the quickest way to get something smokeable. I expect it'll be rough but I managed to get used to Yugoslavian cigarettes once.
Air-curing might not work here, central heating doesn't leave much humidity in the air. Next year I'll make a humidity box.
I haven't yet tried my hand at cigars, I'll need more leaves for that.
This crop won't keep me in smokes for the whole year, mainly because I'm likely to ruin most of it by experimenting, but as I said before, I only need to get two ounces of smokeable stuff to cover the cost. Even if it's not great, I can mix it in with Amber Leaf and that'll save some cash.
Now I'm watching flower heads dry. I need enough for a pipe full this time.