Monday, 21 February 2011

Things that grow.

There are signs of little crocus tips poking through what's left of the lawn. Most of the shape seems to be coming up. I hope it turns out complete. I won't be invoking anything with this flower pentacle in case the Pansy Demon shows up. Think Julian Clary but with less restraint.

I had an interesting conversation yesterday. I mentioned growing my own tobacco. 'Oh,' he said, 'my grandfather always grew his own.' So I have some hints on a curing method that involves rolling the leaves into something that looks like a chrysalis and then adding a little bit of rum before hanging them up for a while. Smoky booze, or maybe boozy smokes. I have to get the details for this one.

Apparently his father remembers how it was done.


someday said...

Growing your own tobacco is a good idea once you get the hang of curing it.

You don't have to pay tax if it is for your own personal consumption.

Mr A said...

Sorry for the off-topic post but I hope you'll help, Leggy.

Some fun.

Remember how ten years ago thousands put down their religion as Jedi? Well, we have a new census coming up, so let's put down our religion as "smoker." Tobacco Control are leading an inquisition. Let's just highlight that fact.

Whether you want to just deny them the information that they demand from you by force or you just want to raise this issue in public once again and remind them that it is not going away, let's have some fun.
Spread the word.

Neal Asher said...

Sound like pipe tobacco to me. One way of curing pipe-tobacco is making a roll wrapping in cling film and then squirreling it away for a year or so.

Francis Urquhart said...

One is sympathetic to the views of smokers. I myself enjoy a good cigar and a single malt once in a while

Anonymous said...

"Apparently his father remembers how it was done"


When I saw the way things were going and knew that I might be catching a little flak, I thought it was time to meet the tobacco plant face to face and do a few experiments, very pretty they are too.

When the gentleman from up the road saw my plants, he told me about the rum recipe, but he didn't know how it had been done.
Apparently my Grandfather used to grow tobacco too, but I don't have his notes.

When I eventually introduced the neighbours to the tobacco plants, they were much admired,just as I'd hoped.

People can so easily be taught to fear what they have never seen and don't understand.

Here's a picture

Underplanted with dahlias, nasturtiums and mesembryanthemum.

BTW I never doubted your crocuses for an instant.


George Speller said...

let's put down our religion as "smoker."
Mr A is bang on. I think he and I should (annoyingly, I'm afraid) miss no opportunity to promote this idea. If we can make a religion out of smoking that would would really confound them.

The native Americans, of course, had tobacco as a central part of their religion. we should do the same. Unfortunately they did not seem to have a name for their religion - presumably because it was uncontested.

banned said...

Certainly like the idea of "smoker" as my religion on the next census.

LI, nothing will save you from a raid by the anti-tobacco paramilitary brigade citing "kids will get eye cancer by looking at your (alleged) plants".

Anonymous said...

Dear Real Leg-iron

I am sure you are already working up a post on this from our mutual 'friend' Prof Gilmore:

He has an interesting view of the relationship between government, doctors and patients, also known as voters and taxpayers.

At the end is an unattributed statement:

"The liver death rate in the UK is 11.4 per 100,000 people, which is more than double that of other countries with similar drinking cultures, such as Australia, Holland, New Zealand, Norway and Sweden."

This suggests something else other than alcohol is causing liver death (and presumably that of the rest of the body) in the UK. Finding out what ought to be what people like Gilmore are paid to do, instead of making fatuous demands for more government regulation.

Back to topic - there is plenty of guidance on growing, drying and curing on the webbe.

@ Rose - very nice they are too. I thought that tobacco had to be grown in a greenhouse. Perhaps you have a lot of 'carbon' in your garden.

Ibid: "Tobacco Smoke May Act as Antidepressant Drug".

Interesting observation, a whiff of good tobacco or its smoke is very uplifting: 'Mmmm, Havana'

@ Mr A - as a non-smoker would it be OK to lie about one's religion - I suppose one could always claimed to be a lapsed smoker. I shall however be having a small Havana on National Smoking Day, 1st July.


Anonymous said...


They are as easy to grow as an outdoor tomato, or a row of potatoes, which they virtually are.
So close genetically that they are graft compatible, though I haven't tried that myself.
Theoretically, you could grow a tomato on a tobacco root stock and no one would be any the wiser.

They need a lot less messing about with than tomatoes or potatoes, just plant them outside after the last frost,stake them to a five ft. beanpole and they'll be happy.

A very forgiving plant.

According to the Hidatsa, the flower calyx is the best part.

We have been conned for the last 400 years, so that we could be heavily taxed on an "exotic" import that James 1st didn't approve of because it was used in "heathen" religious practices.


Dave H. said...

Has he mentioned this crocus bulbs/pentacle thing before? The Daffodil Rides Out?

My favourite story along such lines comes from the News Quiz:

"Mrs Irene Graham of Thorpe Avenue, Boscombe, delighted the audience with her reminiscence of the German prisoner of war who was sent each week to do her garden. He was repatriated at the end of 1945, she recalled. "He'd always seemed a nice friendly chap, but when the crocuses came up in the middle of our lawn in February 1946, they spelt out Heil Hitler". (Bournemouth Evening Echo)"

Dr Evil said...

That's exactly how sailors in the days of sail used to treat their fresh tobacco. Saw a prog once years ago which described what they did to produce tobacco for their pipes. No weird additives just some rum.

subrosa said...

What about your snowdrops? Haven't they appeared yet? Mine have.

Now I'm worried...

Anonymous said...

A lot of unmitigated drivel is put about over the difficulty of curing tobacco. I believe that it's an evil plot put out by the tobacco magnates and perpetuated by our respective but seldom respected or respectable Governments to wring money from us unnecessarily. Curing tobacco is basically the drying of it in a moderately controlled environment. There are all sorts of bells and whistles you can add to enhance the end result, but YOU DON'T HAVE TO! You can make a perfectly acceptable product by just drying the leaves adequately, slicing them thinly, rolling them in cigarette paper, and setting them alight, - so put that in your pipe and smoke it!

Anonymous said...

Fast and rough is good enough.Then chuck the lot into a food processor with a sharp bottom blade fitted and zap it until the fineness of the flake suits you. This also has the advantage that if you think that the tobacco leaf was a bit dry, or you want to enhance the flavour, you can dissolve a little honey in a couple of teaspoons of alcohol (port, rum, vodka, moon-shine) and dribble it in as you zap.

Anonymous said...

You're just going to lurrrrrve this headline:

Leg-iron said...

Mr. A - that has to be worth a go.

Neal - a few pipes are already on order ;)

Rose - impressive plants. I'm hoping for a decent summer here, but they'll be starting in the greenhouse just in case.

I was worried about the crocuses because the grass is suffering, and if the grass can't hack this winter, it's not good news for anything else.

Leg-iron said...

DP - I'm looking at that idiot Gilmore's ramblings but others have already ripped him a new one.

You can be a non-practicing smoker for religious purposes. Although one cigar a year is enough to condemn you in Puritan eyes anyway.

Leg-iron said...

Dave H. - I'll see your Wheatley reference and raise you 'To the devil, a dahlia.'

Subrosa - snowdrops have appeared but aren't fully open yet. They won't be long.

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