This years crop in my back yard

The Ideal germination temerature is 68 F at night to 86 F day.
Tobacco prefers rich well-drained soil but will do well even in poor soil. The ideal ph for tobacco is: Seedlings: 5.8 to 6.2 Adults: 6.4 to 6.6 but may vary depending on the strain grown.
Depending on the strain of tobacco and the growing conditions you can estimate each plant will yield enough tobacco to produce about five packs of cigarettes. The plants should be spaced about 2 feet apart with 3 foot wide rows.

Starting tobacco from seed:
Plant your tobacco seeds indoors about 30 days before the last frost. The seeds are tiny and should be sprinkled on a finely textured moist growing medium (Soil). After adding the seeds cover the soil with some newspaper to hold the moisture in and spray the soil from time to time with a spray bottle producing a fine mist. Alternately a Styrofoam egg carton with ¼” holes punched in the bottom of each egg cup can be used. Fill the carton with moist soil, plant the seeds then close the lid until the seeds sprout. Water by placing the carton in a tray of water to allow it to wick-up into the soil. It takes 3 days to 2 weeks for the seeds to germinate depending and the strain and freshness of the seeds. Germinate the seeds in the dark to speed germination. Once the seeds germinate move them into the light or the stems will elongate and the plants will flop-over. Do not overwater the seedlings. Let the soil dry some before watering or the seedlings may be attacked by a fungus at the base of the stem and quickly die. Keep the plants in a heated greenhouse, indoors in a sunny window or indoors under an artificial light source. Cool white florescent light work well but you need to keep the bulbs close to the top of the plants.
Thin the seedlings out by removing all but the best 1 or 2 plants per pot, or plug tray slot. Eventually leave only 1 plant.

Growing tobacco:
Transplant outdoors after danger of frost and the leaves are 2 to 3 inches long.
Keep well watered and fertilized. Tobacco grows like a monster so it has to be fed and watered like one. Using uncomposted manure will taint the flavor of your tobacco so only use compost or chemical fertilizer. Remove any suckers that form so the plant focuses all of it's energy into the main stalk.
All tobacco plants are self fertile so you only need 1 of each variety to be spared from topping for seed production. Flowers should be covered with a fine mesh bag to prevent cross pollination.
The rest should be topped so considerably thicker leaves are produced. Typically the flowers which appear at the top of the plant towards the end of the plants life are removed for tobacco production.
Tobacco is usually harvested in autumn/fall. When ripe the leaves take on a crinkled appearance similar to alligator skin, they may start yellowing & the stems will become brittle. Harvest the whole plant regardless of leaf color or ripeness if there is a threat of frost.

Processing tobacco at home:
Hang the leaves in clusters using a rubber band or wire tie around the leaf stems in a protected area with some air circulation until the leaves turn brown. The leaves must turn brown before they dry so if the leaves begin to dry before turning brown place them in a pile and cover with a blanket or towel. Rotate the leaves within the pile everyday or they will begin sticking to one another and tearing. If any leaves become wet dry the moisture off the leaves before returning them to the pile
Mild Virginia strains can be smoked once they turn brown but are better tasting if cured. Chewing tobacco can be prepared by boiling the leaves in some water along with licorice roots, molasses, chocolate and other flavorings.

The dried leaves will naturally cure when stored. The longer they are stored the better they will taste. Some easy curing strains may be cured well enough to enjoy after 3 months but others may take years. Alternately the curing process can be shortened considerably by using a homemade kiln where heat, humidity and ventilation can be carefully controlled. Harsh tobacco can also be sprayed with plain water or sugar water then oven toasted at 250-275F for 10 to 12 minutes to make it milder.
The leaves should be shredded before smoking. There are machines made for the purpose but good results can be obtained using a common kitchen blender. Moisten dry leaves just enough to make them pliable, roll them into 1 inch diameter rolls then cut the rolls into 1 inch chunks. Drop the chunks into the blender then run on the shred setting for about 15 seconds. Experiment with small amounts until you get a feel for how dry the tobacco should be and how long the blender should run.

Most people prefer to make cigarettes using premade paper tubes with a filter attached. The tubes are then stuffed with shredded tobacco using a machine such as a Topomatic.

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Fact Check:   'Joe Biden Claims ‘We Didn’t Lock People Up In Cages’

CLAIM: Former Vice President Joe Biden claimed, on immigration: “We didn’t lock people up in cages.”

VERDICT: FALSE. The “cages” were built by the Obama-Biden administration.

Univision moderator Jorge Ramos asked Biden at the third Democrat debate at Texas Southern University in Houston, Texas, why Latinos should trust him after the Obama administration continued deporting “undocumented immigrants.”

Biden claimed that the Obama administration’s policies were more humane than those of President Donald Trump: “We didn’t lock people up in cages,” he said.

In fact, the “cages” were built by the Obama administration to deal with a surge of unaccompanied minors who crossed the border illegally in 2014.

Originally, the Obama administration was “warehousing” children — literally — in overwhelmed Border Patrol facilities. Breitbart News broke the story of the surge, which was partly triggered by Obama’s policy of allowing illegal alien children who entered the country as minors to stay in the country (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA).

Above image credit: AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, Pool, File

The above photo was published by the Associated Press in June 2014, and the photo below is of Obama’s Secretary of Homeland Security, Jeh Johnson, touring a Border Patrol facility with “cages.”

Above: Border Patrol officers escort Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and Gov. Jan Brewer through the department’s Nogales processing facility for immigrant children. (Photo courtesy Barry Bahler/Department of Homeland Security)

The “cages” are chain-link enclosures in Border Patrol processing facilities that are meant to protect children from adults in custody. They are not permanent accommodations.

In mid-2018, as the Trump administration began enforcing a “zero tolerance” policy that stopped the “catch-and-release” policy of letting illegal aliens go after they were arrested. Detaining adults and children meant that children had to be processed separately; the enclosures prevented adults from harming children.

As Breitbart News reported at the time, children were not housed in “cages.” They were processed and then taken to shelters, where they were given medical care, toiletries, education, recreation, and counseling, and where staff attempted to find relatives or sponsors to whom they could be released.

Democrats began tweeting images of “kids in cages” to condemn the Trump administration. Journalists, too, shared those images.

One problem: they were taken during the Obama administration.

Public outrage at the images led President Trump to end the policy, and require families to be detained together.

Democrats keep repeating the mistake, however: in July, they had to delete a tweet that used an image from the Obama era and cited the “inhumane treatment” of children by the Trump administration.

Republicans argue that not detaining illegal aliens is actually the cruel policy, because it encourages migrants to undertake a dangerous journey, often guided by cartels and smugglers.

As Breitbart News’ Alana Mastrangelo noted recently:

But what’s worse than “cages,” however, are reports of migrant children also being handed over to human traffickers during the Obama administration — while Biden was vice president — according to the New York Times. Between October 2013 and July 2015 alone, nearly 80,000 unaccompanied children from Central American countries were detained by U.S. authorities.

It remains unclear how many of the tens of thousands of children were handed over to human traffickers — including sex traffickers — during that span of nearly two years, as those cases are reportedly not tracked.

“Others were ransomed by the very smugglers to whom their families paid thousands of dollars to sneak them into the United States,” reported the New York Times in 2015, during Obama’s presidency and Biden’s vice presidency. “Some lost limbs during the journey or found themselves sold into sexual slavery.”

Biden told voters in South Carolina last month that he would close all border detention facilities, guaranteeing that the migrant flow would continue.

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