The Delight of Growing Tobacco Plants and the Misery of Tobacco Control

I like looking briefly at my stats. It can be quite astonishing at the world-wide reach of the internet. But sometimes, it can also be amusing. For example, I have just had a look at what has been happening today – I mean yesterday, since it is five minutes after midnight. But the amusing bit is what has happened actually today, 29th. There has been one visitor and one view. And where has this visitor come from? Macedonia, for heavens sake! Macedonia is a tiny country about the size of Greater London, on the northern borders of Greece. I think it used to be part of Greece. No doubt it has a seat in the UN and has a traitorous, charlatan, criminal Health Dept pushing lies about SHS and demanding smoking bans. Having said that, I am not sure that I saw Macedonia as a party to the FCTC. I can’t be bothered looking it up.

The visitor viewed the Tobacco Growing Essay. The odd thing is that a person from Macedonia, being semi-Greek, should know all there is to know about growing tobacco plants. I should imagine that, in Greece, you need only chuck some seeds on some waste ground, and off you go. Perfect conditions and perfect territory. But whoever it is is,….. welcome, of course!

I have just had another look. Now there is one viewer and four views, but two views are from the USA, one from the UK and one from Macedonia. Three views are of the Growing Essay and one is of the Doctors Study.  Now, I know about proxies (very vaguely), but, in that case, I don’t see the point of WordPress having stats about the countries from which views originate. What is the point of WordPress saying that there have been 1000 views from UK and 1 from Macedonia if the real numbers are actually 1 from UK and 1000 from Macedonia? What is the point? It may be that these figures average out somehow, but what is the point if they are, in any case, grossly distorted? There again, is that not precisely how the Tobacco Control Industry arrives at its estimates.

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Really weird things happen. My essay on Growing etc is popular. Yesterday, for some reason or other, the normal viewing figures of that essay, here in the UK, trebled. I wonder why?  I suppose that the fact that it is spring leads people to think that starting tobacco plants NOW is just the right time, in much the same way that farmers might seed a patch of ground with wheat. Oh dear! We are in danger of falling into several traps. Hundreds of year ago, King James 1 banned the growing of tobacco in England. It was cultivated widely in the Chilterns. The problem is that we have no idea what variety of tobacco plant was grown in those times. It is not possible for the modern variety of Virginia to have been the variety since it had not yet been discovered. Unless someone can say otherwise (Rose?), I doubt that the varieties which were grown and smoked in those times are known today. It may well be that the variety grown in England in those times was quite happy to grow in our climate.

Umm… That has given me an idea. I wonder what might happen if I mark out a small area, say just a foot square, and make sure that there are no weeds at all in it, and really break up the surface soil to a fine-ish tilth, and sow some seeds directly into the ground. Umm….. Perhaps not yet. The ground is too cold. Perhaps, just for fun, it might be worth-while doing so in mid-June to see what happens. After all, regular readers will remember the strange occurrence of the tobacco plant which self-seeded last year in a gap between the paving of the back garden and the house wall.

2013-09-03 11.56.21

The leaves never got big, but I harvested them anyway!

 

Further, the seeds that I am using now are from plants grown in my own soil. They will have morphed a bit from being Virginia Gold. They will now, just a little, be “Virginia Gold (North West England)”.  Whether or not that is a good thing remains to be seen.

I acquired some ‘nicotiana rustica’ seeds not long ago. I haven’t done anything with them yet. I am ‘going away’ shortly. I might amuse myself by germinating a few when I get back, just for fun.

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There is something delightful about tobacco. In fact, there are several things which are delightful about tobacco. It produces a nice feeling of relaxation.  It has a pleasant taste. It brightens the mind. It is intriguing to follow through the curing and finishing. The whole experience must be similar to growing your own vegetables or keeping chickens, or whatever. The whole point is that the experience is delightful.

Contrast that with the sour-faced ‘cultivations’ of the Tobacco Control Industry. By NOT sowing these seeds, you will NOT produce happiness. By NOT sowing these seeds, you will be just as MISERABLE as we are. You will be able to join us in our misery. But do not despair. Even though you might be MISERABLE, you will be as healthy as a decrepit, cancer-ridden, senile, incontinent person can possibly be. But don’t think that you have been abandoned or confined to the scrap heap. We will take care of you…..

 

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12 Responses to “The Delight of Growing Tobacco Plants and the Misery of Tobacco Control”

  1. nisakiman Says:

    I think you’ll find, Junican, that very few people use proxy servers, so your stats collected by WordPress will, by and large, be accurate. I pay for a proxy server in UK, but that is only because I like to watch F1 live on the BBC, and I can only stream it through a UK IP address. As it happens, for the last two years the BBC has only broadcast half the races live, as Sky bought the TV rights, so I have to stream those races from elsewhere, which is not so stable. However, the point is that I only connect to my UK based VPN when I want to watch something on BBC / ITV (a rare occurrence), and the rest of the time my IP address will show as my actual ISP.

    Greece is indeed a big producer of tobacco. I’m not sure whether it’s the type of tobacco plant they grow, or the curing process they use, but I’ve never been keen on the Greek brands of cigarettes and rolling tobacco. They do make some American style brands, which are ok, but the traditionally Greek brands are not to my taste at all.

    • Junican Says:

      It is very odd, and I don’t understand (not that it matters). EG. Just now, again, we have one visitor who seems to be spread over the UK, US and Aus, who is also a person who has used links via Frank D and Dick P and has visited sixteen times.
      Ah well …. Not worth bothering about until I feel inclined to query the situation with WordPress.
      As regards tobacco, it would not surprise me if the Greek ‘tradition’ emanated from the Middle East. See Rose’s comment below.

  2. Tony Says:

    Via chas of f2c – you might like this:
    The Tobacco Parson
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b0 … 8_04_2014/
    10.34 in

  3. Tony Says:

    Oops, link went wrong:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b0414pkw/The_One_Show_28_04_2014/

  4. Rose Says:

    Hundreds of year ago, King James 1 banned the growing of tobacco in England. It was cultivated widely in the Chilterns. The problem is that we have no idea what variety of tobacco plant was grown in those times

    I’d hazard a guess that by 1619 it was N.tabacum. The British much prefered Spanish Leaf to N.Rustica.

    “Whereas before 1616 the indifferent plant (Nicotiana rustica) of the English colonies offered little competition to the popular Spanish leaf (Nicotiana tabacum) which was grown in the West Indies, Mexico, and the north of South America, the English colonists, by taking the Spanish plant from Trinidad and planting it in Virginia, began to trade in earnest.

    Indeed, it was largely due to this fact that England kept its hold on North America. In 1616 the first successful shipload of the New Virginian tobacco was sent across the Atlantic.”
    http: //archive.tobacco.org/History/Elizabethan_smoking.html

    However when looking for my notes on Leggy’s blog-
    http://underdogsbiteupwards.wordpress.com/2013/05/20/a-history-lesson/

    – I came across this treasure, it seems that the resistance in England went on much longer than I had thought.

    1619: Act banning Tobacco growing in England passed — just as first crop in Winchcombe ready to harvest.

    Now I haven’t crossed checked this yet

    1678: Thomas Colclough, again, was organiser of a petition to the King from seventy-six “Merchants, planters and traders to the English Plantations in America but more especially Virginia setting forth the great detriment of planting tobacco in England and imploring that an Act of Parliament be speedily passed to prevent the abuse”
    http://www.brh.org.uk/articles/tobacco.html

    Apparently from the Bristol Radical History group lecture in 2007.

    “A look at tobacco growing in the West of England in the 17th & 18th Centuries. How local growers fought attempts by the Royalist and Cromwellian states to suppress people growing tobacco. It explores the links between their struggles and those of slaves in the USA.”

    Stupid I know, but such an obvious connection had never occured to me before.

  5. Junican Says:

    I am sure that you are on the right lines, Rose. But the question is: “What variety of Nicotiana Tobacum was in use at the time? As you know, Virginia Gold varieties are recent. As I understand it, Burley varieties were more prevalent before the discovery that tobacco plants grown on ‘poor’ ground produced leaves which cured to a yellow colour and had only half of the nicotine content. They were the ‘Virginia’ varieties. As I understand it, it was the ‘demand’ for a ‘lighter’ smoke in cigarette form that drove the production of Virginia.
    I am supposed to be growing Virginia Gold, but God only knows what my ‘carboniferous’ soil does to the resulting product! And I wonder what this soil has done to the seeds?!! We shall find out by the end of this season, all being well.

    • beobrigitte Says:

      Junican, there are a lot of variables – you might end up with a priceless harvest (taste, not volume!) of tobacco this year and something less than that next year.

      Applying my granddad’s practice: find out what tobacco plants take from the soil and grow something next year that adds this. Alternatively, buy ALDI’s “growing bags”. The year I did that, I harvested tomatoes until mid november!

  6. legiron Says:

    If your plants are already self-seeding then you are ahead of me in producing a wild variety.

    Mine self-seed too, but they sprout too soon and here they get wiped out by a late frost. Those that sprout later get eaten by the slugs and snails that have woken up by then. The later plants don’t have time to get to any size before the slugs get them.

    I have to work on a frost resistant variety or place the seeds in frost-protected shrubbery. My visits to Wales are too late in the year – they won’t have time to flower.

    As you use seeds from your own plants (as do I) you will eventually produce a strain capable of growing wild – as long as you are far enough south not to have to worry about warm spells followed by a few days of hail and even snow!

    Someone doing this in, say, Cornwall, would soon be able to produce a wild-growing plant. If they did, that wild plant might gradually spread north and acquire frost resistance on the way.

    I can see a ban on home-growing on the way. That raid on the illicit Golden Virginia makers will be an excuse to ban imports but then they will notice that we are growing it here.

    It will be interesting to see how those who have told us it is impossible to grow tobacco here will suddenly declare that it is possible after all, and so must be banned.

    My bet is they’ll claim it’s down to global warming. They’ll use one lie to get them out of another.

    By the time they realise this, let’s hope we just need to take a walk in the autumn woods… with a bag.

    • beobrigitte Says:

      If your plants are already self-seeding then you are ahead of me in producing a wild variety.

      An ENGLISH wild variety… I guess, it would be too cheeky to ask for a sample….

      Someone doing this in, say, Cornwall, would soon be able to produce a wild-growing plant.

      Junican lives in the North. Winters up here are generally mild, although in 2010 we had 10 days (17.12. to 27.12.) with SNOW and below zero temperatures.

      This is very rare, though. The first time I have experienced it after entering Britain in 1983.

      By the looks of it Junican’s garden meets tobacco plants’ requirement!

  7. beobrigitte Says:

    Even though you might be MISERABLE, you will be as healthy as a decrepit, cancer-ridden, senile, incontinent person can possibly be. But don’t think that you have been abandoned or confined to the scrap heap. We will take care of you…..

    Scary….. very, very scary!!! I do believe we already witness how much the anti-smokers care about OLD people!!!
    ASHet al would you mind if I opt for rejecting your care?

  8. Junican Says:

    @LI and beo.
    I don’t know how that plant came to grow in the gap between the house wall and the paving. Because I had emptied buckets of soil, in which I had been growing plants indoors for experimental purposes, onto the paving, and some of the plants had produced seed pods, I ASSUMED that either:
    1. A seed had found its way into that place and germinated, or
    2. A bit of root had washed into that place, or
    3. A piece of stalk had done so.

    I have no way to know. It was just a magical appearance. The stalk is still there – all brown and shrivelled. I have no intention of removing it.
    What would be a major discovery would be the idea of the grafting of ‘nicotiana tobaccum’ onto, say, a tomato or potato base. Or, perhaps a plant such as ‘nicotiana sylvestris’. What would be important is that the ‘base’ plant is perennial.
    Donkeys years ago, tobacco plants must have either been perennial or self-seeding.
    I know that such graftings have occurred, but I have no idea what varieties were involved. I have seeds for ‘nicotiana rustica’, which is still grown to produce tobacco, but it has a high nicotine content – double the quantity of Virginia, for example. It is still grown and consumed in the middle east. I have not germinated those seeds this year.

    I suppose that these things can be tested. For example, one could take one square metre of garden space and remove every single iota of weed.One could sprinkle seeds on that area at the end of the season. If ONE plant survives the winter, then that particular plant could be the source of seeds which can survive the winter.

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