Yep. I'm thinking of becoming a grower. But not pot: Tobacco. I've thought about this off and on for some time and this New York Times article makes me think it might work. The gal seems to raise enough tobacco at her house to satisfy all her needs. Surely I could do the same?
After doing some brief research this looks a little tougher than I expected. They're a lot like tomatoes, being members of the Nightshade family. That has its own problems down here on the coast, most notably Early and Late Blight. They're also susceptible to the same pests, although I haven't had much of a problem with pests on tomatoes.
Another, and probably the biggest, hurdle I've found is the drying and curing requirements. I found something saying they need to be dried in the right humidity with relative humidity in the upper 60% range being optimum. Since 100% isn't uncommon here (it's supposedly 100% as I write this)that would mean you'd have to be able to dry it where humidity could be controlled.
Aging, or curing, is another issue. I guess most commercial tobacco is aged at least a year, if not longer. I've read that some varieties require up to 6 years(!). That requires long term storage space that would have to be rotated among crops. How could I pull that off?
Still, that gal in New York seems to be handling it ok. I've been trying to find a way to contact her to ask how exactly she does it but can't find a direct e-mail. She does have a Facebook page but it says not to Friend her unless you actually know her.
I'll keep working on this. If nothing else maybe I could just grow a few plants, stumble through the process and see how it works. If it's not too big a hassle, maybe more folks could start growing tobacco and we could have add a new definition to Humboldt Homegrown.