The drying shed

1/4. From seed to drying shed
Preparation of the soil
The tobacco plant roots are delicate. In order to develop, they require an extremely flaky soil. This is why, under the torrid summer sun, the grower must plough his soil several times. Multiple ploughings also allows the conversion of weeds into natural fertiliser.
Seeds to Plants
To ensure a good start for the crop, the Tobacco Research Stations provide the growers who own their own land, with free seeds. Forty five days following the sowing of the seeds, the seeds are ready to be planted out. They measure between 15 and 20 cms.
The Growing of Tobacco
The planting out begins in October and extends over a few weeks. This enables the growers to spread out the extreme effort required by the growing and the harvest.  The plant is regularly inspected during the 45 to 50 days necessary for the plant to reach its full maturity.
The Growing of Corojo
The Corojo plants, intended for the important outer layers, require particular care and attention. They are protected from direct sunlight by thin fabric. This way they maintain their silky, soft and uniform texture and appearance.
The Growing of  Criollo
On the other hand, the Criollo plants are exposed to the sun. This way they produce larger scale and higher intensity bunches for the different mixtures required by the Habano brand.
The harvest can begin fifty days following planting. A Herculean task : each leaf is picked by hand and only two or three can be picked at a time.
The Harvest of Corojo
Each Corojo plant bears 8 to 9 pairs of leaves. Each level of the plant has its own growing time.  Once the plant has reached full maturity, each level of leaves is picked separately at intervals of 6 to 8 days. The harvesting of the Corojo extends over more than 40 days.
The Harvest of Criollo
The Criollo plant bears 6 to 7 pairs of leaves, referred to as “Ligero”, “Seco”, “Volado” and “Capote”. The base leaves contain the least flavour. At the top of the plant, the youngest leaves are exposed to the sun and therefore contain a more intense flavour.  After the harvest, the leaves are taken to big tobacco houses for further treatment.

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