How to Grow Tobacco

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 Post subject: Is Authentic Perique Doomed by the Flood?
PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2011 10:47 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2011 9:51 pm
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Location: near Blacksburg, VA
As most of you already know, the finest Perique is grown and processed only in St. James Parish, Louisiana. I was curious about where that is, in relation to the flooding Mississippi, so I did some searching. The parish is bisected by the Mississippi River, and is about half-way between Baton Rouge and New Orleans. An old "Perique" thread on this forum had a post by FmGrowIt to an informative video about one of the last Perique growers:

http://www.nola.com/photos/t-p/index.ss ... 3_tobacco/

It listed the grower as G & G Martin Farms in Paulina, LA (St. James parish). Using this info on mapquest.com, I found Martin & Poche Farms located in the flood plane, in view of the levies.
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I read a news article from May 5, 2011 in which the Parish President of St. James Parish stated that the levies are in good shape, and should have no problem with the flood. Well, now the flood is breaking all records.

I called Cornell & Diehl on Friday (5/13/11) to order a pound of Perique, but nobody answered throughout the afternoon. Maybe I'm just a victim of my own fears, but I'll try calling again this week.

I must say, though, that I recently received a gift of some of FmGrowIt's Perique (2 different batch styles), and that it tastes and smells and smokes exactly like the best St. James Parish Perique that I've ever purchased (going back over many decades). So I guess, if the flood wipes away the last of the Perique farms in St. James Parish, only the aura of authenticity will be lost. But still....

Bob


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 Post subject: Re: Is Authentic Perique Doomed by the Flood?
PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 6:25 am 
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Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2009 10:16 am
Posts: 798
Location: near Rising Sun,Maryland USA
If it does flood, it will probably be the straw that broke the camel's back. But I think you hit the nail on the head Bob, all that would really be lost is probably the "aura of authenticity". It would be ashamed to see the farm go, another link to the "good old days" will be lost to history.

Randy B


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 Post subject: Re: Is Authentic Perique Doomed by the Flood?
PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 3:41 pm 
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Posts: 251
Deluxestogie

If I had the seeds I would like to try and raise some Perique Tobacco .

I read some where , Can't remember where that it was a type of burley . I may be mistaken .


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 Post subject: Re: Is Authentic Perique Doomed by the Flood?
PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 4:50 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2011 9:51 pm
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Location: near Blacksburg, VA
Larry,
GRIN classifies Perique as an Oriental, which I believe is absurd. But to my eyes, the plant doesn't resemble burley. Growing it is fairly easy, just about anywhere, but the Perique processing makes it unique. HTGT has about a half-dozen threads about the process and the various presses members have used to carry-out pressure fermentation. It is a major pain in the butt, though it seems to come up with tobacco similar to that produced in St. James Parish.

As for seeds, New Hope has them. (It's interesting that the excellent Perique-style tobacco that FmGrowIt produced was not made using the Perique tobacco variety. I suspect that the effects of pressure fermentation are so overwhelming, that it doesn't matter what leaf you use.)

Bob


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 Post subject: Re: Is Authentic Perique Doomed by the Flood?
PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 8:59 pm 
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Bob

I can't rember but I think they would cut the whole plant and let the leaves dry for about two weeks . They would remove the mid rib and press in oak whiskey barrels under high pressure , after a certain length of time the tobacco was removed and shaken around the re- pressed this would go on for a full year .

I bought two used whiskey barrels I am planning on filling them full with burley and pressing them then set aside and let it age .

I wonder if I need to sit the barrels in the sun or keep them in the barn where it would be a little cooler .

Larry


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 Post subject: Re: Is Authentic Perique Doomed by the Flood?
PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2011 9:01 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 07, 2010 9:19 pm
Posts: 166
Location: N. Central Alabama
Larry,

Back last year some one posted (here) some video links to the "One remaining" maker in St. James Parrish... The barrels were inside a barn.. Though it gets hot enough there to be like being in the sun. From old descriptions, it was often done using a tree for the fulcrum, and a long log with heavy rocks on the end...and a post (yoke cut in one end), pressing on the barrel lid close to the fulcrum. They had a little makeshift roof over the barrell to keep out the rain. That would have had sun off and on over the day. They say the leaver and weights worked best because the pressure remained the same even as the tobacco swelled and contracted over time (probably daily). Cheaper than a press too. The pictures of the current maker in St.James shows them using big screw jacks pushing down from overhead wood beams.


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 Post subject: Re: Is Authentic Perique Doomed by the Flood?
PostPosted: Sun May 22, 2011 3:02 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jan 16, 2010 12:02 am
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Location: central coast of Kalifornia
Flooding there in the parish might be a setback for a year or so, but overall, it will serve to renew the soil, as nature intended it to be.

...sounds good on paper, huh?

Good luck
rc


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