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CONNECTICUT BROADLEAF CROP GROWING WELL
Due to the Covid pandemic that occured in 2020, we did not have a crop to harvest in 2020, but the next crop is due to be harvested in early 2021.
The variety that will be harvested in 2021 is a different variety called Connecticut Broadleaf.
When harvested, the entire plant will be hung from a wooden lathe and set in the curing barn to cure.
The large leaves produced by the Connecticut variety are intended to be used for wrapping and binding the local cigars made at The Cayman Cigar Company in Bodden Town.
RE-THATCHING THE TOBACCO DRYING BARN
The Connecticut Broadleaf Tobacco will be harvested in two weeks, so the drying barn has to be ready!
The staff are busy collected coconut fronds to patch up the areas where the thatch has thinned since last year. When this is done, the harvested tobacco leaves will be hung inside to dry.
RESEARCH GARDEN CONNECTICUT BROADLEAF TO BE HARVESTED SOON!
After a slow start, and work to develop a suitable fertilizer schedule, we can honestly say that the Connecticut Broadleaf Tobacco plants in our Research Garden have produced leaves beyond our expectations. Visitors to the farm are highly impressed by the large, healthy leaves!
This crop will be harvested in the next week or two. After they are cut at the base of the stem, each plant will be hung up in our drying barn to being the curing process.
CONNECTICUT BROADLEAF HARVEST BEGINS!
The harvest of the Broadleaf Tobacco was delayed as we worked on finishing the rethatching of the curing barn. However, the harvest is now underway!
The stalks are cut in the afternoon and left in the field overnight to begin reducing the moisture in the leaves.
Because these large leaves will be used to wrap the cigars, they must be handled with care to prevent ripping.
These heavy, broadleaf plants are spaced about 1 foot apart on wood lathes to allow good airflow between the leaves. This helps to dry the leaves and reduces the chance of mildew growing on them.
Once the stalks have been secured to the the lathes they are hung up in the curing barn so the moisture in the leaves is reduced. This process needs to be monitored closely so that the correct temperature and humidity is maintained in the curing barn for optimal curing of the leaves
The 670 Broadleaf tobacco plants that were harvested from the Research Garden have been in the curing barn since the 3rd of March.
While the plants are curing in the barn we have to monitor the humidity and temperature. During this time is has been very hot and dry so the barn has remained tightly closed to prevent the plants from drying out too quickly.
Another way to regulate the drying of the plants is to move them around in the curing barn so that the ones that need more humidity at that time are brought down, and the ones that need more air are placed higher in the barn.