Gathering and cultivation of tobacco leaves <p>Tobacco is ready for gathering when its leaves grow lighter and become spotty: this moment comes in 4]6 months after planting. Either separate leaves or the whole plant is cropped. In the first case tobacco leaves are strung on a wire or spoke, in the latter case tobacco plants are tied together into bunches on sticks and hung between supports.</p> <p>Drying is necessary in order to improve flavor and inflammability of tobacco. Three main methods are applied: air, flue curing and firing. In the first case tobacco leaves are dried on the sun or in the shadow, in opened ventilated sheds; in the second one tobacco leaves are hung in closed sheds through which hot air from firing facilities is passed. The third method implies fire lighting on the floor of closed shed.</p> <p>The duration of air drying greatly depends on weather, flue curing lasts about 3 days, and the duration of firing is about 10 days. Drying is not an easy process, because overheating of green leaves may degrade their quality, especially if the air in shad is moist or leaves touch each other.</p> <p>Then the tobacco leaves are stripped, i.e. they are impregnated with moisture in order not to break. For this purpose tobacco leaves are placed into the moist rooms, they are steamed or leaves cutoffs are sprayed with water. Then tobacco leaves are sorted according to their size, color and quality and leaves are tied together. Usually in such form tobacco appears on the market. Purchased tobacco leave is aged two years more before making tobacco goods, such as cigarettes, cigars and others.</p> <center><img src=http://www.cuthof.se/data/Upload/default/Image/public/Entrebild-gron.jpg></center>