Don Carey says the decision was part protest and part economics.
He bought 33 variety of seeds to determine which ones grew the best in northeast Ohio.
His tobacco field was planted with the help of 15 volunteers.
The planting was the easy part.
Tobacco is a labor intensive crop that requires constant attention to keep pests from destroying it.
Carey, a pack a day smoker, needs about 17 pounds of tobacco a year for himself. The yield from his tobacco field could bring 200 pounds.
He says he’s willing to share his experience to help others. “Planning on selling plants and seeds and instruction manuals. I want to help anyone that wants to grow tobacco,” said Carey.
His daughter, a non-smoker, is helping her father because of the principle involved. “I think he’s doing a good thing showing people there are other options besides spending so much money,” said Lisa Carey.
At $5.56 a pack, smokers are spending about $120 per pound of tobacco.
It will take a big investment in time before Carey finds out if his plan worked out. It takes about a year to dry and cure the tobacco leaf.
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