First of all, I posted this in a thread on the main forum, but I'll repeat it here. If you want some tobacco seeds, just pm me an address and I'll send them out.
There is a wealth of info on growing and curing tobacco online, so I'll try to just hit the pickier points here.
The seeds are teeny - smaller than sand. A pinch of seeds that germinate will produce years worth of tobacco.
Tobacco is a member of the tomato, potato, pepper, etc family. If you can grow tomatoes where you are, you can grow tobacco.
The seeds are sown on the TOP of some good potting soil. I use just a plastic meat tray from wally world, fill it about half full, and lightly scatter the seeds on top. You can't see them, so it's hard to tell how many you've done. Some people mix them with cornmeal in a salt shaker and sprinkle them on with that. Then cover the top completely with plastic wrap and put some newspaper over that, and put them in a sunny place. They need moisture, but direct sunlight will kill them. Check to be sure there is moisture condensing on the top of the wrap, but keep the newspaper over them. Once they germinate, they need warmth and sunlight, but again, not direct - the heat from direct sun will burn them up. The little plants are very fragile till they get established. When they have four leaves it's time to transplant them. I do this with a fork - very carefully. Some people have had good luck using peat pellets, but it didn't work well for me.
They can be planted outside as soon as your weather maintains 40-45 degree days. Plant them about 2 foot apart, in a x x x pattern, and even then
they'll be tight by the time they're ready to pick. When the bottom leaves start turning to yellow or brown, pick a few bottom layers from each plant. The leaves should be a foot or so wide and two foot long. By now, the plant will be well over 6' tall. Flowers will form on the top (hummingbirds love them) and an acorn sized bulb will form at the bottom of the flower. That's the seed pod. Each pod has hundreds of seeds, and there will be numerous pods on each plant. Only let the flowers grow on the plants you're saving seed from - it helps the leaves to get bigger in you pinch off the flowers on the rest. Continue picking from the bottom up till the leaves are just too small or frost hits, whichever. I pick weekly.
It makes drying much faster if you crush the middle rib before hanging them to dry. This is time consuming and not much fun, but it helps. I string mine on galvanized wire in pairs, the leaves back to back, about an inch apart. When they're dark brown and crinkly, they're dry. You can smoke them at this point, but they're pretty harsh and smell funny.
Curing the tobacco leaves takes away the bad smell and mellows the taste. There are only a couple requirements - high temp ( 100 degrees or higher), high humidity (80% is good) and air movement. A vent is good, too. I use an old dead freezer with a 100 watt light bulb, a pan of water on the bottom, and a teeny fan. My DH put a hole through the top for a pvc vent. The fan and water should be at the bottom, the light bulb wherever it fits, and the leaves hanging just like they were for drying. Because the leaves are so long I can only get two layers of two rows, so it's slow for me. Lower temp and lower humidity means a longer curing time, but they will cure. You can tell they're done when the bad smell quits coming out the vent. This is not something you do in the spare bedroom unless it's vented to the outside.
Hope this helps some of you. If you have any questions, I've probably forgot some things, just yell. And, again, if you want some seeds just let me know.
ps: tobacco is useful for more than just smoking. It is a great insecticide - boil some of the yucky or small leaves like a tea. Mix the water with a little dish soap and spray on plants.
Some people feed a leave to their cows, horses, etc once a month and don't ever have to worry about worms. (oughta tell us something, huh?)
And I feel better, if I HAVE to smoke, to at least be smoking something without the commercial chemical additives.
forgot to mention, the seeds I send out are Virginia tobacco - it's about the best for cigarettes.