We're now just at the beginning of Spring in Sweden, which means that it's pre-seeding time at Gaia Snus. Woo Woo! One of our values in Gaia Snus, is transparency. And with that transparency, comes our motivation to share with you the behind the scenes of the process that we follow in order to produce the snus that you get from us.
Today, we want to share with you all the details about pre-seeding the tobacco, why it's important, how we do it at Gaia Snus, and much more. So let's get into it!
What Pre-Seeding Is All About
Pre-seeding is the name that we give to the phase of snus making, in which we plant the tobacco seeds indoors, before planting them outdoors for full growth and eventual snus making. Due to Sweden's short warm period, we need to start the tobacco growth process indoors, ahead of the arrival of warmer days.
Pre-seeding usually starts in the middle of March, which means that the tobacco seeds responsible for the snus that you get inside your Gaia Snus box, were all pre-planted around this time of the year. This process consists of planting the tobacco seeds indoors, under controlled conditions, until they're strong enough to be planted outdoors and withstand natural weather conditions.
Step #1 - Bucket Them!
The first step of the pre-seeding process is quite simple. Basically, we put the tobacco seeds into buckets filled with Swedish high quality soil, and we leave them there for approximately a week. This year we planted about 20 thousand tobacco seeds, which will give us around 1000kg of snus.
Step #2 - Spread Them Out
The second step, we could say is also simple, but not necessarily easy for a small business like us! There's a lot of repetitive human work involved, which means that it takes us quite a lot of time to get this step done. After the tobacco seeds have been in the bucket for a week, we transfer every single one of the plants that have started to grow, into let's say, their own private space, so that they have enough space to experience the best growth possible. Working with 20 thousand seeds, you can imagine the amount of manual work and space that this step requires for our small business!
Step #3 - Show Them Love
The third step of the pre-seeding process is to take care of the small tobacco plants as they grow stronger every day. We keep the plants indoors and monitor their growth for 45 to 60 days. During this period, we water the plants daily, we make sure that they get the right amount of sun and darkness, and most importantly, we start helping them get used to outdoors conditions. We do this by moving them outside for small periods of time, and then moving them back in, so that they can rest and recover from the cold weather.
Step #4 - Bring Them Out
As soon as the tobacco plants are strong enough to go into the real world, we take them and plant them outdoors. Tobacco plants don't like nor respond well to frost. Which is why we need to make sure to keep them safe from it, by moving them outside in different moments depending on the region in Sweden. In Kalmar, because of the warmer weather conditions in Southern Sweden, we take the plants outdoors at the beginning of May. However, in Örebro, since it's a bit colder, we wait until late May to get the plants rooted outdoors.
We're only in the beginning of April now, which means that our plants are currently still too small to go outdoors. Stay tuned by following us on Instagram if you want to know more about the next steps in our tobacco growing journey! We'll soon release a new blog post sharing more about the outdoors planting when it's time for that.
Thank You Hornudden!
This year, the pre-seeding of our tobacco plants is taking place in Hornuddens Trädgård. This is a beautiful place nearby the city of Strängnäs, ran by a fantastic family who also owns a cozy coffee place, and who are hosting a cider festival this summer. We're grateful for the support that they're giving us, and invite you to give them a cozy visit in their lovely place!
Stay tuned to learn about what's coming up next in our production process: Planting the tobacco outdoors and taking care of it!