The short answer is yes! When Columbus landed in Cuba in 1493, the locals had been enjoying tobacco for centuries. Introduced to tobacco by the local population, Columbus took tobacco seedlings back to Spain where the first cigars were created out of whole-leaf tobacco in the late 1600s. It would take another few centuries for the Cayman Islands to catch up.
What are the challenges of growing tobacco in the Cayman Islands?
As Grand Cayman and her two sister islands are fewer than 300 miles from Cuba, one would surmise that tobacco would grow equally well there. So why was tobacco never planted in the Cayman Islands? Another short answer: the soil. Unlike the fertile red clay soil of Cuba, Grand Cayman has vast amounts of calciferous surface rock almost everywhere, significantly limiting large-scale crop farming.
That changed in 2018 when Cayman Cigar Company’s nonprofit partner Beacon Farms imported a farm implement that crushes the surface rock. When the pulverized rock is combined with Beacon’s fresh organic compost, it creates some of the best soils Grand Cayman has ever had, revolutionizing how large-scale farming is done in Grand Cayman. Now, the Cayman Islands are poised to enter the international marketplace as the world’s newest boutique tobacco-producing area, featuring premium tobacco grown in Grand Cayman by Beacon Farms!
What is the process for growing tobacco in the Cayman Islands?
Cayman Island tobacco is grown almost exactly as tobacco in Cuba and other areas. Using sustainable farming practices and organic pest controls, the tobacco is planted, grown, harvested, and cured just as it has been for centuries in the “old country.” Individual tobacco seeds the size of a grain of pepper are hand planted in soil cups and nurtured for the first couple of months.
Then the seedlings are transferred to Beacon Farms’ nutrient-rich prepared seedbeds where Mother Nature takes over. Before long, the tall, robust plants have absorbed the sea air and plentiful Caribbean sunshine. They are harvested in the traditional manner, then air cured in a thatched barn. After additional fermentation and aging, the tobacco is then hand-rolled into premium cigars. This is done by the Torcedoras (Master Rollers) at Cayman Cigar Company.
How does Cayman Island tobacco compare to Dominican or Cuban tobacco?
Yet another short answer: there is no comparison. Cayman Island tobacco is quite literally in a class by itself. This is not braggadocio. Cayman-grown tobacco is of the highest quality. It is because it is monitored and tested “from seed to cigar” all during the growing cycle. The experienced staff at Beacon Farms constantly monitor and supervise the growing conditions and unique microclimate of the farm. They are using modern agricultural technology and equipment. This ensures that Cayman Cigar Company has the best available tobacco to use in their cigars. But don’t take our word for it. We invite you to experience the Cayman Cigar Company difference for yourself. Explore our collection of premium cigars today!