Harvesting leaf by leaf
Around 40 days after planting out tobacco seedlings, the harvest can begin – a laborious task because each leaf must be picked by hand.
Only two or three leaves can be taken at a time, with days to wait between each picking. The harvesting of a single plant takes almost 30 days to complete.
Leaves are picked at intervals from the bottom up, allowing time between pickings for the plant to develop its remaining leaves.
Shade-grown plants are taller with more leaves, and so they require more pickings.
The Mañanita leaves that are picked first are too small for Habanos, but they are the ideal size for Cuban mini cigars.