08 A New Hope
It was a rough Winter out here on Misc's Cigar Ranch, and a lot of the herd didn't survive some of the blistering cold temperatures. During the longest days, when the Sun barely crests the top of the mountain, it would occasionally approach 40F -- and that's a lot to ask of any living thing, let alone baby cigar trees that aren't even yearlings.
Between the near-ice-age conditions and invasion by giant locusts and Texas-sized banana-slugs*, you can count what's left of the herd on one hand, provided that you're slightly deformed and don't count so good.
On a more positive note, a few of the herfers managed to give birth before going to that big ashtray in the sky, and with Spring has come a new round of babies. Six each of 10 varieties, and they look like they'll be off to a good start, with better conditions to get them through those difficult first months.
In the mean time, the few that survived from the original herd have started to shed their Winter coats, and we've been collecting the leaves and hanging them out to dry. The first few have moved on to curing and, when there are enough, we'll put them in the press to ferment. Hopefully, by the end of Summer, Ma Misc will be knitting them into cigars and we'll put them down over the next Winter to age and, The Cigar Gods willing, we'll be smoking a few on the BBQ by this time next year.
More news as it happens.
* Ok, I'm not joking about these slugs -- they can be over 10" long!