Just found this on another forum. Figured I'd share the info:
No, Flue curing is the process of taking green freshly harvested leaf and putting it into a chamber. The heat and humidity is then raised on a pre- set schedule. The idea is to get the leaf to yellow quickly, then wilt and finally to raise the temp high enough to completely dry the leaf. This process "sets" the sugar level and usually takes about 5 days to complete. If you let the leaf age naturally, as in just hanging it in a barn the sugars in the leaf will slowly be reduced as part of the aging process. Flue curing is typically done with cigarette tobacco.
In fermenting you are taking leaf that has air dried over the course of a few months and putting it into a chamber. This chamber is typically set at about 125 degrees (F) and about 70% humidity. The leaf is left in the chamber for about 1 month. Fermenting basically speeds up the aging process to give you a good smoke-able leaf. Fermenting is not required but the alternative is to age your leaf for about 1 year before smoking.
Yeah, there's so much information out there that it's hard to figure out the best way to go about it sometimes. The process you noted here is great for Virginia varieties and anything designated as flu cured. Latakia is cured and smoked using some kind of mystical woods and herbs. Oriental is hung and cured in the sun, which mellows it out a bit. There are a lot of variables to consider depending on the type of tobacco and the intended uses.
I'm nearing the end of a year+ experiment, I've had some Yellow Orinoco (a Virginia variety) hanging in my shed for over a year now, and it looks and smells great. I figured, I'm in the Connecticut River Valley, where tobacco has been grown for a long time, and cured by hanging in one of the many tobacco barns that dot the rural areas around me, so why can't I do the same? I didn't grow any this year because I'm hoping to move in the not too distant future, plus I want to try out what I've grown so far to make sure I'm not wasting my time.
If, you're thinking of doing it, I say go for it! It's a learning experience, and takes a bit of work, but I think you gain an appreciation of what goes into producing some of the fine varieties that we so enjoy smoking.