Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Wednesday, August 22 - Tobacco Harvesting

Barry was talking with a neighbor, Larry, yesterday, and he invited us down the road to watch the tobacco harvest today. That's Barry holding just ONE leaf.

Whatever your feelings about tobacco, it is a major cash crop here, and fifty years ago, most of the families around here, and in Kentucky in general, supported themselves with the weed. Anyway, we took Larry up on the invitation.

The plants are chopped off at the base with a tobacco hatchet (not sure what it's really called, but close enough), then impaled on a stick. The sticks, with about 5-7 tobacco plants are then gathered up on a tractor and hung in the tobacco barn to cure. Temperatures, humidity, and ventilation have to be just right for the tobacco to cure properly. It seems to be a community event, as much as a farm harvest. The tobacco, after curing for 6-8 weeks, is then taken to auction in Danville, where it will become whatever brand cigarettes are produced by the company that purchases the tobacco.

These tobacco plants are hung up in Mike's tobacco barn just across the road.

I've decided to start taking pictures of Kentucky barns - like this one just to the northeast of us. Yeah, I know -- everyone who owns a camera has pictures of barns, but I'm fascinated by them, and they are so varied, though many are tobacco barns, that their character makes each one of them unique. Maybe I'll start posting the photos on the internet somewhere.

Went for ice cream at the local (3 miles away) soft-serve-we-have-24-flavors place, then back home to feed the fish. Too dark to really see them, but they certainly devoured 4 cups of fish food in record time!

Rick is coming over tomorrow from Pacudah -- it seems SO strange that he's only 3 hours away, after being 17 hours away for so long. If only the rest of our families were as close, we'd love to have company any time.

OK, bed time. It was nearly 100 again today, and will be even hotter tomorrow, so the A/C is on and will stay on.

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