Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Summer is over

Nothing signifies the end of summer more to me than when they start cutting tobacco back home in Kentucky. The start of school always coincided with tobacco cutting time. Some kids would miss school completely or would check out early, or would ride the bus to the field or barn that their parents were working that day. A lot of the boys had their own crops and had to work them, so school had to come second for a while.

Danny and I both come from several generations of tobacco farmers. It was simply how you made a living in that area. The county has rich farm land and most farmers had several acres of row crop, plus a small patch of tobacco as a cash crop.

This patch of tobacco is dark-fired and is the predominate variety grown; it is used to make snuff and chewing tobacco.

Part of this patch has already has been cut and I know it looks deceptively small. But let me tell you, if you ever started at one end of this with a hoe, those rows are LONG. Tobacco is still very labor intensive and hands on, very little is mechanized. These plants have been babied since early spring, planted as tiny, tiny seeds in a hydroponic green house, then transplanted by people on a setter, sprayed, hoed, topped, suckered and whathaveyou that I don’t even know and remember, till they look like hot house beauties.

Like this...

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