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Author Topic: Virginia Dark Fired Tobacco Harvest  (Read 1060 times)

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Offline gspren

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Re: Virginia Dark Fired Tobacco Harvest
« Reply #40 on: October 13, 2021, 08:44:50 AM »
A few weeks ago we sat on the front porch of our new house and watched the Amish neighbors picking tobacco, the work horse pulling the collection wagon seemed to move forward about 30' and then stop totally with verbal commands, didn't look like the farmer ever touched anything.
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Offline Kas

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Re: Virginia Dark Fired Tobacco Harvest
« Reply #41 on: October 13, 2021, 02:18:18 PM »
Haven't posted much, and haven't posted in a long time.....but man this brings back memories. My Grandpa had a farm in Feeding Hills/Agwam, MA and grew tobacco. As a 6 yr old during harvest, my job was to lay out the slats every six plants while the grownups went along cutting and spearing the plants, and then set on a trailer just like in your pictures. My older brother got to drive the tractor, an old Farmall. We had a barn again just like in your pictures, and my brother and I got to climb up in there and help with hanging the slats on the poles.  Mom was not happy about us "kids" doing the climbing and helping, but dad insisted that we help. I'm glad he did! I was too young to really know anything about the tobacco itself, but they did not use fires to smoke/dry the plants, just swung open alternate panels on the sides of the barn to get air circulation going.

Years later after this, my dad dismantled the barns and brought a lot of the siding wood home with him. He built a shed with some of it, and when you went into the shed you could still faintly smell the tobacco!

The whole process is still a distinct memory for me some 60 years later!

Online Don P

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Re: Virginia Dark Fired Tobacco Harvest
« Reply #42 on: October 13, 2021, 05:28:07 PM »
Tom touched on the fortunes and history. I've heard that the little pouch of Bull Durham was the first consumer packaging, prior to that just about everything was bought from bulk at the store. It was in a handy prepackaged consumer sized pouch. Later on the Dukes absorbed Bull Durham, RJR and others and formed American Tobacco. After the Supreme Court forced them to break up, James B Duke took his millions and among other things started Duke University.

Tobacco money and ROTC put my Dad through school. Grandad's boss at the dairy let them work his allotment and keep a share for school money. Growing up, when it was ok to have tobacco as wall decoration in your house, there was a hand of tobacco, neatly tied with a folded leaf, hanging on the wall in the entry of our house. It was an old symbol of peace and welcome.

Probably the first anti smoking campaign, in the early 1600's King James, yup that King James, wrote "A Counterblaste to Tobacco". They were already hooked on the tobacco and the trade.
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Offline mike_belben

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Re: Virginia Dark Fired Tobacco Harvest
« Reply #43 on: October 13, 2021, 05:41:11 PM »
... that the little pouch of Bull Durham ..
i never knew thats what the lyric referred to, thanks don.
The old maid's waitin' for leap year to come
The crooner's just waitin' to sing
The old cow's standin' by the Bull Durham sign
Just awaitin' for the grass to turn green


Isaiah 63:10

Offline btulloh

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Re: Virginia Dark Fired Tobacco Harvest
« Reply #44 on: October 13, 2021, 05:43:41 PM »
Tobacco smells good enough to eat at certain stages. I remember going into the big tobacco warehouses at America Tobacco with my dad when I was young. Rows of hogsheads 4 or five high all filled with tobacco being aged. Smelled great. By 1970 they started using a chemical process to achieve consistent taste in a brand. Before that it was done by careful blending of the naturally aged tobacco by highly skilled humans. BTW - my dad quit smoking completely when the chemists took over. Iíve always been curious whether health issues from tobacco use increased around that time. 

Offline SawyerTed

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Re: Virginia Dark Fired Tobacco Harvest
« Reply #45 on: October 13, 2021, 07:24:41 PM »
We grew flue cured/bright leaf. My father-in-law was a tobacco wizard of sorts Those were good times around the field and at the barn.  For us the mid 1990s pretty much did us in.  The profit was no longer there for the small farmer.  We raised 10 or so acres. Used to be we could make money aka it was a cash crop.  It was bitter sweet getting out of the tobacco business. Tobacco money paid many of our bills and if course raised my wife.  The fellowship with neighbors and family was the best part of all of it.

Thanks Wudman for posting this.  Good to see the family is still involved.
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