My Nightstand

Books on the NightstandI have been meaning to write another one these entries about what I am reading, watching and listening to for sometime. I knew I had written one a while back with intent of making it a regular kind of feature here on Mephistos at the time. As a favorite really bad B movie says, “Time Passes…” Now, nearly a year and half later I am returning to the concept. A few comments first of course, and then a quick rundown of what I am reading.

Continue reading “My Nightstand”

Tobacco – Cutting

Tobacco CutI have new pictures from the morning of August 31 when they were starting to cut the field of tobacco that I have been doing a photo essay on for the last several weeks. It is nice that I actually got the hands doing the actual job, though I am not sure it truly shows enough. Again, a fond memory for me. I admit to having done a large amount of this kind of work as a teenager. Aside from putting in hay during the summer, actually cutting tobacco right before and even after school started was the best money-making time of my youth.

I admit that I was never super fast, cutting Continue reading “Tobacco – Cutting”

Tobacco: Revisited

Tobacco Topped, Barn in DistanceI liked the first ‘photo essay’ about tobacco so well, I have decided to follow through with an update with each major step in the tobacco process.  The change from exactly seven days is not much, as the only thing that has occurred is the blooms have been broken out in the lower 2/3 of the field.  This was actually done the day after I took the first photos and to help you blend locally, we would call that process topping.  Right after the tobacco was topped, it most likely sprayed with a chemical that retards new sprouts or buds from starting.  If not done, the tobacco would sucker out at the top leaf joints and spend all of its energy trying again to make seeds.  By application of the chemical spray the energy is instead spent on making the leaves that are present usually get larger, especially in width.  An effect of this application and the general turn toward the homestretch  is that bottom leaves Continue reading “Tobacco: Revisited”

Tobacco and Nostalgia

Pretty in Pink?I recall from a few years back reading a book, I think it was titled The Complete Agrarian Reader, matter of fact I have read certain parts of it a 2nd and 3rd time since then. Anyway, that is not the point – the introduction of that particular book was written by Barbara Kingsolver, of some amount of fame as an author. I have, strangely enough, not read anything else she has written – though I probably should. Anyway, in this introduction she speaks of being in college and having as fond memories the smells and sights of tobacco being harvested and being around the barns where it was curing with an unmistakable nostalgia – but yet a certain amount of shame over her own history and association with tobacco amongst her college friends.

I find a kindred spirit in what she has to say. Having grown up on a farm raising and working in tobacco, not to mention the countless hours that I spent working in tobacco for other farmers in the general area where I grew up. I find it funny that I spent 18 years Continue reading “Tobacco and Nostalgia”