Friday, July 19, 2013

2013 Tobacco Harvest Begins

Its been a wet summer so far, but this week the rains have let up and the tobacco harvest has begun behind the farmhouse. A bus load of farm workers, several tractors and many trailers descended on the tobacco field early one morning and stayed for a couple of days.

Early morning loads of tobacco leaves

The bottom leaves are harvested first as you can see from this picture.

Then the workers will come back about once every ten days or so and work their way up the plants a little each time.   The plants' leaves turn slightly yellow from the bottom up and those leaves are considered ripe.  We estimate that it will take a total of four harvests to reach the top of the plants.

When all the leaves are harvested, the farmers will bush hog down the remaining stalks.  I'm thankful for crop rotation, because I'm thinking we'll go back to having cotton or sweet potatoes next year.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend.  One of our plans for the weekend is to attend a baby shower for little Eli.   There's not much time left before he makes his arrival!  I just hope the Mom-to-be can hold off on the delivery until after the shower!


Susannah said...

I may have grown up on my parents farm but I really know nothing about tobacco. I did not know they took the bottom yellow leaves first. And I did not know they bush hogged the remaining stalks. Very interesting!

Little Penpen said...

ooh...those pic's are wonderful! I especially love the ones of the tobacco trucks full of tobacco. I haven't seen those in forever!

Auntie M said...

Have a happy time at the shower. I bet Mr. Eli will wait!!!

A note for Susannah:
Flue cured tobacco is now harvested the way Debbie described.
However, burley tobacco is harvested as a whole plant. It depends on where you grew up as to how the tobacco was harvested. Burley tobacco is not raised in eastern North Carolina.

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