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An Interesting Surprise On My Vacation
#1
Well as many of yoiu know I just returned from a trip to the Bourbon Festival in KY.  At the beginning of the week Carrie and I decided to go to Mammoth Cave, for two days in Cave City (Barren County) in the southwestern part of the state.  On Thursday morning while Carrie was showering I was looking out my hotel's back window when something peaked my interest, so I grabbed the digital camera and walked over to check it out:

[Image: barn1.jpg]

[Image: image.asp?id_=21139879]

[Image: barn3.jpg]

[Image: barn4.jpg]

When I came home last night I did a little research, and it seems Cave City is in the "Black Patch" region of KY, one of the largest tobacco producing areas in the country, and for that matter, the world.  After figuring out what this barn was, I began noticing them everywhere we went those two days. 

It seems the vast majority of tobacco in theis area is BURLEY, for use in making cigarettes:

In the U.S., burley tobacco plants are started from pelletized seeds placed in polystyrene trays floated on a bed of fertilized water in March or April. Transplanting begins in May and progresses through June with a small percentage set in July.  Plants are topped by removing the developing flower head at approximately 60 days from transplanting and treated to prevent the growth of side shoots called suckers. Topping allows energy that would have produced a bloom to promote leaf expansion. At approximately four weeks after topping the tobacco is stalk cut using a knife that is shaped like a tomahawk. Each plant is speared, spiked or spudded (the terminology depending on the geographic location) onto a stick topped by a metal spear, spike or spud that fits over the stick. Each stick will contain five or six stalks. Sticks of green cut tobacco are most often allowed to field wilt for three or four days prior to hanging in a barn. Tobacco is allowed to air cure for eight or more weeks turning from the normal pale green to yellow and then to brown. Burley that cures too quickly will retain some of the yellow pigments as well as chemicals that normally break down with a slower cure. The quality achieved by U.S. burley producers is primarily due to natural curing conditions. Once fully cured burley is taken down, sticks are removed and leaves are stripped from the plant into grades by stalk position. Leaves are baled by grade and taken to an auction warehouse or to a receiving station run by a tobacco manufacturer or leaf dealer.  (from the Wiki)

Then in Park City, and adjoining town, we found a half harvested field, just for good measue:

[Image: plant1.JPG]

[Image: plant2.JPG]

[Image: plant3.JPG]

We saw the "spearing" and "field wilting" as described above, as well, but were shooed off the field by some rather adamant young men in a large beat up pickup truck before being able to get photos.

I thought this was an incredible piece of fortunate luck as a cigar enthusiast to catch this stuff in action.  It may be tobacco being raised for use in cigarettes, but as someone who most likely will never make it to a cigar plantation, to see some of the processes ion action was quite a surprise find!

TomC
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#2
Wow Colby Confusedhock: what a great find, thanks to your keen eye sight.  Some great pics and narrative great info. 
THEY CALL ME THE SHEPHERD!!! AKA LK HUNTER, FACE BOOK MARIO HUNTER, THE GREAT ONE HUNTER, ETC.
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#3
very cool & thanks for sharing!
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#4
I grew up in Brown County, Ohio. Big tobacco area.

How big? So big, that they STILL have a festival dedicated to it. The Ohio Tobacco Festival. It's basically a carnival to end the tobacco season. Your standard fare of foods and games and rides, plus pretty cool informative stuff about how they grow and process tobacco, as well as the history of growing it in Ohio.

When I was younger they gave out free samples of cigars, cigarettes, chew, snuff, or any other product I can't think of right now. I don't think they do that anymore, but the festival remains.

In fact, it was just a couple weeks ago! We missed it Tom! Maybe next year?
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#5
JoeBob Wrote:I grew up in Brown County, Ohio. Big tobacco area.

How big? So big, that they STILL have a festival dedicated to it. The Ohio Tobacco Festival. It's basically a carnival to end the tobacco season. Your standard fare of foods and games and rides, plus pretty cool informative stuff about how they grow and process tobacco, as well as the history of growing it in Ohio.

When I was younger they gave out free samples of cigars, cigarettes, chew, snuff, or any other product I can't think of right now. I don't think they do that anymore, but the festival remains.

In fact, it was just a couple weeks ago! We missed it Tom! Maybe next year?

intriguing . . .
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#6
Very nice pic there, Tom-ass.

glad you had a good trip and it's good to have you back again.
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#7
Nice story & pics!! Smile 

Thanks Tom-ass!! Big GrinTongueWink
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#8
JoeBob Wrote:I grew up in Brown County, Ohio. Big tobacco area.

How big? So big, that they STILL have a festival dedicated to it. The Ohio Tobacco Festival. It's basically a carnival to end the tobacco season. Your standard fare of foods and games and rides, plus pretty cool informative stuff about how they grow and process tobacco, as well as the history of growing it in Ohio.

When I was younger they gave out free samples of cigars, cigarettes, chew, snuff, or any other product I can't think of right now. I don't think they do that anymore, but the festival remains.

In fact, it was just a couple weeks ago! We missed it Tom! Maybe next year?

Evidently it was in Brown County, Ohio they developed the variety of burley tobacco that is grown in KY, VA and OHIO today. . .
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#9
Awesome pics. How did the barn smell with hung tobacco?
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#10
like sweet tobacco and ammonia.
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