Monday, May 6, 2013

Burley Tobacco Harvest

"Cutting Tobacco"
16x20 oil on canvas
Burley tobacco is ready to harvest in late August, the hottest part of the summer! Because the leaves are fragile and break easily, the crop has to be cut by hand.

Workers use a small knife that looks like a hatchet.

Wooden sticks about 4-feet in length are distributed through the field.

A metal cone-shaped "tobacco spike" is placed on top of the stick to provide a sharp point.

Then stalks of tobacco are forced over the spike, splitting the stalk.
Five stalks are placed on each stick.

The process is called "spiking" tobacco.

The tobacco is usually left in the field for three days to wilt and dry out.
Then it is loaded onto trucks and hung in a barn to cure.

1 comment:

  1. Your photos, paintings and commentary would make a very good, local history book you know...for tourists who know nothing about this kind of farming.