Monday, July 15, 2013

How High It Grows!

Classic sights around this area of North Carolina in the summer….the tall growing tobacco fields which have taken off like wild fire this season due to copious amounts of rain and intermittent sunshine.

This year’s crop is thriving!

I stopped on the way home from running some errands….would you believe these blooming stalks are taller than I am? And I am 5’9”!

Watching the tobacco crops each year is one of my favorite ways to mark the passing seasons.  We know spring is well on the way as soon as we see the seedlings being put into the ground.

With the right weather conditions, they take hold quickly and grow throughout the summer months…really shooting up as soon as hot weather starts.

Tobacco is not an irrigated crop, it depends on mother nature to help it grow with enough rain and enough sunshine to do the job.

I admit that I have been busy (and gone) quite a bit this spring and summer….and I haven’t paid attention!  I saw that these were all in bloom last night on our drive home from the cabin, and I promised myself that I would stop today and get some photos to share.

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Pretty and pink!

Wouldn't these be beautiful in a bouquet?  They will come and top the plants soon….and these lovely blossoms will be history.

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Just look at these white puffy clouds against that North Carolina blue sky!  It has rained and rained and rained so much you would have thought that we were living near Seattle.  Or were in the process of growing webbed feet.  I love the terrain in this area….slightly rolling and gently hilly, with rows of tobacco as far as you can see.

The harvesting won’t happen until fall, and then it happens in several stages.  All of the leaves are removed by hand – not much has changed in the farming of tobacco over the centuries.

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This is my world.  I feel so at home here.

And every year I tell myself that it would be so nice if they would grow something that could be eaten for food or used for other purposes than this ---but this is history.  This is North Carolina.  The farming of tobacco is deeply rooted in this land, way back before we were more than just a handful of small colonies trying to eek out an existence.

But you know what?  Tobacco does have OTHER good uses!  It's being used as an organic pesticide!  Read more HERE.

Centuries and so many life-times later --the tobacco still grows.

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  1. Beautiful flowers and skies!
    We finally have some sunshine here in TN too! With all the health issues caused by tobacco, I'd love to see it disapper, but i do understand that so many people depend on that industry too! Such a shame because it is so pretty.

  2. Beautiful pictures. I'm an Iowa farm girl, and love watching the corn grow, so I know how you feel!

    I did read an interesting article the other day about Sabra (a company that makes hummus) trying to convert tobacco farmers into chickpea farmers. Interesting thought! Apparently they take the same climate, and the company needs more chickpeas to meed the US hummus demand. Who knew??

  3. YUP History of the Colonies means Tobacco!

    You know, that the plant and it's leaves were never ever 'meant' to be consumed in huge quantities. My Native American family tells of tobacco as a ceremonial substance.

    Driving through tobacco growing country is wonderful... love seeing it hanging the those old barns.

    Thanks for posting this one Bonnie.

  4. I love that you include what's going on in your area or wherever you happen to be. Just bits and snips outside your wonderful quilty life. That makes your blog so much fun to read throughout the day.

    I had no idea those plants got that tall! We are in Wisconsin corn country so that's what's familiar and comforting to us.

  5. It's sad to think that there is a "need" for so many of those plants in spite of all we know about the harm they do. How can something with such beautiful flowers cause SO much tragedy to the human race? Makes no sense. I speak as someone who has never once smoked a ciggie - would rather buy fabric any day!

  6. Love your beautiful pictures, Bonnie! At lunchtime today, I heard on Charlotte's local news that we always get more rain than Seattle does. Who knew! It has definitely been more "concentrated" this year!

    Also, they featured a story about farmers in our mountain valleys losing most of their tobacco crops this year due to all of the what seems like never ending rain. Where we are, the corn is loving it and it is sky high!

    "I love calling North Carolina home!" :-D

  7. Such a stunning plant with such a checkered past.

  8. Anonymous7:16 PM EDT

    I used to live in NC and I remember running through rows and rows of tobacco as we played hide and seek and tried to avoid running into any black snakes on the way to the pond to swim. thanks for sparking that childhood memory!

  9. Your Old Tobacco Road pattern is still one of my favorites. You captured the tobacco beauty in that pattern.

  10. I live in Kentucky-long a state which grows massive quantities of tobacco. Many of the farmers here are baling tobacco now. They no longer hand strip. Huge time conservation when it is baled.

  11. Using tobacco plants as 'organic' pesticides causes health issues for our precious bees unfortunately.


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