The Natchez Trace

The Tobacco Farm

Day 41: Saturday, September 22, 2001

Tobacco Culture

They begin by planting seeds in seed beds. Then the transplant the small plants into the open fields. The mature plants are cut at the base and skewered onto the spear-like sticks. The tobacco laden sticks are hung in an airy barn to dry. The dried tobacco is removed from the sticks, inspected and hauled to the auction to be sold.

Above: Drying Tobacco Leaves

Below: Sticks To Hang The Leaves

The Tobacco Farm

At long last, perhaps we were going to actually see some tobacco growing at the tobacco farm.
But all we saw was an old barn with some leaves that had been hanging there for many years, and a pile of the drying sticks tossed against the wall. Obviously, the National Park Service has decided to abandon the educational display of tobacco culture because of the health risks even though our Congress continues to subsidize the farming of tobacco.

The drying barn is deliberately built so that lots of air can circulate, but to keep the rain out. Some of the drying barns have no sides at all. These farms are rapidly going out of style as people become more aware of the health hazzards associated with tobacco.

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Page last updated May 6, 2002.