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  #26  
Old 05-12-2017, 11:24 PM
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I pulled the sled with a mule from the field to the barn and I'm talking about the old narrow sleds (1 leaf wide) the handers would get ill about me turning over those sleds when I made the mule run around a sharp corner. Then with progress came the wide sleds (2 leaves wide).
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Old 05-14-2017, 02:11 PM
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Those old pier pole barns are still in use here. The tobacco is either air cured or fired with sawdust and slabs. Their is one right behind my house and I love smelling those wood fires in the late fall and early winter.
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Old 05-14-2017, 07:08 PM
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Those old pier pole barns are still in use here. The tobacco is either air cured or fired with sawdust and slabs. Their is one right behind my house and I love smelling those wood fires in the late fall and early winter.
The smell of flu cured tobacco drifting on a cool summer's night breeze is hard to forget...Wish I could experience that just one more time before I pass on...

Someone on here spoke about tobacco drags. My Grandpa and his nephews didn't like them but many farmers around our area used them. Drags were hard on the Mules and my Grandpa would never allow that. We had tobacco trucks with wheels on them.. He took special care of his Mules, they helped make his living and the old man appreciate them..In no way am I implying that other folks were cruel to or didn't care about their farm animals..
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Old 05-16-2017, 11:07 PM
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I remember Daddy spending the night watching the tobacco "cook" and later guarding it all night with the shotgun in the pack house. Momma fixed him some iced tea in a jar one hot night and carried it thru the woods to him. He said it scared the Dickens out of him when he heard that ice tinkling in the jar and coming thru the woods toward him.
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Old 05-17-2017, 12:32 AM
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I never thought about having to guard it in the pack house. I remember unstringing tobacco. As I recall it didn't pay much.

I remember smelling tobacco riding by the warehouses in town. Another memory is smelling Honeysuckle and feeling the coolness while riding through a branch on a dirt road.

My Dad said the mule pulled tobacco sleds. Maybe that's the same as drags. That was before my time.

Sometimes diesel fuel reminds me of pulling the harvester. Sometimes it reminds me of the Submarine I was on.

Another memory I have is smelling cotton dust riding through the country side.
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Old 05-21-2017, 08:36 PM
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Dodger, if I remember correctly we got a nickel a stick for taking off the tobacco. Woe be unto the scoundrel that got caught stealing sticks off someone else's pile.
Never knew the sleds to be hard on a mule. In fact I thought they were a lot easier on them than pulling a plow all day. I've seen my Daddy and Uncle's whip another Uncle for abusing one of Grandaddy's mules.
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Old 05-24-2017, 12:36 AM
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Those old pier pole barns are still in use here. The tobacco is either air cured or fired with sawdust and slabs. Their is one right behind my house and I love smelling those wood fires in the late fall and early winter.
KyDawg, I sure do miss smelling the smoke from those dark fired barns. Spent many a night checkin barns when the winds were real bad. Still got an old wheel barrow that has rolled tons of saw dust to set or freshen up fires in those barns.
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  #33  
Old 05-24-2017, 11:25 AM
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Dodger, if I remember correctly we got a nickel a stick for taking off the tobacco. Woe be unto the scoundrel that got caught stealing sticks off someone else's pile.
Never knew the sleds to be hard on a mule. In fact I thought they were a lot easier on them than pulling a plow all day. I've seen my Daddy and Uncle's whip another Uncle for abusing one of Grandaddy's mules.


The going rate for taking off around home was a cent and a half per stick. Where they came up with that is anybody`s guess. I wish I had asked while somebody was still alive who knew. I remember being paid $6 dollars a day for cropping. Later it went up to $8 dollars a day. When I was grown and took vacation from the power company to help out, all I got was breakfast, dinner, and supper. And a bed.

And I was still expected to work harder than anybody else.
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Old 05-24-2017, 04:03 PM
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Yeah, a nickel would have been too much cause croppers and hangers got $5 a day and stringers and handers got $3 a day. I got 50 cents a day for pulling sleds when I was a little fella'. Bet y'all remember the fine dinners we had every day. Made it hard to go back to work but we always had the energy to play.
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  #35  
Old 05-28-2017, 10:44 AM
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I remember getting $8.00/day for cropping and hanging. I think we all made the same thing. That included a big country meal that had to be worth $4.00. Some farmers paid a little more but just took you to a store to eat junk.

I remember the rectangle tier poles being harder on bare feet than the round ones. I remember it raining in the barn from the morning dew. I remember cropping sand lugs.

Here is an old thread when some of these older guys still had their memory! lol

http://forum.gon.com/archive/index.php/t-409032.html
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  #36  
Old 05-28-2017, 10:48 AM
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Interesting tobacco history from Jeff Davis county;

http://www.hpo.ncdcr.gov/ctb/south_g...cco_patch.html

Did most of you guys, Nic, and Jimbo plant your own beds?
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Old 05-28-2017, 01:13 PM
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Interesting tobacco history from Jeff Davis county;

http://www.hpo.ncdcr.gov/ctb/south_g...cco_patch.html

Did most of you guys, Nic, and Jimbo plant your own beds?


Always, and in January. I remember seed came in little tin boxes or cans. I wish I had saved them now.
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  #38  
Old 05-28-2017, 03:22 PM
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Yes we did make our own plant beds ... Like Nic said ... We'd start in late December getting the ground ready ...

Early January we'd gas the ground with methyl bromide gas to kill the weeds. This involved digging trenches down both sides of the bed to bury plastic cloth in and across both ends...
The gas came in cans much like Freon ... The cans were placed in boxes with a sharp nail that would puncture the can when pressed ...
Those boxes were placed an even distance apart down the bed ... Once all were in place the plastic was pulled over and buried making sure there were no places for the gas to escape...

Then the lightest person around ... usually me.... tip toe out onto the plastic and press the cans down on the nails releasing the gas into the box ... The gas vapors spread all under the plastic and kill pretty much anything it touched ... Including humans... But idea was to kill any weed seed and fungus (blue mold)that may be in the ground ...

Once that has stayed on for at least three days ... You removed the plastic ....Carefully!

Then the ground was raked with a iron tooth rake ... the seed then we're sowed making very sure to get an even spread .... The bed was Then rolled with a packer wheel ... Looked like a steam belt wheel off something ...

Then cypress logs were put down the edges and cheese cloth stretched over the beds ... this was to keep the frost off the tiny plants .... This was pulled off time to time for dusting and to pull any weeds the gas may have missed ....

Blue mold was the worse enemy along with cut worms and nematodes, ..
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  #39  
Old 05-29-2017, 12:14 PM
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We'd haul water out of the creek in tar barrels (the night before)... dump with foot tubs into the floor of the barn ...to get the tobacco "in order" ... then get up at 4am and take out the tobacco ... just in time to put a full barn again that same day...
I never even thought about all that was involved in the curing. It's an art of science. A lot of ventilation, temperature, and humidity control. So the leaves were dried to a certain color/dryness and then water/humidity was added to put a small amount of moisture back in the leaf to make it pliable.
I guess the modern way would be to use a humidifier. Did ya'll use fans in the curing process or open/close doors dampers? Wet bulb/dry bulb thermometer? I guess it would be similar to a meat smoker in some ways but a lot more complicated. Some HVAC type implications of ventilation, temperature, and humidity.

So eventually this tobacco reaches the warehouse and the buyers inspect it. I would think they have did this long enough to know what to look for. The right color, touch, smell? This being what they price the sheet. Making sure the leaves don't have spots or rot?

I do remember how much lighter a stick of cured tobacco was compared to a green wet stick.

Last edited by Artfuldodger; 05-29-2017 at 12:25 PM.
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  #40  
Old 05-29-2017, 12:21 PM
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The going rate for taking off around home was a cent and a half per stick. Where they came up with that is anybody`s guess. I wish I had asked while somebody was still alive who knew. I remember being paid $6 dollars a day for cropping. Later it went up to $8 dollars a day. When I was grown and took vacation from the power company to help out, all I got was breakfast, dinner, and supper. And a bed.

And I was still expected to work harder than anybody else.
You had to go back to work to rest up from your "vacation."
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  #41  
Old 05-30-2017, 04:04 PM
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I never even thought about all that was involved in the curing. It's an art of science. A lot of ventilation, temperature, and humidity control. So the leaves were dried to a certain color/dryness and then water/humidity was added to put a small amount of moisture back in the leaf to make it pliable.
I guess the modern way would be to use a humidifier. Did ya'll use fans in the curing process or open/close doors dampers? Wet bulb/dry bulb thermometer? I guess it would be similar to a meat smoker in some ways but a lot more complicated. Some HVAC type implications of ventilation, temperature, and humidity.

So eventually this tobacco reaches the warehouse and the buyers inspect it. I would think they have did this long enough to know what to look for. The right color, touch, smell? This being what they price the sheet. Making sure the leaves don't have spots or rot?

I do remember how much lighter a stick of cured tobacco was compared to a green wet stick.
Yeah, the tobacco had to be "in case" as we called it here, or the leaves would disintegrate when you went to work with them. The burley that we grew is a much different process than y'all's flue-cured, I guess.

We cut the whole stalk and used a spud (sharp metal cone) to impale the stalk on the stick that you drove up in the ground in the field. Depending on the size of the plants, you'd get about 5-7 stalks of 'backer on a stick. You would leave the sticks standing in the field a couple days, then haul it to the barn and hang the sticks between the tierpoles and let it air-cure.

When it was ready to work up, we would usually get woke up at some point in the middle of the night when it was "in case." (There is usually fog almost every night in the fall here in the mountains, and it would dampen it down enough to work, but it would usually be after midnight.)

Then you would take the stalks off the sticks, and pull all the leaves off the stalks and tie them into "hands" with another 'backer leaf. These would be packed into a pair of big, flat tobacco baskets to take to market.

The leaves usually had to be separated out into several grades-I remember sand lugs, lugs, smokers, reds, and tips.

In later years, we only separated it into two or three grades, and baled the leaves by compressing them into big bales with a reinforced plywood box and a bumper jack.
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  #42  
Old 05-30-2017, 04:16 PM
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Originally Posted by BriarPatch99 View Post
Yes we did make our own plant beds ... Like Nic said ... We'd start in late December getting the ground ready ...

Early January we'd gas the ground with methyl bromide gas to kill the weeds. This involved digging trenches down both sides of the bed to bury plastic cloth in and across both ends...
The gas came in cans much like Freon ... The cans were placed in boxes with a sharp nail that would puncture the can when pressed ...
Those boxes were placed an even distance apart down the bed ... Once all were in place the plastic was pulled over and buried making sure there were no places for the gas to escape...

Then the lightest person around ... usually me.... tip toe out onto the plastic and press the cans down on the nails releasing the gas into the box ... The gas vapors spread all under the plastic and kill pretty much anything it touched ... Including humans... But idea was to kill any weed seed and fungus (blue mold)that may be in the ground ...

Once that has stayed on for at least three days ... You removed the plastic ....Carefully!

Then the ground was raked with a iron tooth rake ... the seed then we're sowed making very sure to get an even spread .... The bed was Then rolled with a packer wheel ... Looked like a steam belt wheel off something ...

Then cypress logs were put down the edges and cheese cloth stretched over the beds ... this was to keep the frost off the tiny plants .... This was pulled off time to time for dusting and to pull any weeds the gas may have missed ....

Blue mold was the worse enemy along with cut worms and nematodes, ..


WOW !!! just wow !!! Probably the best thread EVER !!! I haven't experienced any of this, but feel like I have after reading this.


Guess baling hay wasn't that bad...
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  #43  
Old 05-30-2017, 05:25 PM
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Originally Posted by BriarPatch99 View Post
Yes we did make our own plant beds ... Like Nic said ... We'd start in late December getting the ground ready ...

Early January we'd gas the ground with methyl bromide gas to kill the weeds. This involved digging trenches down both sides of the bed to bury plastic cloth in and across both ends...
The gas came in cans much like Freon ... The cans were placed in boxes with a sharp nail that would puncture the can when pressed ...
Those boxes were placed an even distance apart down the bed ... Once all were in place the plastic was pulled over and buried making sure there were no places for the gas to escape...

Then the lightest person around ... usually me.... tip toe out onto the plastic and press the cans down on the nails releasing the gas into the box ... The gas vapors spread all under the plastic and kill pretty much anything it touched ... Including humans... But idea was to kill any weed seed and fungus (blue mold)that may be in the ground ...

Once that has stayed on for at least three days ... You removed the plastic ....Carefully!

Then the ground was raked with a iron tooth rake ... the seed then we're sowed making very sure to get an even spread .... The bed was Then rolled with a packer wheel ... Looked like a steam belt wheel off something ...

Then cypress logs were put down the edges and cheese cloth stretched over the beds ... this was to keep the frost off the tiny plants .... This was pulled off time to time for dusting and to pull any weeds the gas may have missed ....

Blue mold was the worse enemy along with cut worms and nematodes, ..
Pretty much the same process here. That methyl bromide always scared me after I actually read the label once. Daddy said not to worry about it.
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  #44  
Old 05-31-2017, 01:22 AM
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Hillbilly, there are a few old timers that still tie the leaves in twist, though that is dying skill.
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  #45  
Old 05-31-2017, 03:31 PM
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Did any of the old farmers make their own chew or keep some tobacco to smoke?
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  #46  
Old 05-31-2017, 10:26 PM
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Artfuldodger ... The curing process was simple Art ... learned by watching and listening ...

As you know tobacco was best if cropped "ripe" ... after being put in the barn ... the heat was applied(wood, coal, kerosine, fuel oil and propane) ...
It was best to move the heat up slow and allow the leaf to "color" ... really the heat drove the "green" out and made ripening quicker ... It was best for the to heat to be 105 to 110 degrees the first 24 hrs of so ... the heat could slowly be raised the next day until 120/125 ...easing up to about 140 on the third day ...depending on the color ....
Once the correct color was reached ... the next stage was drying the leaf .... 160/165 heat did that ....

The final stage was drying the stems ...this took 175/180 degrees ... but you had to be very careful of to high heat would turn the leaf reddish ... not the golden color that sold well ...

At the end of the cooking period(depending on the days of took ... sometimes 5 days ... other times 6 ... even 7 days ... but most times 5/6) ...

If you had time ... the doors/top vents were opened(about Sundown) and the natural draft pulled the damp night air in and made the leaf flexible(we call this being "in order" ...

If pushed for time ...then the creek water( or other sources) was poured in the floor and the water vapors did the deed ...
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  #47  
Old 05-31-2017, 10:30 PM
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"Green" or "swelled" stems would make salesmen tear a sheet of baccer all to pieces if they found some. Jimmy, I know you saw that happen too.

Daddy always sold ours in Vidalia or Hazlehurst. I miss going to the sale.
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  #48  
Old 05-31-2017, 10:45 PM
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USA Liquid Nicotine, LLC is ready to sell pure liquid nicotine extracted from tobacco grown in the southeastern United States and produced in Albany, Georgia.

Times sure are a changing. These E-cigs might make a return to growing tobacco again in Georgia. I'd rather have Albany nicotine than Chinese extracted nicotine. If I used the stuff.
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  #49  
Old 05-31-2017, 11:19 PM
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Pretty much the same process here. That methyl bromide always scared me after I actually read the label once. Daddy said not to worry about it.
One of my distant cousins picked up a used can of MB laying on the ground a couple weeks old ... Proceeded to sniff the can ... unfortunately for him there remained somehow trapped gas ... He spent three days in the hospital ...
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Old 05-31-2017, 11:33 PM
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"Green" or "swelled" stems would make salesmen tear a sheet of baccer all to pieces if they found some. Jimmy, I know you saw that happen too.

Daddy always sold ours in Vidalia or Hazlehurst. I miss going to the sale.
You bet I did ... that was a dreaded sight ... really didn't want then buyers digging too deep! I was told by a guy that worked in the tobacco factory... that they didn't waste much of anything ... it got used ... Smoked, chewed or dipped!
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