Friday, August 31, 2007
Ex-smoker's shadowy homage to the Wisconsin tobacco leaf grown in the Madison area
I used to smoke the damn things -- now I enjoy them vicariously. I've long been interested in tobacco farming in Wisconsin partly because, as a former smoker, I had a kind of vested interest in the lore of the tobacco leaf.
The crop is also interesting as a part of Wisconsin agricultural history -- a cash crop that used to play a significant role in Wisconsin farming, almost died out, but has been making a comeback in recent years. Tobacco farming also gives our area a distinctive kind of farm building: tobacco sheds, those long, narrow barns that are designed to cure tobacco by gently drying it with controlled ventilation, which is usually provided by hinged siding panels that can open in a variety of ways. I pass many examples on the way to work. This was shot recently between Madison and Cambridge along Hwy 12&18. If you share my interest, there's more at my Tobacco Farming in Wisconsin set on Flickr.