Fields Of Tobacco

As we were driving home the other week, we passed our amish neighbors (most of our neighbors are amish) working in the tobacco fields.  We stopped to say hi and watch the process - and they sent us to the back fields so we could see how the children were making the teepees,  The field in the photo above had been drying for about a week, we headed back to a freshly cut field.

After the tobacco is cut, they put it in teepees.  One boy spears 5 leaves on one stick (they add a sharp metal spear on the edge of the stick, then remove it and move it to the next stick) while the other spears 5 on his stick, then they cross the sticks to form the teepees shown here.

 The tobacco is then left in the field to dry like this for 3 days - just like hay.  Also like hay, it's wet and heavy before it is dry, letting it sit out here makes it much lighter to toss on the wagons and take to the barns.
In the very top photo of this post, you see the next step, where it is loaded onto wagons.
Then it is hung in the barns to dry thoroughly.

In the last 10 years a lot of amish have moved into our area here in central pa, and there are fields of tobacco all around us now.  It's a labor intensive crop, but very lucrative.