I found this newspaper clipping while going through my Granny Head’s scrapbook. It dates from about 1930. Pictured is my Great Grandfather Raymond Head and his 4 children.
The caption under the first photos reads: ” A recently-bought flock of Montana ewes on the farm of Raymond Head, near Springfield, is inspected by county Agent Harmon Jones and Mr Heads son Robert. The sheep are expected to play a big part in making up the loss caused by dealing dark fired tobacco market;”
2019 is the first year that there will be an industrial hemp crop in Tennessee. A recent article in the Tennessean reads ” Faced with the decreasing profitability of tobacco and an expanding market of hemp products, some of Tennessee’s longtime tobacco farmers are abandoning the state’s traditional cash crop and embracing a lucrative but largely uncharted hemp industry.”
Another story from Forbes online reads. “How Hemp Is Giving Renewed Life To America’s Tobacco Farmers”
It seems as though there is an ongoing conversation with Black Patch tobacco farmers that’s lasted for well over 100 years. What will be the next big crop that replaces the income from tobacco?
In mid March, tobacco farmers around middle Tennessee start their crops in large floating greenhouse gardens. Tobacco seeds are tiny. They are about the size of a sesame seed. They have been the main cash crop around here for generations
My Granddaddy always said that tobacco was a 13 month a year crop. The plants spend 7 weeks in the green house, 90-120 days in the field, 6 weeks drying in the barn and another 3-4 months of stripping. Almost as soon as a farmer finishes one crop, they start gathering supplies and preparing for the next season. There isn’t much down on a farm. Every step counts.
Check out this 2013 article in the Robertson County Connection written by Rachel Swann
Robertson County tobacco heritage lives on through young farmers
The drive down Hwy 25 in Robertson County is often described as a scenic route this time of year. The soy beans are turning from bright green to a mustard yellow, telling farmers that harvest is near, the roads are lined with “Pumpkin Patch This Way” signs and the tobacco barns are full of hanging burley and smoking dark-fired plants.