Blog, SoCS

SoCS Saturday – Over Yonder They Still Do

Day 335

How Linda does all that she manages never ceases to amaze me. Yet, here we are again with another Saturday of stream of consciousness writing at her invitation. This week, we go back to English class and study parts of speech. This time specifically, prepositions. Linda’s prompt this week is:

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “preposition” Start your post with any preposition. Bonus points if you end with one too. Enjoy!

Over yonder. That phrase has been in my head since yesterday when we drove through the places where my ancestors first settled into the southeastern part of the country.

Over yonder means ‘over there’ I suppose. But yonder to a child usually meant a ‘fer piece’.

I wrote about the Paw Paw Patch song a while back. There is a line in the song that says “way down yonder”.

Yesterday, I realized the people living in the ancestral places of my great-great grandparents still grow tobacco over yonder. I have not seen field of tobacco growing in years.

You may not know that the government at one time subsidized tobacco growers. This was a means of controlling the amount of tobacco grown and the price per pound at the auction after harvest.

Our family never grew tobacco, but it was a cash crop and survival for a lot of small farmers. Growing tobacco is a lot of work. Seeds are set out under ‘hot beds’ covered in cheesecloth in the early spring. Later they would be transplanted, topped and suckered as the season progressed. The tobacco is eventually harvested by cutting the stalks (or leaves in some cases) and moving them to a barn to dry before farmers take them to a tobacco warehouse for the fall auction. Buyers would offer a price based on the quality of the plants.

There were seasons when farmers were paid not to grow in a given year. Or older farmers unable to work the fields were often leasing their allotments to other farmers for a percentage of the harvest.

The government stopped the subsidy in 2004. A lot of farmers withdrew from tobacco farming. It still seems to be thriving in some places. As much as our tobacco use has gone down in the US, there is great demand in developing countries. Which we know means a lot more people will die from this very addictive habit.

It seems consumers of tobacco are not hard to come by.

In need of a Saturday challenge to boost your weekend blogging? I suggest you check out Linda Hill’s blog to read all the rules and take in all the different ways of handling a single prompt.


20 thoughts on “SoCS Saturday – Over Yonder They Still Do”

  1. I love the word ‘yonder’ – it just seems so forgiving. It’s like it could be any distance. We still have tobacco farms here, but less and less is planted each year.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Interesting post – we don’t have tobacco fields in our neck of the woods, so it was fun to see the photos and read about the process. On a SoCS thought…I’m amazed that the price of a pack of cigarettes doesn’t deter people from smoking? Happy Saturday to you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Shelley, I had to stop and snap the pics for the same reason. I had not seen tobacco fields for years and years. I am glad I never smoked. One less habit to overcome and this one is certainly expensive!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Here in NC there are still a good deal of tobacco farms. I have pretty strong feelings on the subject so I’m never really happy to drive past one. Some people say it’s a way for a farmer to make a living, but they just remind me of an industry that grinds people down for a dollar.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I am not a fan either, Laura. It was all around me growing up in Va. I remember kids staying out of school when the tobacco was ready to be cut. It caught me off guard to see it again.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Over yonder was in my earshot but not in my house.
    Tobacco fields seem like a depressing thing to see.
    I do remember the farmers being paid to NOT grow crops. It seemed like a giant scam to me.
    When will people learn?
    I enjoyed your wonderful post, as usual. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is like so many things, Lauren. What we grow up with seems normal. Now I realize because of the government controls, it was guaranteed income which seldom happens in farming.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. In high school, I knew someone who worked in tobacco during the summer. He said it often made people sick. Thankful to have gotten free from that powerful addiction. I thought of the Carole King song, too which is a much better memory.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. JoAnna, one of the first things I noticed was the smell of the plants. And who knows what kind of pesticide was used. I never smoked myself, but I was surrounded by those who did. I am glad it is no longer a part of my life.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. my father’s family grew tobacco in northern philippines. they had a barn where tobacco leaves were hung to dry where. we (kids) were not allowed to go inside.

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  7. Connecticut grew a great deal of long leaf tobacco used for wrapping cigars. There are still acres of drying sheds around. I love the word yonder, along with the relatives hither and yon.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’ll admit that driving by large fields of tobacco is a pretty sight. However, considering how lousy that stuff is for a person, I could do without ever seeing that sight again.


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