From Dale and Darcy
We are excited to say that our second book Tobacco Sheds: Vanishing Treasures of the Connecticut River Valley has just been released. In addition, we were lucky enough to win An Archie Green Grant from the Library of Congress to collect the oral history of tobacco workers in the Valley. The grant will give us a chance to return to farms in the Valley and this time focus on the people who work so hard to grow and cure some of the world’s most beautiful tobacco leaves.
We hope that you find all that you need here. If you are a returning visitor, you will see that we have restocked our store and we have added framed tobacco leaves. The frames are custom made for each leaf so no two are alike. They are beautiful. We also redesigned the note cards which are now 5x7 and made with heavy stock.
As always, we are grateful to the Luddy/Taylor Connecticut Valley Tobacco Museum in Windsor, Connecticut. Ten percent of our sales go to support the museum and the curators who have put together a rich and totally unique collection for the public. It is worth a visit!
Both American Indians and early North American settlers grew tobacco, but only on a small scale. It wasn't until the 1830's that Connecticut farmers discovered that a unique combination of soil, climate and natural fertilizers created just the right conditions to grow tobacco on a large scale and for commercial use. It was then that farmers invested their labor and money in creating a single use barn for this singular crop. Tobacco Shed's were designed specifically to dry or "cure" this lucrative leaf. Their unique venting systems allowed drying winds to blow through the barns as they turned from green to brown. When in the early 1900's Windsor CT farmers experimented with growing coveted Cuban tobacco by enclosing the tobacco in loosely woven cloth, they initiated an agricultural trend that swept the Connecticut River Valley - shade grown tobacco.
Although now under threat from developers and increased housing demands, these distinctive barns live on, sandwiched between malls and sitting on busy roadsides. They are both a reminder of Connecticut's agricultural past as well as a vital part of a thriving cigar industry. Connecticut's shade-grown broad-leaf tobacco currently stands alone in the world as the preferred wrapping tobacco leaf. In these calendars and prints, you will find both echoes of the past as well as tobacco sheds filled to the brim with their autumnal harvest.