03 January 2018

Backyard Farm Tobacco

Filipinos are lucky to have access to tobacco leaves in remarkably raw form. As in: whole leaves, recently harvested, then cured or dried. I am neither a smoker nor a chewer of the leaf, but I happen to be a compulsive buyer, because I am in awe at their limp, leathery goodness. As I have tried smoking a fat stick of chewing tobacco, and because I have recently heard (so it is still hearsay actually) that they are two separate types of tobacco planted here (and that you cannot smoke the chewing sort), I am motivated to pry more, and will do so in the following weeks.

Anyway, Siquijor Island has only one man growing tobacco. He sells it to smokers and to healers, who use it for rituals. He maintains the field next to his house and one nearby, and air-dries them by his front porch. He also tried to sell me large seashells.

A porch drying area, with a small workspace for this one-man operation.
The house, as seen from the street.
Everything is religious on this island.
Waste tobacco.
The farmer unties a sack of his cured / dried leaf stash.
Fresh leaves, just harvested and ready for hanging.

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