Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Tobacco Sticks for the Garden Fence

It's been over 10 years since we first put up our garden fence using old tobacco sticks from a local farmer. They have withstood the test of time, kids, dogs, soccer balls and scrambling squirrels but recently many were looking a little worse for wear.  So again I located another farmer and secured around 700 of these useful sticks to replenish our current fence and build an additional one next to the Art Studio.

I think of it as Green Building :-). After all, I have given new life to virtually antique wood..left over from North Carolina's tobacco past. Humbling to think that there was a time when these tobacco sticks were an indispensable piece of harvesting equipment on so many farms. Times really do change!
We picked a frigidly cold day last week to go and get them.   Our van was full of art equipment so rather than unload all of it,  we drove our two Hondas up to the farmer's barn and loaded them both down with the sticks that he had. I showed him the photo I had snapped of our fence and he was impressed
"Never thought about doing that," he said. "We've been using them as kindling to start fires."

These sturdy, handmade 4 ft long "sticks" were used to hang (string) tobacco from and then laid across the beams in the tobacco barns to dry. I think that virtually anyone in NC over 35 who was born and raised here, "worked tobacco" as a youngster. It was then the money crop of the State and the way to make good money as a teenager back in the day. It was apparently dirty, sweaty, back breaking work (and I wonder if a teen today would even consider it? :-)  )

Ah well, to each his own! Below is the winter photo of a section of the garden fence with tobacco sticks along with a spring one of the Seven Sisters roses in bloom! And you thought artists only painted!
Winter View of garden fence section with tobacco sticks

Blooming Roses on the tobacco stick fence

4 comments:

Miriam M. Hughes said...

I love the fence - it is whimsical and functional. And yes - I do wonder if any teenager would do that job today? I bet noooooo - much like the only reason MissPoop is able to be a viable company is because teenagers don't work anymore! : ) Unless they are creating things like Facebook!

Miriam M. Hughes said...

ps. I love your blog intro!

Stephen Filarsky said...

There is one of those tobacco sticks on the far right.
http://www.smfilarsky.com/images/HP185-Roses-Seven-Sisters.jpg

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