I've always wanted to live on a farm. This may sound funny coming from someone who grew up in the city/suburbs, but yes, I've always wanted to live on a farm and I think I may be a country girl at heart. I enjoy yard work and being outside (as long as it's warm). Realistically, I probably would not fare well as a farmer, as my last few attempts at a vegetable garden were sad at best. By the time I get home from work, I'm exhausted and sometimes it just doesn't seem worth it to put in all that work just to provide a tasty meal to my local squirrel population. I'll never forget the day I came home and all seven of my tomatoes were gone. GONE. I nurtured those babies, which were heirloom plants from my good friend Sharon, and the squirrels destroyed them. I hope they enjoyed them; I sure wish I had been able to.

I do like hearing about the history of farming though, which I why I'm excited about next Tuesday's event. Evan P. Bennett will discuss his most recent book, When Tobacco Was King: Families, Farm Labor, and Federal Policy in the Piedmont. Tobacco is the South's original staple crop, and like the rest of the farming industry, it has gone through extensive changes throughout the last century. We've moved from small family farms to commercial operations. Adrienne Monteith Petty, aughor of Standing Their Ground: Small Farmers in North Carolina Since the Civil War, said the following about this book: “When Tobacco Was King reconstructs the lives of farm families in the Tobacco South, as well as their work and their political struggles, in vivid, nuanced detail. This brilliant account joins a short list of indispensable histories dealing with bright leaf tobacco.”

When Tobacco Was King will be at Oxmoor Farm on Tuesday, January 20 at 6:00 p.m. This event is free for members and $10 for non-members. Will I see you there? Perhaps I will come away with some knowledge on how to keep those pesky squirrels out of my garden in addition to a history lesson on tobacco farming.

Jamie Evans

Jamie Evans is the Marketing and Public Relations Coordinator at The Filson Historical Society. When she isn't working on publications for The Filson, you can find her behind her sewing machine or out on the roads training for her next big race.

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