Tobacco field, Valentines, Va.

Tobacco field, Valentines, Va., 2013.  Photo by Andy Brack.

Tobacco field, Valentines, Va., 2013. Photo by Andy Brack.

Tobacco is maturing in fields across the Southern Crescent, including this patch in rural Valentines in the southeastern part of Virginia.  In the background is Wright’s Gen. Mdse., an old-time country store that doubles as a post office.  Much of the store is an homage to how old country stores used to be, but you can still buy some stuff like cold drinks and crackers.

Tobacco production remains a viable business across the South, particularly the flue-cured tobacco of the American South that is used in higher-end tobacco products across the world.  While China outpaces American production four-fold or more, American tobacco apparently is preferred to help flavor products.  U.S. production in 2012 was about 500 million pounds and is expected to be in high demand again this year.  More info.

This photo in the unincorporated Valentines community is in Brunswick County, a farming area on the North Carolina border with more than 17,000 residents.  Like most Southern Crescent counties, poverty exceeds 20 percent.

Copyrighted photo taken July 24, 2013, by Andy Brack, Center for a Better South.  All rights reserved.