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Curing Tabacco

The care and proper curing of tabacco provided the entire family with work during the autumn and winter months. Leaves had to be flattened with a motion limilar to ironing. This allowed farmers to divide leaves based on their quality and the price they could earn. However, the state monopoly usually differed in their views on quality and worth. Frequently farmers were dissatisfied with the earnings, often much inferior to what they had expected. to receive. It usually took months of waiting until they wourld be paid.

“Then, there was all the winter's work to do: how I hated it, most of all, we had to flatten each leaf, with your hands ironing it on your lap. Finished that we did the 'cernita' ... C'era el bèlo, el mòro, el róto, el rùgine, el vérde, tutte queste sette, otto qualità...- selecting quality based on seven or eight charactaristics. Then for each 'quality' divided by sizes. There were large, medium and small leaves, these were put into piles of fifty leaves, points and stems lined up. When we brought the bundles to the warehouse to sell they controlled randomly if there were 50 leaves. If there weren't they gave you back the entire load and gave fines. When we bundled them together to make the 'cerita' five or six piles with the nice leaves on the outside, the bad ones hidden. The government paid more for the smaller leaves, they were used to make 'macedonia', cigarettes 'Macedonia'. "(Diana G. Valstagna)

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