Friday, September 23, 2011

Myrtleford - Tobacco growing

I did not realise that tobacco was a viable crop in Australia. The number of smokers in our community is down in the low 20%. All the major cigarette manufacturers are multi-nationals. Somehow I figured that all cigarettes were manufactured off-shore. However, when I think of it, in the late '30s and early '40s my mother packed Craven A cigarettes into packets in a factory somewhere in St Peters in Sydney,

These strange looking sheds are the drying sheds on the farms of tobacco growers in NE Victoria. Tobacco is primarily grown along the banks of the King, Ovens, and Kiewa Rivers and the Tobacco Growers' Co-operative of Victoria is based in Myrtleford.

The first viable cultivation of tobacco commenced in the 1930s and there is now about 1400 hectares under cultivation by about 130 growers which contributes $27 million to the country's GDP.

I sort of wish they wouldn't, but it really is up to smokers to quit.


Joan Elizabeth said...

For some reason I have thought of tobacco as a crop grown in the tropics. So this is news to me too.

I will never forget doing a business presentation at Philip Morris once. They had free cigarettes in the board room and encouraged people to smoke ... a bit like other companies handing out mints!!

That was quite a few years ago. I wonder if the anti-smokling laws let them do that type of thing today.

The buildings make for fascinating photos ... given our mutual penchant for CI.

Julie said...

The strange thing about the buildings, Joan, is that none of them are either rusted or delapidated. They each border on the pristine. They are heavily redolent of the southern states of the USA - for me at any rate.

As for the free cigarettes, as you know I am going through the finalising of my father's estate. I am trying to get him an official war-grave. The key to this is shaping as the army (in 1942-1945) giving its troops cigarettes as a form of 'bonus'. If a soldier states this, and dies of a cigarette related disease (yes, even 60 years later), the Commonwealth accepts responsibility. I guess this to be cheaper than defending itself in court.

Given my affection for CI, I find it bemusing that the most attractive thing about the tobacco sheds is their shape.