I had heard when I was in Sichuan that Yunnan produces some of the best tobacco in Asia, and I decided then that I would bring back some cigarettes for my SheTown friends that enjoy that mildly intoxicating smoke.
Yesterday, I got to see first hand their tobacco production.
It took me a few minutes (passing the fields in the car) to realize that I had reached the actual production area -- it is in the highlands, around 6600 ft, where temperatures annually range from the mid 20s to the mid 80s -- because these plants don't look like the ones I remember from my days at UMass Amherst, which was, at that time, in the middle of a large tobacco production region.
One of the unique aspects of the Pioneer Valley viewshed is the tobacco barns that dot the landscape. Here in Yunnan, the tobacco is dried in small, hermetically sealed sheds, and as soon as I saw one with open doors and realized what they were, I started noticing them everywhere.
And if you want to talk about a local ag product produced and consumed locally -- I know you would prefer it was food, but that is produced and consumed locally, too -- tobacco fits the bill.
Just check out my new friend and colleague is stoking up the cig-bong.
It turns out I was wrong in my earlier Facebook post to think it was his bong...around here, public gathering places have cig-bongs available for general use.
Anyway, here is a pic of the (almost) finished product. I'll be bringing some home for those who care,