Monday, January 16, 2012
Cuba ~ Tobacco Farm
This is Viñales Valley, about 2-1/2 hours drive from Havana. We visited Concha and Paco Ramirez and their extended family. Paco grew up on this family farm, went to college, and then returned to continue his family's 100 year tradition of farming tobacco.
He grows tobacco, on the 40 acres, along with rice, beans, tomatoes and lettuce. There are also cows (we had pork for lunch) and an assortment of animals. He explained (through our guide) that he 'gives' 90% of the tobacco to the government, and in return they provide the equipment, fertilizer etc to farm. When asked by one of our group, what does he do with the other 10%? He smiled, told us he saves the best for himself, and rolls his own cigars. At the point, he lit one up, from the pocket full he carried.
Hand rolled cigars (20 for 20 pesos) and the 100 year old cigar mold he uses.
That's the Ramirez house, dwarfed by our tour bus.
Nothing like a good cigar a a cup of sweet coffee after lunch!
They had neighbors to entertain us then fed us a delicious lunch (pork, rice and beans) and dessert was mango jam and a slice of cheese. (quite good!)
Tomorrow, textures and trains in Cuba.