Harvest season life in Pinar del Rio - Cuba's Westernmost province.
Relationships between human hands and the earth are a treasure. In the age of speed, digital connections and manufacturing, this dynamic is increasingly rare. In tobacco lands where fine leaves are slowly guided into slow moments of smoke, we see this romance bloom.
In Cigar Journal, a respected tobacco publication, they mention a cigar touches about two hundred hands before it is ready to light. The arc is long, through early Spring during the planting of seeds, through the cultivation until late Winter, when the leaves are handpicked, brought into the drying houses, hand threaded together to a long wooden beam, then hung up in the rafters to dry for three months. The tobacco is then packed and readied for the government, who dictates all the transaction numbers, where it's normal for them to take 90% of the entire crop. The remaining 10% can used however the farmers like, primarily being sold to tourists. After leaving the farm, many other steps take place before the tobacco is for sale in shops worldwide.
Focus often falls on the cigars, though the real heart is the farming community itself. These moments celebrate that lifestyle.