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(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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Tobacco, an important cash crop in the Deerfield, Massachusetts, region to this day, was/is cut at its base using this hatchet and ones similar to it. Native Americans and early settlers harvested tobacco in the Deerfield area, but it was not grown as a cash crop until the 1860s. In their search for profitable crops to add to their mixed farming system, Connecticut Valley farmers found tobacco to be a highly rewarding choice. Tobacco was the one Connecticut Valley crop whose production increased, particularly from 1885 to 1914. Tobacco is a labor-intensive crop requiring hand planting, care, and harvesting. After cutting the whole plants are suspended upside down to dry in special tobacco barns.
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