Growing up in the 1970’s and 80’s in CT there weren’t too many jobs for teenagers between the ages of 13 and 16. You either worked the tobacco fields, the vegetable farms, or babysat. Since my Dad worked for Consolidated Cigar Company (warehouse) for over 25 years until they closed their Glastonbury Connecticut doors in 1986, he figured one person in the family worked in the tobacco industry was enough. So I picked tomatoes for two summers.
Thus my first hand experience is limited, I do know from listening to friends that it was hot, sweaty and tiring. Much like detasseling in Nebraska is now. The CigarLife website has a very good article called Shade Tobacco Days if anyone cares to live vicariously.
The Connecticut River Valley has been known for it’s shade tobacco for hundreds of years and it’s used primarily as the wrapper.
This picture was taken close to Broad Brook Connecticut, near South Windsor.