Certainties and Bets of a Cuban Cigar Man
Far from expressing any vanity, Hector Luis Prieto, the world's youngest Habano Man (the Cuban cigar is called an "Habano), says he feels optimistic about the results of the tobacco harvest in his legendary plantation in western Cuba.
After concluding the picking of covered tobacco, he announced that the volumes exceed those of previous harvests, in spite of delays caused by the inclemency of the weather.
Though it is still too soon for an appraisal, the farmer says the harvest was abundant and the quality of leaves was the best.
Only unshaded variety is yet to be harvested, and he is already betting on planting tobacco again in the same land.
"It is an experiment; I want to plant tobacco again in these areas under the shelters, and time will tell if I am right or wrong", he told Prensa Latina.
Every day, dozens of neighbors and travellers tour the plantations of this farmer, who was awarded the title of Habano Man in 2008, when he was barely 35 years old.
"It was my grandparent who taught me to pick tobacco leaves in the hundred- year-old Quemado de Rubi farm; since then I have enjoyed each day; it relaxes me to walk the plantation at dawn or at dusk.
According to his experience, the preparation of soils and dedication are essential for this trade.
Watching moon phases is a must, he said, as the moon is a sort of compass in this work.
In San Juan y Martinez, Hector Luis sows full-sun and covered up tobacco, the latter a modality in which he achieves over 40 percent of broad leaves for export-oriented hand-rolled cigars.
"The most important things in working the fields are perseverance and love for what you do," he insists.
Thursday, January 26, 2012