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Having trouble to reconcile your comments about no talking allowed with my own experience growing up on a farm. Listening to the grownups constantly talking and bantering is really a key part of my own memories. I wonder if this is more because we were a family farm that shared labor with the neighbors, and you were on a commercial farm, or because we were growing mostly tobacco as a cash crop, which provides endless time to chat (and listen to the radio) while one's hands are busy grading the tobacco (and as a "bonus" you get a contact nicotine high (which I first experienced around 9 -- back to your points on safety)). I'm sure that people shut up when doing nasty chemical spraying, and I remember tobacco cutting was a very intense job that left no energy for talking, but all day with no time for talking? Yipes.

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