Thursday, October 11, 2012

Day 11 - Cotton Picking Time

31 Days of Homestead Living!

No, we don't grow cotton.  Although, I am the first generation in my family not to pick cotton.  My Grandmother told me that my mother didn't "HAVE to pick cotton".  If you are southern, you know how that statement should sound when spoken out loud!  My Grandmother sharecropped cotton fields (as a young married woman) around the house they lived in till they passed on.  That was how they got the money to purchase their home.  When they moved there, the house was in the country.  But now, it is deep in "downtown".

My Grandmother lived with us a while before she passed away.  This time of year, she would look at the cotton and remember all the stories from her childhood.  She told me her last Autumn here, that she wished she could go out there and pick cotton again.  So I called the farmers around our fields and asked if we could do that.  They didn't care, they knew we wouldn't pick much.  But my Grandmother was embarrassed, and wouldn't go.  I wish we had.

The farmers try to pick all the cotton before it gets wet.  They don't want it to get rained on, because that lowers the value or quality.  I remember one year, friends of ours picked cotton on Christmas day!

We used to own a child care facility.  In the fall, we would take the children outside and take their photos in the cotton field next door.  I think cotton waiting to be picked is pretty.  I have some cotton in a vase, sitting on my kitchen table at home, that GrandBoy picked for me.  Must be a Southern thing.

We live on 15 acres of a 100 acre farm.  The farm was divided about 15 years ago at an auction.  We have the home place and 15 acres and a pond that we use for cows.  The rest of the place (that doesn't belong to us) is in cotton.  I will remind you that most of the pasture we use is not attached to where we live.  Anyway, it is cotton picking time here.  First, the planes used to fly over to spray the stuff that makes the leaves die on the cotton plants.  This got on our cars, and all over everything.  My husband said they don't do that anymore here.  They use sprayer tractors.  Then when the foliage is nice and brown, the cotton picker machine comes to pick the cotton.  My GrandBoy could sit outside all day and watch them work. 

Then the cotton gets carried to the gin, which happens to be across the field from our home.  There the cotton is made into bales, and the seed and trash is separated out.  I guess the seed is sold.  I know it is passed out to school children who tour the gin!  Then the trash is pushed into big piles, and farmers buy it to feed their cows and other livestock.

We watch as the lot adjacent to the gin fills up with cotton waiting to be ginned. Some years there is so much cotton that they have to park some of it in a field down the road. GrandBoy and I are sad when all the cotton is gone.

I will attach photos tonight.  Honey

UPDATE:  This afternoon when I got home, the cotton picking had started!  And like I said, GrandBoy couldn't wait for them to get close enough so we could watch!  I went back outside about 10:00 tonight, and they were STILL picking.  Four large tractors with headlights, trying to beat the rain!

No comments:

Post a Comment