"...I can tell from your giant step, you been walkin' through the cotton fields..."
Why is Max smiling?
He's smiling because we're getting a whole new crop planted in our back field this year!
And because he has nothing else to smile about. He's a demised feline, for goodness sake.
Every year I wait with bated breath (not baited, that would be pretty gross) to see what crop will be planted in that field.
This year, as you might have guessed from my quote, it's cotton!
Usually it's something boring like soybean. I mean really. Who cares about a tofu-field?
One year we did get corn! I felt like I was in a Stephen King movie. More than one Stephen King movie has some sort of evil field of corn in it.
Since Chuck's had this house though (which is about 7 years now), there has never been cotton. Guess it's about time in the ol' crop rotation to plant something different. Because it seems that every farmer's field in the area (probably owned by the same people) has cotton growing in it. And it seems to be doing way better in this drought than anything else is. Which is weird, because from what I understand, it usually requires a lot of water to grow.
Why do I like cotton so much? When September rolls around, it will look like a bed of snow has fallen all over the field. Like this one would have looked like if we'd waited a little while longer to take a picture of it. This one was on the way to Greenville...Chuck's hair was just growing in after the chemo. :)
I didn't even realize where cotton came from until a few years ago. Cotton growing on a plant?? Pish tosh! And I thought a Cotton Gin was a fancy drink!
No, not really. I just never really thought about where cotton came from. Being from Canada, it's weird to see something that I use to take my nail polish off with just growing on a plant outside my backyard.
Some fun facts about cotton:
~Cotton's been grown for over 5,000 years.
~The top cotton producing nation is China.
~Pesticides are heavily used with cotton. I guess to keep out these nasty little creatures, called boll weevils.
They will eat the hell out of a cotton crop. They entered from Mexico in 1892 (insert illegal immigration joke here), and caused a whole mess of destruction because they had no natural predators to take care of them. A huge effort to eradicate them came in the late 1970's, with advent of new types of pesticides.
~The English word “cotton" comes from the Arabic word qutun or kutun.
~US paper currency is 75% cotton.
~Cotton production drove the slave trade in the US (ok, so they're not all 'fun' facts). That's one of the reasons that the South was trying to hold on to slavery...they were convinced that the Southern economy would crash without slave labour to pick, gin and bale the cotton. With the invention of Eli Whitney's cotton gin in 1793 (which was really an 'improvement' and not an 'invention', there were simple cotton gin-esque implements in India about 1,500 years ago), more cotton could be refined at a faster rate. So they needed more and more slaves to meet demand. Nasty, ugly, vicious cycle. Thank goodness humanity eventually won out over money.
~Cotton is a member of the Mallow family of plants.
~The leading cotton-producing states are Texas, California, Georgia, Mississippi, Arkansas, Louisiana, North Carolina, and Arizona.
~ Development of synthetic fibers (especially polyester) hurt the cotton growing industry for awhile, with high demand from consumers starting in the 1960's.
That's right! That leisure suit you bought in 1976 was keepin' cotton down!
Incidentally, the world's first polyester factory is near here, just outside of Kinston, NC. We drive past it every time Chuck needs to go to a cancer appointment in Greenville. It was opened in 1953 by the DuPont family.
While I was taking pictures of the field this morning, a fire ant stung me right beneath my toenail. You can see the poison inching it's way down my whole foot in a red and puffy manner...it hurts like a mofo! My skin reacts strongly to minor insect stings.
I really suffer for my art.
Hm....someone needs a pedicuuuuure!
My title and song quote come from an old song that was remade by Old Crow Medicine Show that's called "Down Home Girl". I saw them live in early May...even if you're not a huge fan of this type of music, they put on a rollicking good show. And if you're not a fan of this music...you're crazy.
'Cause it's awesome.
Watch this video. Mistress Kyna commands it.