|Photo of cotton taken one week ago.|
My brother in law, Lee, is a farmer. He mainly grows peanuts, but the last few years he has "gambled" on cotton also. I say "gambled" because farming is
pretty much a gamble. The cotton you see here was ready to be "defoliated" in preparation for harvesting. All season, it has been cultivated, sprayed by a dust cropper several times, irrigated, and tended all at very great expense. It costs more to grow
cotton than most of us spend on buying a house. Then, on the very day the defoliating was to happen, we had torrential downpours. We had 3 inches of rain in about an hour. That was last Friday. Today, the eye of Tropical Storm Hermine is passing directly over us. The cotton, which was mostly on the ground after Friday's rain, will now be finished off. This crop will almost certainly be "a wash". It is heartbreaking. No crop insurance because that is way too expensive and only covers the cost of the planting and not all the other expenses. (Not to speak of the dawn to dusk hours spent in the field!)
My heart goes out to Lee. I'm thankful that he and other farmers are willing to take this risk in the first place so that we can have the wonderful cotton fabric that we so much love! So next time you complain about paying $10 a yard for cotton fabric, remember what has gone into it. The growing and harvesting is only the beginning. It has to be cleaned, carded, spun, dyed, and I know there are MANY other steps in there that I didn't mention. Cotton is a miracle of nature. AND.....did you know that almost all potato chips are fried in cottonseed oil? (Just thought I would throw that in there.)
By the way, I'm going to be the guest blogger on Quilting Bloggers either Wednesday or Thursday!(You can find a link on the right.) Check in and learn more about me!
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