O, I wish I was in the land of cotton
Old times there are not forgotten
It's *definitely* cotton picking time in Madison County, Alabama. Cotton makes up a very large percentage of the crops in our county, along with corn (which fared terribly this year), soy beans (which will also soon be ready for picking, but aren't as crucial as the cotton), and winter wheat.
Isn't it pretty? Acres and acres of cotton . . . or an Alabama snowfall, as I like to refer to it!
And pretty deep, huh?!
The farmers have been hopping this week, trying to get it all harvested before the next rain system moves in. Now that the cotton fields have been defoliated, rain will lower the quality (and consequently the value) of the cotton -- it makes it dirty and can lessen the quantity, as well.
Here's a field that the cotton pickers have already been over . . .
After the first run has been made in all of a farmer's fields, he'll typically run the cotton picker over his field a second time, to pick up what's been left. (and if he's renting the cotton picker, he may have to wait until every one else who rents the cotton picker has gotten a first pick in).
This field has been picked, picked again, and mowed down. It's ready to be plowed under for the winter wheat or rye, they'll plant later on.
The cotton picker is a huge, HUGE piece of equipment. Meeting one on our country roads is quite the experience. This morning we met no less than four!
Here's a birds eye view . . .
Yes, I am sitting in a cotton picker, that's actually picking cotton. I have friends in high places! Up ahead you can see two other cotton pickers working their rows. This is a pretty big operation.
Once the cotton picker is full (after a couple of passes, depending on how long/wide the field is), the cotton is dumped into a free-standing bin, hauled by a tractor.
Here's a better view of it . . .
The tractor then haul the bins to the modular trucks and dump it yet again.
Once it's been packed tight . . .
They pulled the modular truck away and there's a module of cotton, ready to take to the gin.
Then, when it's hauled to the gin -- and we have three working gins in Madison County -- it sits and waits its turn for processing.
You'll notice the markings on the side? It's how they keep track of who's modules are who's!
These modules all belong to "TF" or Tate Farms. The covers help protect the harvested cotton from any weather that comes along before it gets into the gin.
It's really a fascinating process and of particular interest to me because (1) one of my favorite places in the world -- Tate Farms -- depends on it so very much for their livelihood and (2) because I love my cotton fabric and as the cotton crop goes, so goeth the cotton fabric prices!! Just thought I'd share a bit of my world -- a bit that's really *our* world!
I couldn't forget about Feline Friday . . . how about, in honor of my mom's continuing recovery, on last shot of Baby Jane Doe . . .
Being spoiled by her mama -- eating spaghetti off the tray! Gracious!
You know what she's saying, right? It's written all over her face! Be sure to check out the Feline Friday linkups over at Sarah Did It!
And to close us out, another of my favorites . . .
Homemade ginger snap cookies. I got the itch after dinner last night to do a little baking. It's that time of year!!
Be sure to visit today's Wicked participants!!!
Friday, October 26th