The Cotton Chronicles

In my second year as a cotton “farmer,” I decided to expand my crop from the two plants I had the first year.  I sowed seeds in several flower beds and eagerly awaited the seeds to sprout.   And waited.  And waited.  Hmmm…must be doing something wrong.  I planted more seeds, this time in peat pots, and nurtured them along.  Once transplanted in the flower bed, however, they were on their own.  I had a total of about 20 plants produce cotton with my star pupils in the back yard.  It was exciting to watch the plants go through various stages and nerve wracking because the cotton bolls didn’t ripen faster.  Most stayed hard and green just to taunt me!  It wasn’t until after the weather turned cold did the leaves on the plants die and the bolls began to split open.  It seems miraculous that a plant can produce the fibers that have become such an important part of our everyday lives.

An open flower and green cotton boll
An open flower and green cotton boll
The first cotton boll to open.  How exciting!
The first cotton boll to open. How exciting!
My back yard plants with several fluffy, white bolls.
My back yard plants with several fluffy, white bolls.
Close-up of an open boll.  Each section has multiple seeds.
Close-up of an open boll. Each section has multiple seeds.
The end of the season came in November.
The end of the season came in November.

My total cotton harvest for 2012 was a mere 9.84 ounces.  At the current market price of $75.39 per pound, my crop would net me a whopping $46.36!  But I wouldn’t sell it.  I’m going to spin it instead.

The 2012 Harvest
The 2012 Harvest
Unfluffed wedges of cotton are like segments from an orange.
Unfluffed wedges of cotton are like segments from an orange.

I’ve already got plans for next year’s crop.  Think bigger and better!

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