We left off two weeks ago in search of a two-row planter that will help get our cottonseed in the ground. Fortunately, we were able to find one locally. The planter’s shovels have been adjusted. The soil has been finely chopped. There have been conference calls between the field, the Factory office, and Kelly’s office in Texas. More thanks to Kelly Pepper.

Upon receiving our soil test results, we are determining the proper nutrients needed and the best organic fertilizers for the field. Staff at Auburn University has been helpful answering questions, and we’ve had the chance to learn more about the organic certification process through a local advisor.

Jimmy, the local farmer who is helping us plant organic cotton, has been sending us “updates from the field” via email. I can’t help but smile when I think of him sitting on his rusted Massey Ferguson tractor with a smart phone in hand, typing away.

His kind-hearted wife, Lisa, is optimistic about our endeavors saying that, “Most of the older, experienced cotton farmers in this area are betting against us, saying that the bugs will destroy the cotton. We can hope to prove them wrong.”

I am learning more and more.

From Jimmy-

“…This test field is in the Tennessee River Valley where Big Cotton has been produced since 1818. The Tennessee River provides more flora and fauna than most areas of the country but it also provides a lot more pests. And with the many big cotton farmers here and decades of spraying, the pests have evolved. Many folks here are hoping we beat the odds and the test field makes it to maturity…”

With Jimmy’s closing, I find this journey even more endearing:

“P.S. We will hope for a Saturday with no mechanical issues and cotton seeds in the ground! Bring your lunch and a pillow for nap time, it may be a long day and I do honor the age-old tradition of nap time after lunch…”

Provided the rain holds off, we plan to plant this weekend. We’ll let everyone know the successes of the day. Thank you for following us on our journey.

And thanks to K.P. for providing the photographs of the field.



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  1. Mary Bradshaw

    Such an amazing journey you all are on. I am sending good thoughts across the miles for a good weekend of planting and a successful crop. Thank you for sharing this story. It is truly one of my favorite subjects in your journal.