Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Picking Cotton

Growing up in rural Nash County NC was an adventure at times. My father operated a small country store which was enough to keep all of us busy. However, he had a couple of acres of land that he just had to do something with.

Every year he would choose something different to plant on that piece of ground. It may be field peas, tomatoes, canteloupes, watermellons, peppers, squash or cotton.

Today you see cotton fields and at harvest time these huge bales appear in the fields. Back then, in the 50's, cotton picking was done by hand picking one puff of cotton at a time putting it into a sack you carried. It was a long tedious job and seemed like you worked forever and accumulated a small amount of cotton fibers. You see you were paid by the number of pounds of cotton you picked. To make matter worse your fingers would get stuck by the pointed parts of the plant adding to your misery.

Luckily my dad only tried cotton one year and that was enough for this country boy. My time could be better spent exploring the woods with my dog "Poochy" who looked like Benji.


  1. My daddy made a point with us like that......we didn't believe how utterly miserable that job could be when daddy would tell stories of Picking Cotton(notice how I capitalized those words???) so one year when most of us kids were teens, he planted about a half acre of the stuff. And guess who got to harvest???
    All of us had raw fingers for WEEKS after that....and we more fully appreciated the stories he and mom told about the depression years after that demonstration.

  2. Well Sunny it sure was an experience for me that I will never forget. The only other agricultural job I had was during the tobacco harvest. Back then the tobacco was handed to a looper who tied bundles of the leaves onto a stick that was hung in barns to cure using heat. Then we would take the cured tobacco and carefully tie it into bundles again using one nice leaf to wrap around the stems and tucked in nice and pretty for the sale. Today they just do the whole thing in bulk. Just doesn't seem right for some reason.

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  4. Sounds like hard work to raise cotton - glad your father oly did it once!

  5. Sometimes I wish I could go out and pick fresh fruit and veg, Living in the middle of London doesn't really offer that :P

  6. It sounds like you had some great experiences with that extra field (minus the sore fingers!)

    I've always wanted the experience of picking cotton, I'm crazy like that LOL I'm sure I'd get a couple of plants in and quit, but I still think it'd be interesting to at least try.