I was born in the proverbial land of cotton, but have little experience with anything but the finished product. I do remember as a child my mother teaching me how to pick the seeds out of middle of the dense bolls to eat them, but the plants themselves were no more than a green, then brown-and-white, blur along the roadside. I wanted to get personal with this important plant, so I grew it this year for the first time.
I have seven cotton plants of two varieties, Nankeen and Red Foliated White. The Nankeen cotton, an old-fashioned, light, reddish-brown, has green leaves, while the Red Foliated White is self-explanatory. The leaves of the Red Foliated White remind me of the red heirloom okra I grew last year, as do the blooms, pinky-red, delicate and crepe-y in texture. Surprisingly beautiful.
They took some cajoling to grow. I needed to re-seed once, some seeds refused to grow, and they needed lots of water in the heat, but I have bolls! I like to go out and grab them and imagine the explosion of cotton poised within the tight spheres.
I’m watching for pests, but none so far, fingers crossed.
What I’m going to do with the cotton I don’t know yet. I’ve read it can be spun right off the seeds. I may have to take a spinning class. But I’m getting ahead of myself. I’ll keep you posted if and when the bolls open.
Anyone spin their own cotton?