Sunday, June 26, 2011
Costly Cotton/Contented Cows
I was out and about a little yesterday, and thought I'd share a few photographs of what is going on around the place. With our never ending need for food and fibre production, it seems there is always something being planted or harvested. Whilst some wheat is still being planted, some of the local cotton crops are almost harvested.
I know many people lament the cost of their embroidery threads, but bear in mind that cotton is a trial to grow. From the moment it goes into the ground, to the time it ends up in your needle, I just hate to think of the costs involved. This is one crop ready for the picker. In it's life cycle, it's been sprayed with pesticides on a regular basis, not to mention the various herbicides needed to arrest weed growth. Goodness, it's even been sprayed with a defoliant to get it to this stage, ie ensuring the plant is dead and dry enough for the picker to work properly.
After it's been harvested, it is mechanically moulded into what we call a 'module'. These are transported by road transport to the various cotton gins in the area. You can see the 'harvested' bushes in the right of the frame. There still seems to be quite a deal of cotton left - perhaps the picker wasn't working properly [??].
If you look closely at the solid mass you can see just how dirty it is. Again, I hate to think how many processes it has to go through to make it 'worthy' for our use. I've never had the opportunity to go to a cotton gin to see what happens to it. I am by no means a person who is opposed to these methods, but I do think about what it takes for crops to be produced. I can only say that cotton seems to be an environmental nightmare - damned if you do, damned if you don't!!! Love it or loathe it, we all need it.
On a brighter note, I noticed the neighbour's lovely Hereford cows were back. This little dam is really close to the road, so I took the chance to snap some of them as they socialized around 'the watering hole'. You can see a wheat crop in the background.
Thankfully, with grass fed beef production, the need for chemicals and handling are kept to a minimum. I never tire of seeing 'white faces'. With all the breeds we have these days, the Hereford is still one of my favourites. These dears are enjoying their days in the sun. I imagine there will be some lovely little white faced calves in the Spring, can't wait. The life cycle just keeps on keeping on.
I hope these few photographs are of interest to some. I have always lived on the land, and I'm still extremely interested in how things grow!!