day 61
the great state of mississippi

"Now, you know I'm talking about black people."
- Cotton Museum Tour Guide.
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The Cotton Calendar:
10 Days: Emergence
18 Days: Third Leaf
19 Days: Fourth Leaf
40 Days: Square
65 Days: Bloom
85 Days: Boll Full Grown
160 Days: Harvest

65-75 Days: 30% crop open
85-95 Days: 70% crop open
95-105 Days: 80% crop open

Most Effective Fruiting Period: June 20 to August 1

Zip Code
of the Day

Edith Knows Cotton.
Tell me more!
Gins are a necessary ingredient in cotton culture in the United States. The machines themselves remove the tenacious seeds from the fiber of the upland cotton plant, making the fiber available for manufacturing into cloth. The development o the sawtooth gin technology in the 1790s was a pivotal event in United States history. Within a generation, cotton became the young nation's number one export, contributing to the growth of shipping in New York City and New Orleans, textile manufacturing in New England, and westward expansion into the Mississippi River Valley.

Just One Cotton Pickin' Minute
Oct 26 - Have you ever thought about how weird cotton is?

I mean really. Here's this plant, and you pick it, and then you make a shirt out of it! But it doesn't even look like a shirt when you start! Who figured this out? It's brilliant! Brilliant, I tell you!

It's a plant that grows fuzz. A fuzz plant. Wool comes off a sheep, leather comes off a cow, but this is a plant! You surely can't understand the magnitude of this until you see a cotton plant for yourself.

If your only experience with cotton is the label on your shirt, you can just say, "Ooh cotton. Big deal." But we've seen the source, and it's damn cool!

Try to think of other plants you can make clothes out of. There's the fig leaf. There's the thread of the agave cactus in Mexico. There's hemp (the real reason people want to legalize marijuana, yeah right). Laurel? Grass skirts? Okay, we came up with five. Silk is close, made by bugs. The rest is animal or synthetic, folks.

But cotton's the coolest, and the most versatile. And there's mounds of it. And everybody loves it! Including these little devils...

The Boll Weevil: Funny to Say, Hard to Kill
By July, the cotton plant had begun blooming. However, a tiny bud, or "square," preceded each bloom and attracted the voracious boll weevil.

The Boll Weevil, by far the most destructive of all insects in a cotton field, migrated in Louisiana about 1904 and remained a permanent part of cotton culture. Left alone, boll weevils could destroy an entire crop. Various methods of combatting the pests were tried but dusting calcium arsenate poison on the plants before the bolls formed seemed the most effective for years. That's arsenic on the cotton, folks.

Catching weevils with portable screened traps was absolutely ineffective in keeping the pest under control, although it was much safer for the worker. Yes, the worker no longer had to get covered in powdered arsenic on a daily basis. Makes sense.

In 1922, airplanes were brought to Tallulah, Louisiana for large-scale crop dusting experiments. Dusting continues today and the boll weevil isn't nearly as troublesome. Current advancements with biotechnology could be the next front against the boll weevil.

jump down, turn around...

Pick it,

put it in a barrel,

gin it,

turn it into Levi's!
more photos in the archive...

We've got mail...

Hey Guys,
Here is a picture to get you into the Halloween Spirit!

A picture of what happens when your pumpkin goes out to the bars, and has a few too many...
- Carl, New Orleans LA

Well, I hope you two are having fun in your travels. I'm disappointed you didn't stop in Mississippi. What a great state. I mean there's the Natchez Trace, the Black River National Forest, Vicksburg, etc.

Well if you come to Calgary or go to SLC, UT tell me you can drop in and see me, in Calgary or see my Sister and niece and nephew (whom i've never met). Take care.

PS. I'm on my roommates computer so my old addy still sits.
- Nolan, Calgary AB

Drop us a note!

Current Location
(get out your push pins)

Somewheres in Mississippi

Next Stop: New Orleans!

see the full map...

Today's Weather:
The Livin' Is Easy

Daily Stats
Cotton Picked:1 plant
Cotton Ginned:1 clump
Cotton Seeds:13

Sleeping Quarters
Ahhhhhhh! The Gibbons Estate.

We made it to Cindy and Carl's in New Orleans! That means trash TV, a spare bedroom and home-cooked gumbo!

Country Kitchen
Malvern, AR
K's Order:Special breakfast (steak, eggs, biscuits & gravy, hashbrowns, juice, coffee)
A's Order:Biscuits & gravy, coffee
Ole Dutch Bakery
Lake Providence, LA
K's Order:Cake Donut
Chocolate Milk
A's Order:Apple Fritter

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© 2001. Kevin Beimers and Aimee Lingman. Only 'bout a mile from Texarkana.