The Day I Became a Cotton Farmer

Sunday, October 18, 2015: The day I became a cotton farmer.

It was an epic day y’all!! But you won’t understand the victory that this day entails without hearing the story of how it came to be. It’s a story five months in the making. I must start with a confession. I am obsessed with the look of crispy white cotton! It is so beautiful mixed with the deep browns of rusty junk! I mean seriously!! Have you seen my Cotton Pickin’ Roots board over on Pinterest?? Yeah. Obsessed. But I wasn’t really feeling the idea of making cotton stems from bags of store bought cotton balls. I wanted the real deal! I mean the puffy white sweetness bursting from it’s brown crispy hull. Is that what you call it? A hull? I don’t know. I’ve only been a cotton farmer for 24 hours! Still learning!!

How to Grow Cotton in your Backyard #RustedRoots

So. Several months ago I was at the shop chatting with a dear friend about my love for the white puffy pieces of magic. She shared my love for cotton and said she was going to try to grow some this year! Say what? Can I grow cotton, like, in my backyard?? Sounded like something I’d love to try! A couple days later, my dear friend, showed up to the shop with a small piece of cotton wrapped in a tissue. What was I supposed to do with this? As it turns out, that little ball of cotton was chock full of SEEDS!!! I couldn’t wait to dig them out and get to work.

Sunday, May 3, 2015: The day I planted the seeds.

How to Grow Cotton in your Backyard #RustedRoots

I started the plants inside and kept them in the window above the kitchen sink. So they got the morning sun and it was easy to water them everyday. I just used the sprayer from the sink. Over the next nine days my little seeds grew and grew until they peaked their little green sprigs above the dirt. I couldn’t believe it!!

Monday, May 12, 2015: The day our cotton sprouted.

How to Grow Cotton in your Backyard #RustedRoots

From that day forward, it was like watching a little baby grow. I have never been one to have a green thumb, but I was pretty invested in these little cotton plants, watering them every single day, and even giving them a little food every now and then. And they grew and grew, for a couple months, until they started to droop a bit.

How to Grow Cotton in your Backyard #RustedRoots

That’s when I knew that had outgrown their ‘baby bed’ and it was time to move them to a ‘big girl’ bed! So, we built a small plant box outside and popped them in the ground!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015: The day I moved the cotton outside.

How to Grow Cotton in your Backyard #RustedRoots

For three months, I spent every day nurturing these little plants. I lost a couple when they were transplanted. But the majority of them survived the move and flourished once they were outside. I watered them everyday and fed them maybe once a month. I even had a ‘plant sitter’ come and water them when we were out of town for a week. (Thanks, Mom!) They bloomed some really pretty pink and white flowers. It was the one step I didn’t get a picture of (bad cotton mama!) but believe me, they were pretty. And then they started getting bolls, that’s what they’re called, bolls. Not hulls. I googled it! Ha ha!! Even the bolls are pretty!

How to Grow Cotton in your Backyard #RustedRoots

And then it happened. After four days away in Tennessee, we came home and one of the first things the hubs went to check were the cotton plants. I followed behind, hoping that the freezing temperatures hadn’t hurt them. And there it was. One loan cotton blossom…

Sunday, October 18, 2015: The day I became a cotton farmer.

How to Grow Cotton in your Backyard #RustedRoots

Look at it!!! Look at it!!! I did it!!! I grew cotton!!! Oh my gosh, y’all! I am so stinkin’ excited!! The cotton blossom is on the bottom of the plant so I couldn’t get a ton of great pictures. But I am so excited to watch all of the bolls burst in the coming days and weeks and plan to take lots of pictures to share!! We’ve got between 25-30 plants so we should harvest enough cotton for several wreaths and possibly some other fun projects!! And next year… oh, next year, I may plant a whole field!! Ha ha!! Now, I’m even more obsessed! There’s something about creating something from nothing and watching it grow. It really is quite magical. How’s that for some beauty stemming from Rusted Roots?!!!!

Until next time, let us remember..

Beauty Stems from Rusted Roots

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  1. Love it! So very cool! Can’t wait to see all of the fun things you do with your cotton!

  2. No way I had no idea you could grow cotton in your backyard. I need to try this next year!

  3. Fonda Rush says:

    What fun! I never experienced cotton until I moved to North Carolina about 11 years ago. We had to stop by the side of the road so I could snag a few (after the farmer was done with the field, for sure!). During harvest time, we would drive down the road and see it “snowing”. It would get caught in little crevices on the side of the road, and there would be a small “accumulation”. Every time I see it, I say Hello, Cotton! Have you ever seen a bale??? Goodness…they are the size of a semi truck trailer! What a sight! {It doesn’t take much to find joy in this big ol’ world, does it?!! Thank goodness!}

  4. Look at you ~ You have a green thumb & a Rusty thumb… that is awesome ~ Looking forward to seeing what you create with your homegrown goodness!

  5. Garnet Fowler says:

    What a great story. I have recently learned to grow things from seed and it is a joy. If I can find some cotton seed I think I will try the cotton garden myself. Thanks for sharing.

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