If you’ve been following our blog, you’ve read about the rollercoaster that has been our first exposure to cotton farming. Having survived the terrible drought, the cotton has been carried through the summer by equal parts rainfall and sunshine. Right now, the bolls are looking healthy, but so are the weeds. Following the organic guidelines, we did not use any chemicals to eradicate the weeds. Lisa and “friend” Jimmy have done the leg, and arm, and back work.
Last Wednesday, the Alabama Chanin staff, along with Lisa and Jimmy, made a trip to weed the field. We arrived to a daunting 6 1/2 acres of beautifully forming cotton alongside big, ugly weeds. The next few weeks are crucial to a successful harvest of the first ever organic cotton crop in North Alabama (that is, since the invention of pesticides and genetically modified seeds). Our plants need ample light, air circulation, and nutrients from the soil to continue to develop and open. We were overjoyed when Lisa sent images on Saturday morning of the first bolls that have opened. But some of the weeds have still got to go. If this crop is to see a successful harvest, it’s going to need more help to survive and thrive.
This is where we need your help. We are asking our friends and community to grab some gloves, a hoe, or a pair of long-handled shears and take an hour or two to visit our field, chop, cut or stomp down some weeds; we’re asking for your help to guide our organic cotton to fiber. Starting today until a tentative date, we invite anyone interested to stop by the field at their leisure to help with weeding. We’d like to restrict the times from sunrise to sunset to keep everyone safe. The end date is tentative based on the growth of the cotton, the weather, and just how mother-nature unfolds. But, all who lend a hand will be invited to the Official Billy Reid + Alabama Chanin Picking Party.
In exchange for your hard work, you will receive a ticket that guarantees admission for you and one guest to our soon-to-be-determined Picking Party* and a t-shirt from the Alabama Chanin crew, personally customized by Natalie, that reads, “I helped grow organic Alabama cotton.” (Note: And it can’t hurt for us to mention that Lisa says she has lost 11 pounds weeding this field.)
We invite you to be a part of what we believe will be a beautiful moment in the history of Alabama cotton and have a hand in establishing what we understand to be the FIRST privately owned organic cotton field in Alabama. Even if you don’t want to chop, pick or pull weeds, just drive by our little field to see sustainability at its best, say a little prayer, throw some good wishes, and tell your neighbors.
Grab a friend, pack a picnic, and come….
Interested yet? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call +1.256.760.1090.
We’ll provide you with all the information you need.
You may also download our Alabama Organic Cotton PDF, which includes directions, what to bring, and more information on our cotton and efforts. The PDF is also available for download on our Resources page.