Sustainable agriculture implies a long term integrated system that will satisfy food and fiber needs while being kind to the environment. We try. Our freezers are full. The canner has had a big fat workout. We rotate our crops and pastures. And we try to do no harm.
This year, we started to grow colored cotton. Brown and green. Phreadde gave me some long staple white pima, but I heard so much talk about cotton being the slut of the garden that I decided that we really only had room for 2 varieties. Now, I read somewhere that you need to grow a 20′ x 20′ patch of cotton if you want enough fiber to weave, say, enough cloth to make a shirt. Let’s just say, we have a way to go on that score. But, it’s a start.
On the other hand, wool. Ah. Easy to grow. Ahem. Easy to spin, dye, weave, knit…you name it. Feels good. Keeps you warm. Keeps you dry. I got hooked on Gulf Coast Native Sheep a few years ago, and have been buying fleece from Running Moon Farm in Dry Creek, Louisiana ever since. And now, well, synchronicity strikes again. Twins were born half an hour away, we were contacted, asked if we would like to buy them. And now we have our own fleece machines.
We’d never given cotton much thought. But…my husband is a historic restoration guy. And his research said…this was the land of cotton and indigo. So…why not. That seems appropriate, then, to grow cotton. It’s a beautiful plant. I can’t wait to see some actual cotton!