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Cotton picking time (and boiled peanuts)!

One of the most unique and interesting experiences we have encountered on this trip was riding in a Cotton-Picker. An old friend from our Ohio days, Cheri Griner, lives not far from where we are staying. Her husband Jimmy is a man of the soil. Farming has been in his family for generations (although General Sherman took the liberty of confiscating a large parcel of the family farm as he passed through this area during the war of northern aggression). Currently, he's cultivating soybean, corn, peanuts, and cotton.

Cheri was kind enough to show us around the area taking us to the different plots of land her husband is farming. Below are his peanut fields:

And here are his fields of "Southern Snow".

There are few sights as beautiful as a field of these puffs of white scattered as far as the eye can see. Walking through this prickly field is a painful reminder of the difficulties people faced picking cotton by hand. It took about 600 man-hours to pick one bale of cotton (400-500 lbs). With the combine above it took one person about twenty minutes.

Here's a video we took of the "birthing" process:

looking down from inside the combine

Cherri and Lorraine

Cheri also gave us our first taste of "boiled peanuts". Basically they pick the peanuts and then for some unknown reason, boil them for 1 -3 hours making them soft and squishy. You find roadside stands every where selling this southern delicacy. Not a fan.

We also learned a lot about how close the farming community is out here (and maybe everywhere). Whenever a farmer runs into trouble (whether equipment issues or health issues), the other farmers pitch in to complete their harvest. No compensation is asked.

Here are some other pictures I took today:

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