Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Not all fiber comes from sheep
This is a cotton seedling. This picture is of one of the few Nankeen seedlings that emerged...before the frost. Nankeen is a copper colored cotton - brown cotton that was used for slaves' shirts. Now, I don't know about this colored lint, but, long ago, the land around here was used for cotton and indigo production. Our heirloom plants, up til now, have been of the edible persuasion. But this year, we decided to reestablish some traditional textile crops.
For the past 2 nights, we have had the most bizarre cold snap, with temperatures dropping into the 30's. So...I stayed up late...reading...late...did I say late? Waiting for the temperature to drop to 35...which is the drop dead point for my plants...the temperature at which I run out, open the valves, and let the sprinklers sprinkle. Night before last, 35 was reached at 5:30am. Last night, at 2:30. What a blessing! That late night irrigation saved all but 3 tomato plants - out of about 1/3 acre of plantings! Plantings under irrigation, that is. See, the "cotton patch" is not irrigated. And, with a 50% germination rate, I was hoping to keep all those little darlins alive.
Well...I do believe that 2 or 3 of these Nankeens have survived. I sure hope so. Will the crazy cold stunt their development? I don't know.
Out of the blue, just a few days back, before the hint of impending frost, a certain fibergal asked if I would like a few of her organic seeds. Of course, I said "YES!" WHOO HOO! I can't wait. I believe I have enough days left in the season to grow a bit of cotton. So...I will be watching my mailbox like a hawk. We'll be back into the 80's by the end of the week. And those fibergal seeds will be in the ground. Ahem. Under irrigation.