Sunday, August 16, 2009

Cotton 101

Have you ever wondered how cotton goes from this...

To this?

I didn't think so. But to clear up any future confusion, I've decided to tell you!
Squares form on the stem...
This is a square about to bloom...
(those dirty farmer hands are not mine! lol)
The bloom is about to open...
The open blooms can either be pink or white...
The bloom dries up...
And a boll forms behind it...
The bloom falls off, and here is the boll...
The bolls have just recently started to form, and in September, we spray defoliant on the cotton, which makes the cotton shed it's leaves. A couple of weeks later, fields of ready to pick cotton!

Here's Jim spraying our peanuts.

Lance dug a few peanuts up yesterday. If you dig up one square foot of peanuts, count them, and multiply it by 40lbs, you can get an idea of how many pounds you will have per acre. We're hoping for around 2 tons per acre.

This is what our corn is looking like now. I'm a horrible farm wife because I still haven't made it to the soybean fields to take a picture of them.

After waiting 2 years to get approval for cost share money from the NRCS, we have finally begun building our dry stack beside the chicken houses to store our litter!

Here's what our house looks like now. The siding is almost finished, and they are about half way done with the roof!

They've started working on the porch floor too. We're using artificial lumber instead of treated wood, so it won't rot, and I won't get a splinter!

This is the landing for the steps going out the back of the living room onto the patio.

They've finished the steps going into the attic and the landing coming out of the kitchen.

They've also framed the bonus/storage room upstairs.

I know this has nothing to do with farming or house building, but these might be some of the best cookies I have ever eaten!
The recipe came from Suzanne at Chickens in the Road

Honey Roasted Peanut-Chocolate Drops
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups honey roasted peanuts
1 1/2 cups chopped peanut butter cups (about 30 mini)
In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and peanut butter. Add brown sugar, sugar, baking soda, and salt; beat. Mix in eggs, milk, and vanilla, beating again. Stir in flour with a spoon. Add chocolate chips, honey roasted peanuts, and chopped peanut butter cups. Drop dough by spoonfuls onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes (depending on size of cookies).


  1. I was born in Midland, Texas and for school field trips, we'd go to a cotton gin and find out all about cotton. I won't tell you what year that was, but it was a long time before you came along! Your farm is wonderful; it must be so nice working on your own. Your home looks like it will be lovely and I look forward to seeing it as it comes along. Now I don't think I need any of those cookies, though I saw the recipe on her blog. I'll just stick with the tollhouse recipe:)

  2. I really did enjoy the agricultural lesson! That is really cool!

    LOVING the house! I can't wait to see even more!

    I will have to try the cookies, too...sounds delicious!


    Robin :o)

  3. I love when we drive through southeastern Missouri and see the cotton fields and rice paddies. So interesting.

    The house is going to be gorgeous. Love, love, love that porch.

    - Suzanne

  4. That was neat to see how the stuff grows Stephaine. I had to show my kids. House is coming along great also!

  5. I am really enjoying seeing a very small snippet of life on a farm. Watching the crops go from precise lines of dirt to plants to food is actually very interesting. I never knew cotton had such beautiful flowers on it before you got the boll!

    Your house is really coming along! How much longer do they think it will be until completion? You've got to be itching to get in there already!

    Oh, and I think I gain 10 lbs. every time you post one of those completely yummy-looking recipes!

  6. Hi Stephanie,

    My name is Gloria, and I work for Cotton Incorporated in our New York office. My co-worker and I came across your blog and we love how you explained the cotton growing process so easily and simply! Please email me at with your full name and address. We would like to send you a free gift on behalf of Cotton Incorporated.

    Gloria Borriello

  7. Hey I really enjoy your blog....It's fun to see and here what it's like on other farms..esepically from someone who knows what it's like to be the wife and help mate of a farmer.

    My husband was looking through your blog and saw these cookies and pretty much started drooling so I made them and they are amazing!!

  8. what an awesome post...i love learning about farming and the cotton and peanut pics are wonderful! thank for teaching your bloggy buddies! and...just read some comments. that is totally cool that the cotton lady wants to send you a gift! way to go!

  9. I'm in the process of renovating my own house, so I understand the process of living amongst a construction site. Of course, mine is nothing on the same scale as yours, as my house is 88 years old and I'm only renovating, not constructing. Good luck and keep your sanity!