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40421Re: [TexasCzechs] Re: Cotton Picking

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  • gpatrick
    Oct 1, 2008
      This is George.  May I jump in here.  My parents finally gave up on farming and my dad took a job as a motorman  on a drilling rig.  Guess I didn't get all the farm dirt out of my system because my non-Czech  grandfather who had a farm near Port Lavaca put me to work every chance he got.  I found out later his plan was to  have me take over the farm so he could retire there.  I often wonder what would have been in store for me and my family had I taken on the 300 acres?
      Anyway, one of the task I helped him with was pulling and storing the corn.  It was a two man job.  His job was to drive the tractor pulling a  trailer while the other guy--that being me--pulled  the ears of corn from the stalks and tossed them in the trailer.  When the trailer was full we would return to the barn in which  an opening had been made so the corn could be tossed from the trailer , through the hole, and into a second-story  storage area of the barn.  Seems there was only room for one guy in the trailer--that being me--to toss the corn into the storage area.  So, while I did that he went to the house for a cup of coffee and a cigarette.  Seems to me, looking back on this, that there may well have been an inequal distribution of labor!  If I worked fast enough I had time to get a big glass of iced tea and a snack before  our next load started.
      Did anyone ever wonder how the corn kernnels  got off the cobs and into the towsack?  I know that if you want me to share.
      ----- Original Message -----
      From: pfoster
      Sent: Wednesday, October 01, 2008 5:38 AM
      Subject: Re: [TexasCzechs] Re: Cotton Picking

      Gilbert, How did they harvest corn?  Growing-up I can remember Poppa bringing in a burlap sack of corn from the Brazos Bottom and shucking it.  Now, refresh my memory when after harvesting the corn what was left was given to the livestock?  paulasmaggie
      ----- Original Message -----
      Sent: Tuesday, September 30, 2008 1:37 PM
      Subject: Re: [TexasCzechs] Re: Cotton Picking

      In Fayette county cotton was never a plantation crop.  All the farms there were small with very few larger than 200/300 acres with most around 100 acres.  In addition to planting cotton, almost all farmers had corn, maize, hay and pasture land.  This gave them an opportunity to raise and supply feed for cattle, chickens, some sheep, and horses.  They needed all of these to provide food and income for the family.  As Julie mentioned some also grew sugar cane that would be cut down, stripped and sent to the person who made home-made molasses.
      A land owner who did not want to farm or could not farm his land made an agreement with someone to plant the cotton, care for it, and pick it.  The landowner provided the seed and land for planting.  The tenant was given a share of the sold cotton and so was the land owner.  In some cases the tenant just paid the land owner a price per acre.  In both cases the cotton was planted for cash.
      When cotton season was over, we converted the gin to a feed mill.  Farmers would bring various products like corn tops, hay, corn, etc and grind it up and use it as feed for the livestock.  We also would take shelled corn and make corn meal for that good ole corn bread.
      Maybe some body would like to talk about how they harvested the corn---that' s also an interesting story.
      --- On Tue, 9/30/08, s_tb <s_tb@...> wrote:
      From: s_tb <s_tb@...>
      Subject: [TexasCzechs] Re: Cotton Picking
      To: TexasCzechs@ yahoogroups. com
      Date: Tuesday, September 30, 2008, 12:39 PM

      "Dora Smith" <tiggernut24@ ...> wrote:
      > Were they picking cotton on their own farm, or someone else's? You
      > pretty much think of cotton as a plantation crop.

      Hi Dora,
      in Faytette county, where my mother's parents (Ryza) farmed, cotton
      was an important cash crop for the family farm, and for their tenant

      I found this article in the Weimar Mercury archives
      for July 23, 1948:

      "La Grange Gins First Bale of 1948 Cotton"

      "Grower of the first bale was a tenant farmer, Alfred Kubecka of the
      La Grange-Plum community. Grown on a Colorado river bottom farm owned
      by Joe Kovar, the bale weighed 548 pounds, and was purchased by Ehlers
      Cotton company for the premium price of 40 cents per pound."

      "The previous earliest bale was in 1943 when Joe F Ryza of near La
      Grange ginned the first bale on July 22."

      What's interesting to note about this is that the average price per
      pound paid farmers in 2008 has dropped from a high of 62 cents in
      April 2008 to 59 cents in August 2008, according to the National
      Cotton Council of America. This is just 50 percent more than
      cotton sold for in 1948 - sixty years ago!

      Gasoline would be selling for 22 cents/gallon today if
      petroleum products were priced equivalent to cotton.

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