Yesterday I planted cotton for the first time. And forgot to take my camera to record the momentous event.
We planted about 1/3 of an acre of trial seeds at Okumu George William’s land. Six or so farmers young & old, me, & Centurio & Peter from the ginnery. We meticulously marked out 32 plots using pegs carved from sticks snapped off the trees & long pieces of string with caveras (plastic bags) tied in bows at regular intervals along them. 10m by 3.6m plots, with a marker every 30cm. We used metal hoes to dig small holes at each cavera marker in the soil, then dropped three, four, or five seeds still lightly covered in cotton fluff into each one, and scooped the soil back over with our feet and pressed it down on top.
No photos, so you can just imagine the details. A fairly cloudy grey day, though still muggy and warm. Five of George William’s children or nieces and nephews peering out wide-eyed from behind the trunk of a dead tree to watch the farmers work. Soil the colour of charcoal, damp from fresh rains. Maize stalks as tall as me leaning over in the next field. White canvas bags bulging with seeds ready for planting. A tape measure, rope tied on a bobbin, a metal hoe with half the wooden handle snapped off. The cracked skin of an old farmers foot as he pushes the seeds down into the soil with his toes.