At the farm ...
As a senator Ted Cruz is interested in Texas, and for a few days he is getting a closer look at Texas agriculture which is a large part of the Texas economy and many Texans way of life. Today Cruz visited Meadow Co-op Gin, then to our farm and vineyards. Later in the afternoon they were planning on visiting a dairy. So, here was the taste of our lives.
First Cliff showed Cruz peanuts which we are in the process of harvesting and the equipment that we use to harvest them. We have a peanut field near by where the peanuts had been dug, but are left laying on top of the ground to dry. We are hoping for a few more days of dry weather, and then we can use the combines to finish off the harvest. Here Cliff is showing the senator some of those peanuts that are drying.
The next spot was the vineyard. There we introduced the senator to some of our children, Nathan, Sierra, and Brianna. Eric was there also, who helps in the vineyards.
Thanks to a pioneering group of forward-thinking farmers, organic cotton production in Texas has expanded from virtually nothing in the early 1990s to over 20,000 acres in 2015, making the Texas High Plains the largest organic cotton-growing region in the United States. In recognition of the group’s hard work and organic vision, the farmers of the Texas Organic Cotton Marketing Cooperative (TOCMC) have been selected to receive the prestigious “Organic Farmer of the Year” Leadership Award from the Organic Trade Association (OTA) in ceremonies in September.
Here is an interesting look at one of our organic cotton buyers who buys our cotton through Texas Organic Cotton Marketing Cooperative. They manufacture cotton material to be used in furniture and bedding specializing in recycled cotton and in organic cotton. Fourth generation helping to run the business providing jobs for their community as well as helping the environment.
Yesterday was the Terry County Soil & Water Conservation District annual farm tour. This organization and the farmers in our area value the conservation of our land and water. We hope to pass to our children and the next generation land that is in better condition that it was when it was entrusted to us for our stewardship. On the tour there were stops at one of our vineyards, Texas Custom Wine Works, and then the Terry County Museum. The tour ended with lunch at the First Baptist Church in Brownfield.
We had wonderful rains Thursday night. With our land so parched and dry this was a wonderful blessing from God. But the results of the rains lead to the need for all six of our big tractors to be needed to run all day today to sand-fight the row crops. When the ground dries after a rain, a hard crust is formed and high winds can then pick up tiny particles of sand and blow them across the little plants and rub them like sandpaper. Those little plants don’t like that at all. Sometimes the treatment is so rough that the little plants wither and die. If we run what we call sand-fighter plows over the fields it brings up nice clumps of dirt to soften the situation.
Since we had a late freeze at the beginning of May, the grape harvest will be quite short for us this year. So, the harvest of the row crop will be essential to keep the family farm afloat financially.
It was still rather muddy in places today, but there is the possibility of high winds on Sunday so all the fields have to be covered. Four times one of the three 2-wheel drive tractors got stuck in the mud. Like this one…