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Spring Preparation on the Farm

Spring Preparation on the Farm

When spring rolls around, most of us get a little pep in our step. The warmer weather and beautiful blooms make us excited… and have us looking forward to the coming days.

That definitely describes us at Red Land Cotton; we’re fired up!

We have a new line of baby bedding – The Baby Nadine Collection — coming in mid-April (and a baby girl coming in June!). This also means we will be seeing blue and pink ticking stripe sheets available and in sizes varying all the way from crib sheets to queen size. Our baby bedding will also be made in our classic white, natural, and Lawrence Ticking Stripe print!

Our new baby linens AND quilts are in production now!

Plus, we have plenty of things to do in the field to be ready for cotton planting! We won’t actually plant cotton until mid-April/early May, but there's still much work to be done now.

This post is a behind-the-scenes look at our preparation for cotton planting season at Red Land Farms.

A Barn Raising

Okay, maybe we are a bit dramatic here with the title. We didn’t really raise a barn from the ground up. We did, though, repair the roof on a barn that pre-dates the Civil War. (Y’all, it’s an old barn!)

A portion of the roof was torn off when a tornado struck this spring. Ironically, the only portion of the barn damaged in this last storm was a roof section we had replaced a few years ago. Obviously, this old timer was built to last! :)

Cleaning House

Spring cleaning, y’all! It’s time to do it – in our homes and on the farm. If you’re looking for simple suggestions for cleaning and organizing your linens, check out this post. It’s dedicated to that very topic.

On the farm, our spring cleaning is a little different, though. Instead of dusting under beds or sorting through junk drawers, we’re emptying out whole warehouses – ones full of cotton seeds, like 1800 to 1900 tons of them.

After harvesting cotton from the fields each year, seeds are removed from the fluffy white cotton bolls during the ginning process. Once our cotton is baled and shipped from the farm (to make our wonderful RLC linens and towels!), we’re left with lots and lots of cottonseed.

So, during early spring, we clean house...well, warehouse to be exact. These seeds are loaded onto trucks and transported to Wisconsin for feed for dairy cows. (Cows find them tasty, and farmers like them too because eating cotton seeds help cows maintain a higher butterfat content in their milk.)

You may enjoy this video by Mark Yeager, our head farmer, and lead dreamer; it goes into more detail about our cotton seeds.

We also have farm equipment to “spring clean.” See, with a farm the size of ours, we rely on very large, specialized tractors to help us plant, harvest and maintain our crops.

Beginning each February, we inspect the equipment we’ll use in the coming months. Any damage we find, we repair it now so everything is up and running when it’s needed most.

Unfortunately this February, we discovered one of our newest pieces of equipment had not been properly stored over the winter. Therefore, fluid had frozen in it and caused damages. It was a major headache to fix – physically and financially. But, that's the reason we do what we do in the Spring — we identify troubles so planting can go as smooth as possible!

Take a look at a recent video of Mark explaining the ins and outs of our planters!

Farm Goals

Whew, y’all! We’ve got a lot of things on our to-do list in the coming weeks!

Our first big goal – get our soil properly fertilized. We initially have the soil tested in each field so we can identify the nutrients that are lacking in specific areas. From there, we mix fertilizers that are rich in nutrients that are lacking in the specific field's soil! This helps us lay a good foundation for a healthy and strong crop. 

Our second immediate goal – to plant corn. That may sound strange for cotton farmers to plant corn. But, the old adage – variety is the spice of life – comes into play here. If you plant the same crop in the same field year after year (no variety!), then you get poor soil health that results in poor crops. Rotating crops, such as corn and cotton, allows nutrients to be returned to the field.

The Excitement Builds

With Anna, our spunky, creative co-founder and daughter of Mark Yeager, due in June, we’ve started nesting…getting things just right for the arrival of Katharine Nadine and for our new baby collection.

We’ve renovated the back portion of our store, a historic building in downtown Moulton, AL to get it up to code and to make ready for our new baby linens arriving in April.

Plus, we’ve brought two new looms on for cloth production!

We're so excited about the coming months. We can't wait to share the new baby line with you in April and show off pictures in June of the newest member of the Red Land Cotton family.




By: Rachel Eubanks, a girl blessed with a small-town Alabama raising. She grew a deep appreciation for farming as she watched her father, an extension agent, work alongside farmers for over 30 years. She now lives outside of Huntsville, AL.  
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