Sunday, October 22, 2017

As more Alabama farmers exchange their Cotton crops for Soybeans, Tourists are forced to take family photos in Soybean fields.

In 2017 according to the Alabama Dept. of Agriculture, Cotton is now the least grown crop in Baldwin County, right under wheat, soybeans, and peanuts. In fact, Alabama as a state only produces 4% of the countries cotton, and it's reported largest revenue producing crop today is unregulated Marijuana. This is a growing concern for some locals, and many of the touring families from the northern states who rely on our cotton crops to take Fall family photos.

For locals, the tradition started in Pre Civil War years when Cotton was the cash crop for the deep south. Wealthy plantation owners would plant the crops only to simulate the experience of snowfall for their children. In the blooming period of the year the families would pose in front of the cotton for up to 8 hours while a hired painter would capture the experience. The painting shown (right) was one of the more famous paintings in it's day titled "We couldn't afford cotton so I just had to lay in cheap ol' grass".

Although the fake Cotton Snow has thrilled southerners for over a century, our Northern Brethren have also followed suit. They delight in taking their family photos in front of the fields with a certain contempt, thinking "Cute! They think this is snow! Silly, people... You can't play hockey in this stuff!". These thoughts are usually swept away though once one of them actually plucks a cotton bloom. They are usually quite astonished how this feels just like the cotton balls they know and love, and it will often turn into a full blown existential crises as they realize their underwear is made of this stuff (Trippy, man.).

This year, we are seeing more and more Instagram  posts of families posing in front of Soybeans due to lack of Cotton fields. This is not as thrilling for many folks who refuse to change the time honored tradition. We have seen some very creative Pinterest users who used photoshop instead, and for those who want the real thing, many have even tried taking their photos in front of a pile of Q-Tips.

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