next arrow
previous

Remember the Rainforest 1

 

Home

Expedition Index

Itinerary

Etchings

Maps

Plants

Animals

People / Scenes

Lessons

Green Girl's Eco Club

Eco SuperHeroes RTR2

Free Posters

Authors / Artists

Contact us

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

count as features of a continental climate, seem to contribute to the elongation of the fibers, which is noted not only in the delicacy of the cotton yarn of these regions, but above all, equally in the formation of species of extremely compact and heavy woods, more abundant in the interior of the country than in the virgin coastal forests, where the trees are of weaker sap.

Cotton plant

Due to the scarcity of rainfall, Minas Novas cotton also acquires the beautiful whiteness, which distinguishes it from Maranhao and Para cotton. For the planting of cotton, the ground is prepared with the pernicious system, adopted throughout Brazil, of the usual burning, which is always done during the dry season.

Etching 16 Deforestation

In January or February, when the earth is softened by heavy rainfall, six to seven cotton seeds are placed in one pit, and lightly covered with soil. The pits are made with two to three feet apart. Harvesting takes place in the second year, in September and October. Depending on the condition of the land, the harvest is more or less abundant, and the field is abandoned in the second or third year. In high catingas, the latter is more common;

On the other hand, in the lowlands, crops usually run out with one year of cultivation, so that the plantations are abandoned and restarted in another intact district. With three years of cultivation, according to the farmers, the soil is so depleted of nutritious material that, left to itself, only after ten years forms capoeira (new growth forests) again.

This strange contrast with the fertility of the ever-damp and evergreen virgin forest, where the brushwood already in the second and third year is invaded by new scrub, and the woods are depleted with much greater soil poverty and lower ash production than those with only natural fertilizer. For this reason one of the most unique species of alternate cultivation is employed here, which consists of continually changing terrain; and, as soon as possible, the farmer returns to the primitive plantation.

Deforestation

A farm with three to four square leagues has the same production here as in other countries that farm a quarter or half league. This confirms the general complaint of the farmers that the fertility of the earth is much lower than the European one, because the soil is hot and the cold air, while here "the soil is cold and the air hot".

The most important factor, to aid the growing population and distribution of properties, can only consist of irrigating crops and using an effective mode of fertilization. Of this the inhabitants do not have the vaguest idea.

Gossypium barbadense

Barbados cotton (Gossypium barbadense) is usually planted here. An arroba of spun raw cotton is usually sold in the range of six hundred to seven hundred cruzados; the merchant sells it for two to three thousand cruzados. To detach the cotton ball, they use a very simple machine of two

61