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Remember the Rainforest 1

 

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Gossypium vitifolium, the cotton tree

Only rarely and under special circumstances, here in the country is a cotton tree exploited for more than three or four years, and then, when the trunks begin to weaken, it is usually low-cut at the root, or at the height of one to two feet; With this, they force the development of new producing branches and a better harvest. This decotation, known and adopted in all the countries where lively cotton is grown, - in Anatolia, as well as in North America and Surina, - is not as widely used in the northern provinces of Brazil as in Pernambuco, Paraiba and Rio Grande do Sul do Norte, where, favored by the incredible fertility and the extension of the farms, it is preferable to abandon the plantation, clearing sections of the virgin forest.

Deforestation

Etching 16 Deforestation

In general, this country is so blessed by nature that the crops exceed all expectations, and the farmer cannot even reap them completely. Cotton balls are harvested by blacks, each of whom can pick up one to two arrobas daily. In addition, the cultivation of cotton is subject to many obstacles and has many enemies to fight. If the rainy season lasts disproportionately, or the abundant evening fog is lacking at the time of the drought, the transition from flower to fruit is disturbed, or the fruit is too moist to open, and the cotton rots inside. Likewise, the continuous humidity, as well as the violent sun, before and during the rain, determine the sudden fall of the half ripe fruits; and many diseases, produced by fungus, render the cultivator's hopes hopeless, though sometimes only in part. These two aforementioned diseases seem to come, above all, from the excess moisture of the fields. Also many animals, birds, lizards, stink bugs and locusts, from time to time invade the plantations as devastating enemies; and rats are extremely harmful to the harvested fruits, who, with their known cleverness, know how to circumvent all preventive measures of the farmer. As these rodents attack only the core of the cotton, it is the most efficient measure to guard against them, and to spread on them a layer of carcasses. The separation of the seeds from the cotton was formerly done by a very simple process; it consisted of a pair of hand-cranked cylinders; Nowadays there are many harvests based on the same principle, but more or less improved. Also the baling of the cotton in coarse cotton bags was formerly performed by a black man; he put the cotton at the bottom and pressed it with his feet in the wet sack, and could only fill one sack a day, serving what today is done everywhere with a simple press. The true value of cleaned cotton

Cotton press

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