It’s An Alabama Thing: Greenbrier BBQ: Best Hushpuppies in Alabama

Image

When I say that Greenbrier BBQ has the best hushpuppies in the state I am not exaggerating. In fact I may be under selling them, they may be the best in the nation. I have never taken anyone there and they not agreed when we left. They are THAT GOOD.

Image

For those of you who are not from the South you may be wondering what in the world are Hushpuppies?

Hushpuppies are basically a corn meal batter that is deep fried. They can come in different shapes, but they are mostly seen in round/ball shapes and in oblong shapes like Greenbriers. They are not the most healthy thing to eat, but they sure are delicious!

They are great with ketchup, ranch dressing, and especially white sauce. White sauce is a vinegary sauce pretty much only found in North Alabama, if you have never had it you are missing out.

Image

At Greenbrier the hushpuppies come out as soon as you sit down and they keep them coming. The food is also great at Greenbrier, it is greasy, but very good. You can even wash it all down with a 25 cent up of soft serve ice cream when you are finished.  It is not a fancy place, but has great service. Greenbrier has character, pictures of musicians and celebrities who have stopped by hang up in the restaurant. This establishment is on the list of 100 Places to Eat in Alabama Before You Die and is only a short distance off I-65 if you are ever traveling north/south through Alabama.

Trust me you have never had hushpuppies like these. If you are ever in North Alabama you have to give them a try.

Cotton: The Only “Snow” Alabama Gets

Growing up in Alabama, I have not seen a tremendous amount of snow in my lifetime except for the “snow” that blooms each fall in our fields.

Image

Cotton has also been called “White Gold” because of its value. 100 years ago cotton is what kept the Southern economy thriving. After Eli Whitney’s invention of the cotton gin, cotton took its place as the South’s top cash crop. By 1860, the southern states were providing two-thirds of the world’s supply of cotton, and up to 80% of the fiber that was crucial to the British textile market. American cotton production soared from 156,000 bales in 1800 to more than 4,000,000 bales in 1860 (a bale is a compressed bundle of cotton weighing between 400 and 500 pounds). Today from the years 2010 through 2012, average acres harvested was 9.8 million acres, producing an average 17.0 million bales.

Image

Cotton is not as popular of a crop as it once was. We now use so many other materials for making clothing, so cotton is not as heavily used as it once was. However that does not mean cotton is still not important.

As of last week 88% of Alabama’s cotton crop had been harvested, but yesterday a local farmer was still picking cotton so I was able to grab some pictures.

These large machines called cotton pickers go through the fields and pull the cotton from the stalk. This particular cotton picker can pick 4 rows at a time.

Image

The cotton picked is pulled through a vacuum process into the basket on the back of the picker.

Image

When the basket is full the cotton is dumped into a module builder.

Image

Image

The module builder packs the cotton into a large rectangular block of cotton.

DSC_0102

Cotton is then taken to the gin and after the seed is removed the fiber can be for a variety of products. One 480 bale of cotton can be used to make:

215 Jeans
249 Bed Sheets
409 Men’s Sport Shirts
690 Terry Bath Towels
765 Men’s Dress Shirts
1,217 Men’s T-Shirts
1,256 Pillowcases
2,104 Boxer Shorts
2,419 Men’s Briefs
3,085 Diapers
4,321 Mid-Calf Socks
6,436 Women’s Knit Briefs
21,960 Women’s Handkerchiefs
313,600 $100 Bills

You may have never realized that bills were made out of cotton, but think about it. If you leave a piece of paper in your pockets and wash it, what happens to it? Its a mess, but a dollar bill is not harmed after a trip through the washing machine.

Cotton is still king in my book. It is beautiful when it is blooming and the bolls are opening up. It is a very finicky crop and somewhat difficult to grow, but that makes it all the more satisfying when you are able to harvest it.

DSC_1248

Mark Phillips: Student and Farmer

Mark Phillips

Mark Phillips is a classmate of mine at Auburn. Currently we have Ag Marketing together. Some days it gets time for class and fellow classmate Garrett Dixon will jokingly ask “Where’s Mark? Did he drop the class?” 

If Mark is late or rarely happens to not make it to class we usually know where he is. In the field. DSC_0834

Mark is a senior at Auburn studying agronomy, but his ambition is to one day be a full-time farmer. He didn’t grow up living on a farm, but his grandparents and uncle farm and he worked on their operation from an early age. When he came to Auburn, Mark knew he wanted to farm, but wanted to go ahead and get a degree.

DSC_0880

During his time at Auburn he has worked for a local farmer. So every afternoon when classes are over for Mark he heads to the farm for an afternoon of work. During planting and harvest seasons this means some long days because after he leaves the field in the evenings he still has homework to do.

DSC_0829

“I love it” says Mark “some days they have to almost drag me off the tractor.”

Most students that major in some form of agriculture do not aspire to be farmers. However I am thankful for those like Mark who want to. I cannot think of a more noble profession than to feed people and care for animals. It is so encouraging to know there are people out there like Mark that are passionate about farming, especially at such a young age.

DSC_0899

Auburn, Aren’t You the War Eagles?

Auburn, Aren’t You the War Eagles?

When I tell people I go to Auburn, or am visiting at another school I often get the response “Oh Auburn, the War Eagles!” False. We are not the War Eagles. Sometimes this comment is made because they honest do … Continue reading

Opinion: Big farms aren’t ‘bad’

Eatocracy

Bo Stone, his wife Missy, and his parents jointly own P & S Farms in Rowland, North Carolina. He represents the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance as one of its Faces of Farming and Ranching. Follow our Farmers with Issues series for more perspective from people out in the field.

It’s just before 7:00 a.m. I’m pulling on my boots to step onto the fields of our family farm. The sun is rising, casting a pale glow across the land, making the warming frost sparkle. I love this part of my day. I walk out to the middle of the field and look over my crops.

I am proud of the corn, wheat and soybeans we grow on my 2,300-acre family farm. We grow sweet corn and strawberries to sell at the roadside market and also raise hogs and cows. And I feel good about the role we play…

View original post 710 more words