Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Boll Weevil Monument

Here's a Southern town's monument that should trouble no one; but raise the ahhs and awws of pleasure in visitors.  Enterprise, Alabama has a monument to a boll weevil.  That's right, a bug; one that was inclined to bore into cotton bolls and damage the cotton crop.  


Now the South had a problem with being "the land of cotton."  Cotton horticulture does tend to exhaust the soil within a few years.  Cotton was the big crop for Alabama's Coffee County (where Enterprise was located), and one year the boll weevils destroyed about half of the crop.  Agriculture in the area was going down the tube, so the local farmers came up with a solution: grow peanuts instead.  So they did.  And the area prospering, quickly becoming the leading producer of peanuts in the United States.  The good citizens, in appreciation of the good services of the boll weevil, erected a monument to honor this pesky critter.


Now this sort of monument seems to be a likely source of troll bait.  In some fora even innocent monuments like this one in Enterprise often become targets for the trolls who live in their parents' basement, hang out on-line, and are insufficiently acquainted with soap.  

But look at it this way: a small town was humble enough to see fit to give credit to a bug who provided a reason for crop diversification and to give up being in the rut of going for the short-term monetary incentives when the long-term outcomes would eventually result in poorer crops.  In effect, the boll weevil provided a lesson not to be stubborn and plant only cotton.

Besides, peanut butter tastes yummy!

11 comments:

Linda Kay said...

Now there's an interesting piece of history for us today! I'm sure botanists have come up with a way to refurbish the soil now, and probably to root out those pesky critters. I'm not sure about a monument....hmmmm.

John Hill said...

Yes! Peanut butter does taste yummy!

Anemone said...

That's a real momument trip!

Grand Crapaud said...

No statue of Bear Bryant?

TexWisGirl said...

i like it. :)

Mike said...

Single crops areas are usually in for big.... little trouble.

Big Sky Heidi said...

It's different! And kind of old-fashioned, but in an agreeable way.

Cloudia said...

Delightful Romp, Angel! You make me feel happy

Cherdo said...

Rube that I am, I never cease to be amazed by cotton growing in a field.

Bilbo said...

When the monument was first designed, the sculptor had to decide which of two species of boll weevil to depict: one was larger and the other somewhat smaller. In order to save money on materials and time in development, he chose the lesser of the two weevils. Sorry.

Duckbutt said...

Nice story. And Bilbo's comment made me smile!