Thursday, November 19, 2009

Peanut Harvest

Farmer Danny was picking peanuts in the far north field. You can see the dust between the picker/tractor and the trailers. Very dusty work.



Peanuts are plowed up and the roots turned up for the picker to run over.

When I looked at the close-up picture I took of the peanuts, I noticed something else. Can you see the deer hoofprints? The night before, after the peanuts were plowed, deer had a feast.



This is what we saw on the way to the field: Sumac, backlit by the sun, along a fence.



23 comments:

  1. Nell, I knew they plowed them up, but had no idea there was a picker that followed. How long do they let them lay before the picker? Also, what about the trash left? Is that just incorporated into the soil for next year's planting?

    The sumac is beautiful. I am not seeing as much color as I thought we would have with all the rain and cool temps. Sumac is another plant we share in common.

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  2. Hi Nell, thanks for educating those of us who had no idea how peanuts got harvested. I would imagine the deer were quite happy to find those nicely dug up goodies. Hope they left some for the humans too. The sumacs have been incredible this year, or maybe we are just noticing them more. :-)

    Frances

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  3. The smell of freshly harvested peanuts is very distinct. They were once a very important crop near here, but foriegn trade has left us only growing gourmet types.

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  4. The only peanuts I have ever seen growing were in West Texas. It surprised me, as peanuts need water. The irrigate and use the big watering systems, and even with all that, it must be a profitable crop. They do it year after year...

    I love that sumac. No color here.

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  5. So interesting. I never knew how they harvested them.

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  6. HI Nell: Never new a peanut farmer before you are the first. Have been traveling all over the world on the internet. Have met some very nice people who do some very interesting things. Enjoyed my visit to your blog.
    Have a great evening,
    John

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  7. Very interesting! I had no knowledge about peanut farming.

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  8. Hi Nell~~ Being from the PNW peanut farming is not something I regularly [ever] see. Interesting that deer like to eat them. The sumac is gorgeous!!

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  9. Brings back memories of harvesting peanuts in my childhood. Those sumacs are lovely all lit up! Carol

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  10. The sumac is truly beautiful when backlit by the sun; you captured that perfectly.

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  11. my goodness! I could not be happier that you popped in to my humble blog! So glad to have found this blog, what a treat, I have never seen peanuts being harvested before (I live in N Ireland). Your photos are gorgeous too, I love Sumac. Oh off to try and read as many posts as I can before this decaff coffee sends me to sleep ;) xxx

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  12. Very educational, Nell Jean! I just made some peanut butter playdough for my son, it's his favorite. I guess deer like them too.
    I would imagine the squirrels having a party out there too in that peanut field. :)

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  13. Hi Nell Jean,

    Being from California, I am used to seeing all sorts of fruits and vegetables grown, but I have never seen peanut plants or their harvest. Thank you for sharing!

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  14. Thank you everybody who commented. I read this morning that comments are to a blogger like chocolate -- can't get enough!

    When peanuts are plowed, they leave them on top the ground to dry some before they're picked. They have to watch the weather, so they don't get rain on them. If they can't lie on the ground to dry, they pick them and take them to a 'dryer' where they're mechanically dried.

    The peanut vines that are left is baled by some, we just let it rot and return to the ground to preserve the nutrients in the ground. It makes poor hay.

    Squirrels are not so busy in the peanuts as they are under the pecan trees, their first choice. They also prefer to come closer where they can annoy the dog and take a chance on the cat.

    And to Les, the smell of freshly dug peanuts are distinctive and the smell of cotton in the field is too. No cotton here this year, but all around us.

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  15. Very interesting to see what the peanuts look like. I knew they grew underground but that was about it.

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  16. I LOVE PEANUTS!! Don't be surprised if you see Sylvana tracks out in your field some day after harvesting ;) When I was overseas I got asked quite a few times by people from various European countries why Americans like peanut butter so much; they said that they thought it was not so great. I asked them, "What is wrong with you?!"

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  17. Do the peanuts grow underground like potatoes or do they develop differently? Curious, I think about buying peanut seed knowing full well they would have no chance here. If you harvest in November,when do you plant them?

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  18. Peanuts bloom and the blooms then send down 'pegs' into the ground and the nuts grow on those pegs underground. Planting is done late spring. These were planted a little late, most farmers around here were done with picking by the end of October.

    Peanuts grow best in sandy loam because of the pegging process. They can hardly peg into hard clay soil. They also require a lot of calcium for nuts to form.

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  19. Oh I love this! I have always wanted to grow peanuts to see their flowers burrow underground. Somehow I've never done it...maybe next year.

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  20. Very cool. In future, I'll eat my peanuts with a great deal more understanding and respect.

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  21. I just tried my first batch of peanuts this summer with a fair amount of success. I live in Central Fl with plenty of sandy soil, so the conditions are perfect - however I wasn't certain as to the "when" and "how" of picking. I'll make a note to add calcium next time, but can you tell me, what's the next step after I dry them out for 2 weeks? Are they considered "green" at this stage? Can I boil them? Help!

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  22. Wow! I had no idea how they harvest peanuts! Thanks for enlightening me! I discovered that there are peanuts growing in our yard!In Northwest? Squirrels dig them out.

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I look forward to comments and questions and lively discussion of gardening and related ideas.



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