Dirt Pic: Move over Georgia, here come North Country peanuts
Bob Washo of littleGrasse Foodworks in Canton grows peanuts mostly for fun, as a novelty. It would take a lot more than this little row to fill bags of peanuts at the ballpark. Photo: David Sommerstein.
Dirt Pics is an ongoing series telling the story of agriculture and farmers one photo at a time. Send a photo of your farm, product, field, market stand, or any other aspect of farming – hopefully with a person or people in the picture – to david-at-ncpr-dot-org. Please be sure to include full names and a caption that tells the story of what's happening in the photo.
You'll find a lot of advice out there about how to grow peanuts north of the Peanut Belt. But there's a problem: most varieties mature in no fewer than 100 days, usually closer to 120 days. That's a stretch for northern New York's short summers.
Farmer and CSA owner Bob Washo of littleGrasse Foodworks in Canton heard about a 90 day variety of the Valencia peanut being grown in Canada. He got some seeds (basically, peanuts) and planted.
North Country peanuts! Photo: David Sommerstein.
The results are supercool. They grow like a potato or other legume – big leafy stalks above ground, peanuts under the soil. You can dry the peanuts to roast or boil, or you can save them over the winter, then plant them in the spring after the threat of frost is gone.
In the picture above, the peanut plants are the row to the left of the white cover. As Bob pulled a handful out of the earth this morning, all I could think was, "man, it must take a TON of these plants to make the peanut butter I'm begging my daughter to eat."
Tags: canton, dirtpic, farming, food