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EATING LOCALLY, Part 42
Most folks do not realize that peanuts can be grown in climates much cooler than that of the American state of Georgia. We grow them in Missouri and they are grown much farther north as well.
I grew two varieties this year, and not all that well, what with our incredible drought and heat wave. Besides that our pole bean trellis fell over onto the peanut plants and remained there several months. Thinking about drought, summer-long heat wave, and lack of much sunlight due to being buried alive by a bean pole trellis, it is a surprise that any nuts were produced. Technically speaking, peanuts are not true nuts, but are legumes, but for the purpose of this writing, we'll use that verbiage.
This year our garden hosted two varieties: Red Valencia peanut and White Tennessee Valencia peanut. There were so few nuts harvested, that they will serve as seed for 2013, rather than food. Another reason for a low harvest was crows. Yep. Crows will move down the row and peck out each and every peanut planted, missing only a rare one. I planted peanuts three times, each time using more camouflage and more scare tactics than before, and strangely feel grateful that the crows taught me a lesson. The lesson is that peanuts (and some other crops as well) will need not only a fence, with buried wire, but a wire cover of either hardware cloth or poultry wire. Folks, gardening "in the woods" is tough, and the lessons many, but in the end it makes for a more enterprising gardener.
So take a look at our meager but 100% organic (as is everything we grow) peanut crop and know that all it takes to make a wonderfully delicious peanut butter is to roast the nuts at around 275-300 deg. F for 10-20 minutes (depending on oven--they can easily burn or scorch), then grind in a hand grinder and there you have it--peanut butter. This type of home grown/home made peanut butter will be less smooth than store bought varieties primarily because the grinding apparatus used in commercial operations uses much more pressure, resulting in a more uniform consistence. Home made is better. OK, check the pic--"white" on the left, "red" in the middle, and nuts waiting to be hulled on the right. Enjoy.