Happy Days

Today is such a good day.  Really good.  Almost as good as my wedding day and the birth of my kids good.  Better than the Eagles won the Superbowl good (I’m a big Philadelphia Eagles football fan — Mike Vick and his transgressions aside of course).

Just for today I don’t care much about the arguments for or against organics, natives or even my favorite topic, pesticides.

What’s the news you ask?

Peanuts.  Hot Boiled Peanut.

If you follow this blog you may recall that Tom Michaels, a professor and bean breeder here at UMN, and I planted a few rows of peanuts last year in between rows of trees — the trees you see below are elms from a selection program we’re running here.  Between the rows you’ll notice some plants starting to turn yellow, those are peanuts.  The darker green plants between the rows of trees are canola.

Below is what a peanut plant looks like when you harvest it.  After the flowers are pollinated the plant sends the stalk on which the flower is growing into the soil where it forms a peanut.  When we harvested we saw anywhere from 0 to about 10 peanuts per plant.

We harvested a test batch of peanuts last night — probably a little over a pound.  They were a little immature, but they still tasted good fresh out of the ground.  Without any treatment fresh peanuts taste a lot like fresh peas — an unmistakable “legume” flavor.  For those of you love roasted peanuts, that familiar flavor is a result of the roasting process.

Boiled peanuts are a little different than roasted peanuts in that the pods are usually harvested a little bit immature, so our first harvest, yesterday, was actually right on time.  We’re planning on finishing harvest next week.

Anyway, once we got the peanuts out of the ground I drove them straight home, put them into a quart of water, added a quarter cup of salt, and put that mixture into a crock-pot on high heat for three hours and low heat for another eleven.  I tasted one after three and knew they would be good.  After the full 14 hours?  The best boiled peanuts I’ve ever had.

As my wife noted, these peanuts aren’t exactly the same as the one’s you get in
the South.  She was trying to be nice — but I got the impression that
they were just a little too different from what she’s used to for her to like them quite as much as
the ones we get when we visit South Carolina (which we visit yearly). The difference between these peanuts and the other boiled peanuts that I’ve had (and I’ve had a lot — from all over the South) is that these are a little bit sweeter.

For me — Best damn peanuts ever — Minnesota grown no less.  Who woulda’ thought?  Not me.  Can’t wait to boil a big batch next week!</d

11 thoughts on “Happy Days”

  1. Nope, no mush — though they do get softer as time goes on. If they turned to mush after only a few hours of soaking most of those just off the highway boiled peanut shacks would go out of business mighty fast!

  2. We grew the canola to see how it dealt with being in a highly competitive situation. We’re interested in using it as intercrop, just like the peanuts.

  3. I can’t believe I missed this post – was out of town for a bit.
    Have you tried ’em yet?
    – from a fellow boil peanut freak (yes, often the “ed” is left off – to conserve energy, ya know…)

  4. Questions! Questions! Questions! I want to plant peanuts.
    1. Where do you get them for planting? Will any raw peanuts from the market work? What source did you use for your seed?
    2. When do I plant them?
    3.What do I need to do to prep for planting them? amend the soil with anything special?
    4. How long does it take them to grow?
    there isn’t a lot on the net about growing them, or at least I haven’t had much luck finding a good source of info and I have been wanting to grow them for a few years now. Thanks in advance for any help.

  5. This from Tom: Where are you going to grow the crop (state/province, soil type, indoor/outdoor)?
    Why are you growing them (see what peanut plant looks like vs grow outdoors with expectation of harvesting mature seeds)?

    Raw peanut might germinate, but this is really only an option if you want to grow indoors and just see what a peanut plant looks like.
    Garden seed catalogs tend to have late maturing virginia or runner type peanuts adapted to Georgia, not further north than NC.

    Some garden seed catalogs have Spanish type which would be ok for north of NC up to the norther tier of states.

    For northern tier states and southern provinces you need Valencia type peanuts to have a prayer of harvesting a reasonable crop. Some garden seed suppliers do sell valencia peanut seed in small quantities.

  6. I’m in North Texas, zone 7B, sandy loam soil, and yes I want to grow a small crop of them outside near my other vegetable beds. I haven’t seen them for sale in any catalog but maybe I’m not looking in the right ones. Most peanuts I find have already been boiled or salted etc.- except I did find some raw bulk ones at a feed store(they were selling them as bird/squirrel (?) food) but they were not in the best condition (still in the hull, cracked and smashed)and no one knew what kind they were or how old they were so I didn’t get them. I will do a more thorough search on the net to find the right kind for sale but any planting advice you can give would be greatly appreciated.

  7. I grew Valencia in southern Michigan last year. Not a bumper crop but enough to cause me to try again this year. They are growing well at this point (mid-June) and I am hopeful. I bought the seeds on eBay.

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