The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

On Peanuts and Books

Newly harvested peanutsOne of the many reasons I could never move away from the farm is that I can be misanthropic at times and need absolute peoplelessness around me.  This has been one of those weeks, so today when Mark went over to help the neighbors harvest the rest of the potatoes, I stayed home and finished off Diane Setterfield's The Thirteenth Tale (which is one of the best books I've read in months, though I'm not sure if it would appeal to men.)

Having savored the last page, read every word of the acknowledgements, and pored over the author's biography, I had to give up and re-enter the real world.  Luckily, there's always something that needs to be done on the farm.  I still haven't finished planting all of my garlic, so I built and planted two more beds, then harvested the first peanuts I've ever grown in my life.

For those of you who don't know, the nuts on peanuts start aboveground as flowers, then burrow their way down into the dirt to develop into underground fruits.  Despite what some folks think, if your soil is soft enough there's no need to mound dirt up around them --- I did no mounding and my peanut plants produced very well.  Now I have to be patient and wait a few days for the nuts to dry since newly harvested peanuts have a mild toxin in the nuts.  Assuming the flavor is good, I'll be adding peanuts to my usual crop roster --- they were effortless to grow, survived relatively severe deer nibbling, and were a breeze to harvest.  Stay tuned in a few days for news of my first attempt to make peanut butter!

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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