Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Nuts

We finally had some mad garden action in our very quiet December garden so I finally have something to post about. Today we decided to harvest our peanuts. It's Christmas Eve and Farmer B and I have been talking about our lack of Christmas Eve traditions and the idea of starting something new for our family. We came up empty and decided to harvest the peanuts instead. Could a Christmas Eve nut harvest be our new family tradition? I like the way it sounds.

I think our nuts should have been harvested a long time ago, but being new at this I wanted to err on the side of over-done nuts rather than under-done nuts. I read that the leaves on the peanut plants turn yellow when the plants are ready to be pulled and they only recently started to wither and turn yellow, so now seemed like the right time. Here they are with some radishes we pulled today too.

Harvesting nuts is much like harvesting potatoes, or so I'm told since I haven't grown a potato yet. You get your pitchfork and pop it under the peanut plant and sort of wiggle it a bit to loosen the soil. You have to dig down pretty deep so that you don't speer any of the nuts.
When you loosen the nuts you grab ahold of the plant and just wiggle and pull.
When it comes all the way out you can see the little peanuts hanging on to the little shoots that grew off all the yellow peanut flowers that grew on the plants.
I have no idea how many peanuts we ended up with, but we got bunches and bunches of them.
I read that you have to let them dry out outside for a couple of weeks until the plant gets all dry and crumbly. The peanuts should then just pull off the shoots quite easily.
So there you have it. A Christmas Eve Nut Harvest - a first for us. It's a given that our Christmas will be a little nutty so perhaps this is the perfect new tradition for our family.

Merry Christmas!!

1 comment:

engineeredgarden said...

Kate - that was a nice harvest! See? This gardening stuff does work....I hope you get some more, later.


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