Peanuts AKA "goober peas" are becoming a popular row crop in Monroe County just north of here since the new Birdsong Peanuts purchasing and storage facility opened there a couple of years ago. I'd seen them growing along the highway and Thursday I decided to go photograph them. I lucked up as they just began digging those fields the day before. One area had just been dug early that morning! I was there about 9 AM.
The peanut is a species in the legume (bean) family. Peanuts grow best in light, sandy loam soil. They require five months of warm weather to reach maturity.
Harvesting occurs in two stages. A machine is used to cut off the main root of the peanut plant by cutting through the soil just below the level of the peanut pods. The machine lifts the "bush" from the ground and shakes it, then inverts the bush, leaving the plant upside down on the ground to keep the peanuts out of the dirt. This allows the peanuts to dry slowly to a bit less than a third of their original moisture level over a period of 3–4 days. After the peanuts have dried sufficiently, they are threshed, removing the peanut pods from the rest of the bush.
These were dug the day before
dug the day before
These were dug that morning
Closeup of plants
Playing with Pixel Bender!