Updated: Dec 9, 2020
I recently went on a farm tour with The National Peanut Board at the Hope and Harmony Farm in Richmond, Virginia. Although my travel expenses were paid by the National Peanut Board, I was not compensated for this post. All opinions are my own.
I had the opportunity to fly to Virginia this past week and learn more about how peanuts are grown, harvested, distributed across the country, and sold to corporations and individuals for consumption. We visited Hope and Harmony Farm in Richmond, Virginia, where they farm almost 4000 acres of cotton, soy, corn, and of course, peanuts! Corn, cotton, and soy are rotation crops for peanuts that help preserve soil health and are a natural way to aid in pest control. Crop rotation is planting different crops in various orders over several years on the same piece of farmland. Confusing weeds and insects is the best way to prevent them from building resistance to herbicides and insecticides. Crop rotations that are unpredictable go a long way toward reducing chemical resistance in pests. Variety in crops cultivated helps diversify the ecosystem of a field and helps prevent insects from adapting. These practical, smart farming measures dramatically reduce the number of pests that can destroy plants and replenishes the soil with valuable nutrients.
I tasted a “green peanut,” which means the peanut was straight out of the ground. I had never seen a peanut while it was still on the vine, so this was a new experience for me and many other dietitians on tour. We’re used to seeing peanuts once they have been processed and salted or made into peanut butter, oil, or other food products. Since peanuts are legumes, it naturally tasted like a bean or edamame. After the peanuts have been harvested, they will be taken to a facility and dried and processed, then sold to corporations or individuals.