Peanut Farm Tour in Virginia

Sharon Palmer

I had such a fabulous time in Virginia, learning all about how peanuts are grown and cultivated here during the Peanut Harvest with the   National Peanut Board.   As you know, I’m a huge fan of peanuts, and recommend that everyone consume a handful of nuts or seeds (including peanuts) in their diets every single day. That’s because this habit is linked with heart health, a healthier weight, lower diabetes rates, and more.

sharon

In the Peanut Fields

During my peanut harvest tour, I got to see how peanuts are actually grown—right in the field. Here’s a view of a freshly harvested row of peanuts. In case you didn’t know—peanuts grow under the ground. They form a pretty, bushy plant, with roots going down into the soil—those peanuts grow along the roots of the plant.

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Pope Family Farms, Virginia

We got to see the peanut harvest at the beautiful Pope Family Farms, a four generation family peanut farm in Virginia. They had a gorgeous home surrounded by peanut fields. They rotate their crops every four years to keep the soil healthy, often planting cotton as an alternative crop during their rotations. The Pope family uses their peanuts in their own label product, which includes the Hope & Harmony family of products, which are hand-packed on their farm.

Peanut Harvester

Check out the Harvester, Turning up a Row of Peanut Plants in the Field

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Peanuts Fresh from the Soil

See how those peanuts grow—they are there, right along the roots of the plants. The harvester pulls up the entire plant, and then they collect the peanuts and leave the leafy plant in the field to serve as natural compost. Peanuts are actually legumes, which means they have the unique ability to fix nitrogen in the soil—thus they don’t require as many chemicals for cultivation.

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Peanuts, Fresh from the Field

I picked this lovely peanut, fresh from the plant, and ate it “green” or raw. When you eat them this way, they are moist and so flavorful! I’ve never eaten a peanut mere minutes from harvest. When you eat them in a can, jar, or bag, they are dry and roasted.

What a treat! Peanuts are also a very sustainable crop—they don’t require much water for cultivation. In fact, some farmers in Virginia “dry farm” their peanuts, meaning they only get irrigation from Mother Nature when it rains.

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Hope & Harmony Peanuts,   Pope Family Farms

Right on the property at Pope Family Farms, we saw the small processing building where they hand process, pack, and label the line of peanut products they sell. I love Virginia peanuts, as they are so crunchy! The whole spirit behind this all natural product line was inspiring, too. It was all about family and tradition.

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Lunch at   Pope Family Farms

After our peanut tour, we enjoyed a beautiful lunch on the property, with an amazing local chef who highlighted regional food traditions in Virginia, as well as local foods, including peanuts. The lunch was just so delicious!

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Spicy Peanut Coulis

The chef had created a lineup of handmade condiments to accompany our meals featuring peanuts, such as this spicy, tomato-rich, peanut sauce.

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Kale Salad with Cornbread Croutons

This salad made with local greens and cornbread croutons was a fabulous starter!

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Peanut Hummus

Our lunch also featured this incredible peanut hummus, which was just so, ah, peanuty! What a great idea for a hummus, stay tuned as I work with this creation in future recipes on the blog.

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Pope Family Farms,   Virginia

The beautiful Pope home is situated at the core of the surrounding peanut farms. There’s even a family cemetery near the house, where Civil War-era descendants are buried.

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Chef Lee Gregory, Richmond

As part of our tour, we also enjoyed a wonderful meal with local chef Lee Gregory, who prepared wonderful Southern-inspired foods showcasing peanuts. He demonstrated several recipes for us, while we watched and enjoyed our dishes.

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Kimchee with Local Rice and Broccoli, Apple Brussels Sprout Salad

Check out these amazing dishes, which were served family style by Chef Gregory.

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Local Wine, Richmond, Virginia

We also enjoyed some wonderful local wine, which was surprisingly rich and complex, I particularly enjoyed this   King Family Vineyards   Meritage.

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Sweet Potato Peanut Soup

Chef Gregory also dished up this lovely pureed sweet potato peanut soup, which just screamed fall!

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Sights of Richmond, VA

I had a chance to walk around the city of Richmond, which is so charming with its lovely buildings, cobblestone streets, and brick facades.

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Sights of Richmond, VA

A farmers market takes place under the blue-green rooftops.

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Urban Farm Market and Café,   Richmond, VA

I got to try out this adorable market and café for lunch one day—it was very farm to table, with lots of plant-centric food options on the menu.

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Market Salad with Hummus,   Urban Farm Market and Café,   Richmond, VA

Look at this gorgeous salad, with fresh summer squash, bell peppers, and a scoop of rustic hummus and a side of toasted whole grain bread.

2 thoughts on “Peanut Farm Tour in Virginia

    1. Hi, this was a private tour in Virginia, but I’m sure that a lot of farmers are more than happy to give you tours if you contact them in your area. Thanks for your interest! Sharon

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