Wednesday, October 8, 2014

a gift from the universe or second-hand peanuts

This past spring I found a peanut sprouted in the soil of one of my houseplants.


an unintended gift from a squirrel back in Cleveland before we moved. Why it took so long to start growing, I have no idea. Intrigued, I planted the sprout in a little pot and it just kept growing.



I transplanted it to a larger pot and it grew happily with other things in containers on my patio. And it bloomed and bloomed. A flower here and a flower there.


I knew that peanuts grow underground, but what I didn't know was that those flowers, once they finish blooming send a peg (called a peduncle) into the soil and that's how the peanuts develop. You can see one in the photo I took of the plant just before I harvested the peanuts.


I read that the peanuts are ready to harvest when the leaves have turned yellow. A suggestion for checking is to pull up one plant, but as all I had was one plant, I didn't want to do that. Instead I waited until the plant was sufficiently sad looking.


I didn't want to harm the peanuts or lose them in the soil, so I tipped the pot out onto a tarp.


I was thrilled when I saw what was in there.


Real peanuts. There were also some small, unformed nuts thanks to some late-blooming flowers.


Even so I was impressed by how many peanuts I got from one small plant growing in a pot.


Matthias, on the other hand, was not. When I came inside telling him that I had just harvested my peanuts he was disappointed by my handful. Ah well.

I had never really thought about growing peanuts, but now I'm thinking that maybe someday when we have some land of our own I'll try growing rows of them to make our own peanut butter. Until then, I'm grateful for this gift from the universe, grateful to the silly squirrel who never did get to enjoy the nut that he stored for winter.

If you're interested in growing some of your own, here's a great article here that explains the basics.

4 comments:

  1. This is so neat! Well, I think it's pretty amazing how many you got out of one tiny plant...especially since it was such a surprise in the first place. Thanks for sharing this!

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  2. How wonderful! You now have so many more to grow and hopefully harvest next year! The squirrel wanted to give you a leaving present from Cleveland!!!

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  3. Oh how fun!! I've never grown peanuts, but now you've got me wanting to try.

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  4. That's so cool Anne. I love that story. I think I will have to try that with the kids.

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