My peanuts sprouted!

I have wanted to grow peanuts for such a long time but I never did. Since they are legumes (kitniyot). there is a halachic imperative to leave a big space between them and other vegetables (48-60 cm, depending on which halachic opinion you follow)

Beans are also kitniyot – another summer favorite that I don’t grow. Some would say that corn and sunflowers are also kitniyot – though botanically they are not legumes. Halachicly, kitniyot is a crop where you primarily eat the seeds of the plant.

As a Jew doing my best to follow halacha, Polyculture farming (growing many different types of food plants close together) is a bit more complicated.

But not impossible. Thanks to my husband who built a beautiful new raised bed out of recycled pallet wood, I now finally have a place to grow peanuts BH!

Where to Get Peanut Seeds

We bought peanuts from our local nut store. The important thing is that they must be unroasted and unsalted. Whether they are in their shells or shelled is fine, as long as the unshelled ones are whole and still in their red papery skin.

Leave about 20cm between each plant.

We planted them last Monday, just below the soil surface, and watered twice a day to keep the soil moist. They started to sprout on Shabbos and they’re growing super fast!

The same peanut plant as above – 2 weeks later

It’s kind of late in the season to plant them but I wasn’t giving up on my chance after wishing for so long!

Harvest Update:

Peanuts grow really well in Israel’s long hot summer. They are drought tolerant so if you miss a day or two of watering that’s OK, but all plants do better with regular watering, so a watering systerm is ideal.

The peanuts grow rapidly and produce orange-yellow flowers.

After the flowers self-pollinate and form little pods, that’s when it gets really exciting!

A unique pod forms, called a peg, which leans over and buries itself underground. The peanuts form there, away from our curious eyes (though we occasionally poke around to see how they are doing)

When Israel’s winter arrives in November-December, the plant starts to die back and then you pull the whole thing up, including the peanut pods!

Then you shell them and eat them. One peanut plant can produce many peanuts.

You can watch us harvesting peanuts as part of the winter harvest video I made. Watch the video.

If you love peanuts, they are a facinating and rewarding plant to grow.

5 Responses

  1. Hi. I love what you’re doing, and wish I could plant on your scale. but I did plant cucumbers last year, got some, and this year bought seeds and used the planters and a bag of earth I had.

    Would you know if I’m allowed to grow tomatoes and peppers and/or zuccini in the same planter? I have only a few small planters on a very small front porch and just tossed in dirt and seeds and davened. I recognize the tomato leaf, although it’s not producing many flowers, but I also have two tall plants topped with lots of pink pink or white flowers (one plant has pink, the other white) kind of thick reddish stalk rounded leaves, not smooth, and is just starting to sprout little pods of some sort, might be a variety of zuccini or maybe squash or sweet pepper. No idea.
    Be matzliach with your peanuts, and with all your gardening, it’s a lovely way to live.

    1. the rules about vegetables that are not kitniyos are much more relaxed.
      there is a simple guide to Kilayim at the back of the kitzur shulchan aruch, or you can ask a rabbi.
      I try to not give specific people halachic advice, as I am not an expert!
      BTW all flowers in the squash/cucumber family are yellow.

  2. Thanks, I will make that phone call. I guess I’m growing string beans, maybe.
    Thank you very much.

  3. Just to let you know, I called OU Kosher and the Rav said the vegetables were fine to grow together.

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