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!
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!
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.
My name is Naomi and this is my tiny little farm in the heart of the rapidly growing city of Beit Shemesh, Israel. I enjoy growing, making and processing as much of my family's food and household essentials as possible, while nurturing a biodiverse ecosystem filled with beauty and life.