Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Over Simplified and Over Illustrated Synopsis of Peanut Harvest

Most people have no idea what this is.  

And if I had never seen this freaky little
plant that blooms above ground...

and fruits below, I'd probably be clueless too.

It's a peanut plant! 

This is what it looks like "inverted" 
or pulled out of the ground and flipped over...
...and this is what it looks like while it's still growing.

Farmers use a plow with chains to pull up the 
peanut plants and flip them over. This lets 
them dry in the sun til they are ready to be picked. 
Sometimes these plows are called "inverters" or "shakers."

After the peanuts dry, it's time for the "pickers"

Some folks use pull-behind pickers,
others use self-propelled combines,
both work pretty much the same.

The peanuts are taken up the header....

...and are cleaned by threshers inside the body. 
The peanuts fall down on a shaker pan where 
they travel to a auger and eventually to a fan 
duct where they are blown into the basket.
The vines and trash work their way out the back.

If you haven't noticed by now, 
peanut pickin' is dusty business.

Picking is also a very
s  l  o  w

After the baskets are full, the boys
dump the peanuts into wagons that are 
picked up by the local mill.

When I was in high school 
my job was to level wagons. 
I didn't really HAVE to do it, 
but I like to, so I'd climb up in 
a wagon and shovel peanuts. 

Until I met Waldo.
I no longer shovel peanuts.

Snakes are a common sight during 
peanut harvest as are breakdowns...

which often leave the boys scratching their heads... this one. 

Despite the snakes and breakdowns, 
peanut harvest is very rewarding.

It brings out the best in neighbors who always 
make sure farmboys have PLENTY to eat...

...and it helps us prepare for winter. 
We bale the vines for cattle feed.

 At the end of the day, the peanuts will 
get "green" again, meaning the moisture
content increases in the vines making 
picking more difficult. So we quit for the day.

And that my friends, is the super simplified 
and over illustrated synopsis of peanut harvest.

If you have any questions let me know! 
If I don't know the answer, I know one
slightly smelly and very dusty farmer that does.

Keep it between the ditches y'all,

1 comment:

  1. I love it! I just did a photo post on cotton harvest!