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Stories from the farm – a closer look at the people, the place and the bio-diversity at 5EyesFarm

One day we visited the agricultural centre. This was in the early stages of establishing the farm and DT’s dad, who was there too, casually pocketed three peanuts while they were taste testing.

When they got back to the farm he realised and without thinking much more about it he planted them in the farm. Well, these little guys ended up producing a small but strong crop, and from that crop, we planted out a whole bed.

When that bed matured, we had enough to plant out 3 beds in one cycle. And now, 2 years on, thousands of peanuts have come from that firsts planting of the three seedlings. We have fields of them.

This shows a few things: non-hybrid seeds keep propagating and we can eat and seed save at the same time. They get better and better as our soil has improved and all in all its quite magical how it all works out.

So the tale of the peanut starts with a peanut that we sprout as a seedling straight in the bed where it will develop (no need for seed house/greenhouse). It needs plenty of water and good hot conditions and takes 90-130 days before it is ready to harvest.

Now the fun begins: dig out the whole plant and turn upside-down right where it is. All the roots have well-formed peanuts in their shells. Here they dry for 3-4 days before we pick them off the plant. Now with a big pile, we take them out of their shells. Most have 2 nuts in a shell, some have up to 4! Now we roast them in the oven with nothing else until the skins go dark. When they cool, we take the skins off and blow them away to expose clean, roasted nuts.

To make peanut butter we blend them now and add a tiny, tiny amount of salt and raw sugar, literally a pinch in 400 grams of peanut.

So the whole process, like so much well-grown food, makes us appreciate each nut because a lot of work is involved and time and patience.

Compare an organically grown peanut to the one you buy from the side of the road or in a convenience store… wow they taste different! Can you guess why?

Organically grown foods are so healthy because they have all the amino acids, the antioxidants and the natural minerals, vitamins and protein in them. Nothing has been stripped away or compromised with chemicals.

Sounds scary? Humans are resilient, so we can and do handle a certain amount of chemicals. But being aware of the difference in the foods we choose, the foods we prepare and eat is the first step in healthier, happier living. The best way to keep food fresh is to seal it from the air which also reduces moisture loss. Put it in a container with a lid and into the fridge.

Freeze if you need to wait a while before eating but let it defrost naturally and completely, especially chicken and meat.

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