Family, Farming and Peanuts:
For our family, it’s all about farming & family!
Farming is more than an occupation – it’s a way of life that the Marks Family has grown up with for generations. Agriculture plays a critical role in our nations economics and global food systems. North American farmers have been and will continue to be challenged to provide much of the food that will be demanded by a global population which is increasing by more than one person per second. The Marks family, along with other farmers in our surrounding area, are committed to providing the absolute best food from our great American soil.
Growing Peanuts and the Peanut Life Cycle:
Peanuts have been grown on our Marks Farms for years. Bob and Mike Marks give careful attention each year to implement good environmental practices that have nurtured our farm land and preserved our good soil. Peanuts are a sustainable crop that provides natural nutrients to the land. Our families are so fortunate to see nature and its amazing beauty unfold every day. From a tiny seed to a mature plant that helps feed the nation, it’s a remarkable journey – and one that we are proud to be a part of year after year. Growing peanuts is a process that takes around 5 months, from planting of the seeds to harvest. Planting begins around the first of May with harvest taking place around the first of October.
Planting the Seeds
Prepping the land for planting is the first step in preparing for a successful crop.
Once the land is tilled and ready, the farmer then plants the peanut seeds in rows normally 3′ apart, separating each seed by approximately 2″. An average of 120-130 pounds of seed are planted per acre.
From there, the peanut seeds begin their growth by spreading their roots underground. Approximately 10 days later, the peanut plant emerges from the ground.
Lush green peanut plants start to flourish and the rows begin to blend into a sea of green. During this stage, small yellow flowers bud around the lower portion of the peanut plant, allowing the plant to self-pollinate. The flower then loses its petals and a peg is formed. From that point forward the peanut peg begins its growth underground – at this stage, the plant can produce as many as 40 peanuts per plant.
Once the peanuts have matured and October arrives, farmers prepare for harvest. Digging the peanut plant is the first step in the process. The plants are turned upside down, exposing the peanuts to the sun in order to dry naturally by the sun.
After a few days of drying, large peanut combines are sent to the fields and the peanut vines are carefully picked. This process separates the peanuts from the vines. The excess vines are then dispersed back onto the land and are used as fertilizer – the peanuts are transported in trailers back to a central location on the farm. From there, the peanuts are taken to the local shellers where they are dried, shelled & graded.