Michigan Grown Staple Crop Seeds that Fit Your Plant-based Nutritional Goals
The Great Lakes Staple Seed Peanut Collection for Northern Gardens
Typically considered a southern crop, these peanut varieties thrive in our southeast Michigan gardens. Home grown peanuts are a great addition to a sustainable homestead. As legumes, their nodulated roots are home to nitrogen-fixing bacteria that improve the fertility of the surrounding soil. Peanuts themselves are nutritious and versatile.
We direct seed peanuts in early June when the soil is warm enough to plant our squash and beans. Plants are frost sensitive so we covered ours during an early frost mid-September. We harvest the plants whole early October by gently lifting them with a potato fork. The leaves are only just beginning to yellow, but concern over loss due to critter pilferage and/or rotting in the cooler, moist October soil leads to a "better safe than sorry" approach. Plants are hung in a warm well-ventilated barn to dry down. Some people wash the pods while still on the plant before hanging them but with just 30 hours in the day we don't.