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By: Rachel Purvis

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A LIFE OF

PEANUTS! A Life of Peanuts takes a look at the role peanuts have played in the South- from their arrival in the early 1800's to their existence in the South today. Their roots, no pun intended, might have begun in South Carolina but today those roots have made their way all the way to the Alabama-Florida line. This book will investigate peanuts not only from a historical perspective but also will delve into the lives of a peanut grower and a peanut seller whose lives are impacted by peanuts everyday.

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ORIGINS

• A NEW IDEA • GEORGE WASHINGTON CARVER • THE BOLL WEEVIL

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PEANUT PEOPLE • BUCK THE PEANUT MAN • JOHN RAY

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IMPACT • CONTRIBUTIONS • PEANUT USES TODAY • ECONOMICAL IMPACT

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ORIG 4


GINS 5


how it all began originate in South America

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1800's move to South Carolina

consumption begins at Civil War


Today peanuts contribute over 4 billion annual to the economy

In 1900 labor saving equiptment is invented Carver develops 300+ uses for peanuts

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It is thought that peanuts originated in South America, probably in Brazil or Peru. They were grown as far North as Mexico by the time the Spanish began their exploration of the New World. When the explorers returned to Spain, they brought peanuts with them. Later, traders were responsible for spreading peanuts to Africa and Asia.


welcome to south carolina! Records show that in the 1800s peanuts were first grown commercially in South Carolina and used for oil, food and a cocoa substitute. However, peanuts were still regarded as food for livestock and the poor. It was also still considered very difficult to grow and harvest them, so they were not yet widely grown in the U.S. 8


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1860: 10

The first notable increase in peanut consumption in the United States came in 1860 with the outbreak of the Civil War. Soldiers on both sides turned to peanuts for food.


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a new idea


getcha' Following their popularity boom during the civil war, peanuts began to be sold roasted by street vendors, at baseball games and circuses.

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1900: 14


Around 1900, labor-saving equipment was invented for planting, cultivating, harvesting and picking peanuts from the plants, as well as for shelling and cleaning the kernels. With these mechanical aids, peanuts rapidly came into demand for oil, roasted and salted nuts, peanut butter and candy. 15


In 1903, George Washington Carver began his research at Tuskegee Institute. While peanut butter had been developed by then, Carver developed more than 300 other uses for peanuts and improved peanut horticulture so much that he is considered by many to be the “father of the peanut industry.� The botanist recognized the value of peanuts as a cash crop and proposed that peanuts be planted as a rotation crop in the Southeast cotton-growing areas where the boll weevil insect threatened the region’s agricultural base.

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Carver proposed peanuts be planted in the SouthEast cotton-growing areas where the boll weevil threatened the agricultural base.

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"buck the peanut man."

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"maybe about one-hundred on average."

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"interesting fact... i've been drivin' since i was nine years old. i've had 3 speedin' tickets in my lifetime and drove over 2 million miles."

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John the peanut grower answers 15 questions about his job as a grower and what all that job entails. 51


"Ok, well first thing we do is we get our land ready. around april 15th or april 20th we will start plantin'. once we get them planted we don't do anything to em' just let em' come up. we sometime have to irrigate em' to get em' up. once they're up we start sprayin' em'. we also irrigate em'. it's very important to irrigate em'."

"JOHN RAY"

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"you have to use your own judgement. we have amounts on charts to guide us but usually we just use our own judgement, just like we use our own judgement about fungicides."

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"it's just the best there is. i discovered that provost was the best controlled. then as the peanuts mature, you don't need all that. headline is a very good product- it's expensive, but good. you treat the peanuts with headline then you spray em' with provost every two weeks."

DO YOU HAVE ANY HELP SPRAYING TH PEANUTS?

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"HELP? I SPRAY EM' MYSELF. I DO ALL THE SPRAYIN' AND ALL THE PLANTIN' MYSELF."


"YES, IF YOU DON'T GET THIS ALL YOU IN TROUBLE, SO I JUST DO IT MYSELF."

YOU GET "YEAH, THEY'LL BRING WATER WAGONS DO HELP WITH THROUGH THE FIELD AND STUFF LIKE ANYTHING? THAT. BUT I DO EvERYTHINg ELSE MYSELF BECAUSE IT'S VERY IMPORTANT."

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WHAT IS THE MOST CHALLENGING PART OF GROWING PEANUTS?

DO YOU HARVEST THEM ALL YOURSELF AS WELL?

"WHEN WE HARVEST EM', I PLOW EM' UP AND MY OTHER GUYS PICK EM'."

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"IRRIGATIN' EM'. AND DRY WEATHER. DRY WEATHER."


"THERE ARE. THE PEANUT WE PLANT NOW IS CALLED THE GEORGIA 06'. IT CAN STAND A LOT OF WaTER. THERE ARE A LOT OF DIFFERENT PEANUT VARITIES. THE UNIVERSITIES OF GEORGIA AND FLORIDA ARE CONSTANTLY WORKING ON NEW VARITIES. CURRENTLY THE 06 IS STILL THE NUMBER ONE PRODUCER, AND IT IS RESISTANT TO THE SPOtTED TOMATO WHIP VIRUS."

ARE THERE DIFFERENT TYPES OF PEANUTS? IF SO WHAT KIND DO YOU PLANT?

WHAT IS THE

"WE USED TO HAVE A PEANUT TOMATO WHIP VIRUS? CALLED THE GEORGIA GREEN AND THE TOMATO WHIP VIRUS STARTED EATIN' IT UP. YEARS BACK, THAT TOMATO WHIP VIRUS CAME FROM NORTH CAROLINA AND MOVED TO OUR AREA. ONCE IT GOT HERE IT STAYED HERE AND NEVER LEFT." 61


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WHAT DETERMINES THE SIZE OF THE PEANUT?

ARE THERE DIFFERENT TASTES THAT COME ALONG WITH THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF PEANUTS?

"SOME OF THEM NATURALLY GROW BIGGER. YOU'VE GOT PEANUTS LIKE THE VIRGINIA PEANUT AND THEY CALLED THEM 'BALLPARK PEANUTS'."

"YEAH, ALL DIFFERENT TYPES OF PEANUTS HAVE DIFFERENT TASTES. SOME CAN BE A LOT MORE BITTER THAN OTHERS. ALL THE 06' PEANUTS HAVE A GOOD SWEET TASTE." ARE PEANUT HERBICIDES EXPENSIVES?

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"some are, some aren't. it just depends on what you are usin'. you do not want to have weeds in peanuts. if you got a lot of weeds you ain't gonna have no peanuts."


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A PEA 66


ANUT 67


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AMERICANS EA 600 POUNDS AND OVER 700 PEANUT BUTTE 74


AT MORE THAN OF PEANUTS 0 POUNDS OF ER EACH YEAR. 75


THERE ARE PEANUTS IN TO MAKE 30, BUTTER SAN 76


E ENOUGH N ONE ACRE ,000 PEANUT NDWICHES. 77


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A Life of Peanuts