I recently had the opportunity to spend a few days in Lubbock along with 12 other Texas bloggers, thanks to the Texas Peanut Producers. We explored the beautiful town, met with peanut farmers, toured the fields and a peanut shelling facility so that we could get an inside look into the peanut industry.
DAY 1 – Dinner in Lubbock
After arriving in Lubbock we headed straight to meet the group at Las Brisas Steakhouse for a fantastic three course dinner. Of course the menu consisted of peanut inspired dishes that were unique and absolutely fabulous. Then it was off to rest at the Overton Hotel before our day of exploring.
DAY 2 – A Closer Look into Farming
We began our day with a drive out to Brownfield to meet up with Mason Becker, a generational farmer to give us a look into how peanuts grow and the state of farming in our nation. He discussed how hard (almost impossible) for a new farmer to break into the business due to high cost of land/equipment/seeds/etc. And how more generational farmers are seeing a decline because younger generations are not returning to the farm. We also learned that it is difficult to find skilled labor as farming is more technology and mathematical based than what most people think.
After getting a closer look of how peanuts grow, we headed over to Birdsong Peanuts, a shelling plant. They can sort over a million pounds of peanuts a day! If you have ever enjoyed Mars candy, then you have most likely eaten a peanut from this facility.
After the tour, we were all hungry and treated to THE BEST food truck for lunch. We ate on the patio at Trilogy Cellars in Levelland (while enjoying a glass or two), with lunch being catered by Farm to Fork Gastro Truck. They support local farmers and make delicious gourmet street food.
After lunch we walked through the vineyards and got a closer look at the different types of grapes that are being grown for wine. Texas currently has over 350 vineyards! I am utterly amazing at the time and passion these farmers put into their work to bring food to our table.
Fun Fact About Peanuts:
- They grow underground.
- They are planted in the Spring and harvest in late September or early October.
- Almost 850 peanut make up an 18oz jar of peanut butter.
- Texas is the #4 peanut producing state. Peanut thrive in warm, sunny environments making Texas a perfect place to grow them.
- One of the most usable crops – nothing goes to waste. The peanuts are eaten and the shells are ground up and have multiple uses.
I certainly have a greater understanding of all the hard work, sweat and passion each farmer has for their crop. We seem to take for granted that we can easily go pick up any groceries we wish to have and not think of the sacrifice and long hours it takes to literally put food on the table.
What is your favorite way to eat peanuts? I’m pretty sure I LOVE it all!