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How We are Fed
A Geographical Reader

written by "Chamberlain, James Franklin"
... covers the kernel. If that be broken, the seed will not grow. "The kernels are planted about one foot apart, in rows that are, as you see, about three feet apart. Sometimes they are planted by hand and sometimes by machinery." "I wonder if peanuts are raised in the country around New York," said Harry. "No, I think not," replied Bert, "for they are very easily killed by frost. Great quantities are raised in North Carolina and in Tennessee. Father says that the negroes of western Africa raised them long, long before they were known in the United States. He says that they are a very important article of food there, and that whole villages take part in the planting and harvesting. "After the vines blossom," continued Bert, "a very strange thing happens." "What is it?" asked Harry. [198]"The flower stalks bend downward and push themselves right into the soil, and on these the pods develop. If the stalks do not enter the earth within a few hours after the flowers fall, they die." Harry now watched the plowing. The plows were drawn up and down the rows and ran directly under the vines, lifting them out of the soil. After they had been plowed out about two hours, men took them upon pitchforks and piled them up. Harry noticed that some of the piles were covered with corn fodder, and asked why this was. Bert told him that it was to keep out the rain. "What happens to the nuts after the vines have been piled up?" said Harry. "They remain in the piles fifteen or twenty days, and are then spread out on the ground or hauled to the barn, where the nuts are picked off," answered Bert. "Sometimes they are picked by hand and sometimes by machinery. Let us go to the lower field; we have an earlier variety there, and the nuts are being picked now." [199]They found men, women, and children picking the pods one by one and dropping them into baskets. These were emptied into sacks. Harry tried to lift one of these, and wa...

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