November is the month of comfort. Farmers wrap up their harvest season, families travel home to gather around tables with an assortment of food, and folks from all over rush to attend the National Peanut Festival. The 2023 National Peanut Festival (NPF) has come and gone, but peanut farmers are still working; Working to put the food on the table and the peanuts in peanut butter jars.
This year, our Peanut Pavilion at NPF was nothing short of fantastic. Great weather, great food, and great people made for an unforgettable week. The highlight of the Alabama Peanut Producers Association (APPA) exhibit was our new and improved, Sweet Grown Alabama grilled peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. A big hit among fairgoers, the sandwich included double honey peanut butter made from Alabama peanuts by Medders Family Farm out of Montevallo, AL, and also featured honey local to the area. The apple jelly was also harvested and preserved in Alabama by Palmer Farms in Eclectic, AL. That means our grilled PB&Js were homegrown products of our beautiful state and directly support Alabama farmers.
We believe it is important to get involvement from the farming community to showcase the faces behind the products. Young Farmers from the Wiregrass area were an integral part of our booth’s success. Serah Hall, Houston County Young Farmer chairman, shared a story from her week. “One of the most fun things about helping with the Peanut Pavilion at the National Peanut Festival is getting to educate the public about how peanuts are grown and harvested. I had the opportunity to talk with a couple from Washington and another couple from Colorado who had very little knowledge about what a peanut even is. They had decided to make a trip down just to enjoy the peanut festival and learn more about peanuts. It was a pleasure to chat with them and educate them,” Hall says. APPA is glad to provide a taste of peanuts and a quick guide to peanut farming to anyone who asks.
Libbie Johnson, newly named Executive Director at APPA, got to experience the National Peanut Festival for the first time this year. However, a fast-paced initiation was right up her alley. “What a great experience it was to see the National Peanut Festival in full swing. It was a joy to see so many people join together to celebrate Fall, the season of peanuts, and family togetherness. It was especially nice to be able to educate people from outside of Alabama about how peanuts grow and what they are used for outside of peanut butter and candy. I loved seeing people line up to eat a grilled peanut butter and jelly—it brings the comfort of home to the joy of a festival. What an exceptional combination.”
The comfort of peanuts and peanut butter is something you can’t find anywhere else. Maybe that is why the National Peanut Festival is beloved by so many. However, it is thanks to our peanut farmers that we have reason to celebrate. Roasted peanuts, fried peanuts, grilled PB&Js and other samples were all courtesy of Alabama peanut farmers, because we grow comfort.