Poplar Grove Plantation
Peanuts and Agricultural
peas, peas, eatin' goober peas . . .
. . . goodness how delicious, eatin' goober peas'
Joseph Mumford Foy was the first man in North Carolina to grow peanuts on a large scale. He learned how from his slaves.
Peanuts are a strange plant. Theyre not really a nut but a bean. They grow on a vine like a green bean, the only difference is that the peanut grows underground. What happens is the flower that grows on the vine buries itself in the dirt and that is where the peanut is formed.
Some of the early names for peanuts are ground peas (because they grow underground) or goobers (which is the Swahili name for peanuts). Peanuts originated in South America, then went to Africa, then came to North America.
George Washington Carver led a remarkable life.
Born a slave in 1860, he traveled a difficult road to become a great and renowned chemist. Known in the scientific community as the 'Peanut Wizard', he developed over 300 uses and products from the peanut plant.
Dr. Carver started his study of peanuts at the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama. He was the head of the Agricultural Department, then Director and Consulting Chemist. Booker T. Washington once referred to Professor Carver as 'one of the greatest men God ever made.'
Some of the discoveries he made from the peanut were peanut butter, paint, salves, bleach, tar remover, wood filler, washing powder, metal polish, paper ink, plastics, shaving cream, rubbing oil, linoleum, shampoo, axle grease and others.
Because of Professor Carver, more farmers in North Carolina started planting peanuts instead of cotton. Today, peanuts are North Carolinas fifth largest cash crop.