March is National Peanut Month. Peanuts are the official state crop of Georgia, and for good reason: nearly half of the peanuts produced in the U.S. each year are grown in our state. This time of year, folks across Southwest Georgia are celebrating the peanut industry and its importance in our community. We don’t grow peanuts here at White Oak Pastures, but we have found many uses for the byproducts of the peanut industry that work within our zero-waste philosophy.
Here is what we do with the unused peanut waste we pick up from the local peanut processors:
We add human-grade ground peanut paste to our chicken feed, creating a lipid-rich, protein-rich, low-cost feed for our birds.
In all things we do, we try very hard to emulate nature. Peanuts are one of the most natural foods for hogs. Look at a hog’s nose: it was made to root under the soil for food. Look at a peanut: it grows two inches beneath the soil. A perfect combination! Most of the hogs in the U.S. are fed a GMO soy and grain feed. We are proud to supplement our hog feed with GMO-free peanut paste.
Wildlife goes “nuts” for it, too!
We use peanut shells for bedding in our poultry brooder houses. Chicken and turkey poults, ducklings, goslings, and guinea fowl keets all stay warm and safe in this bedding in our brooders until they are old enough to go out on pasture.
Peanut shells act as the carbon component for composting the ground meat and poultry waste from our abattoirs. This compost is used as a soil amendment to feed the microbial population in our pastures. Using this rich compost, we never have to rely on synthetic fertilizers to keep our grass growing green.