Thursday, January 5, 2012

Sprouting Peanuts

Doing a little more after Christmas cupboard cleaning, I realized that besides all the candy,which is slowly dwindling, we also have quite a large bag of raw peanuts left over from peanut brittle making.

Generally I buy more than I think we're going to need, so that when we end up with one gooey batch, and one burned batch, we still have enough left for at least one good batch. This year, the weather before Christmas was cold and dry - perfect peanut brittle making weather, resulting in three good batches of brittle, and peanuts left over to spare.

That's okay though, because we've been meaning to try sprouting peanuts, ever since we took a look at the beginning of the plants inside the peanuts, last year.

We decided to go with the clear plastic cup method, so we will be able to watch our sprouting plants grow.

I gathered together the supplies:

* Clear plastic cups (ours are semi-clear)
* Raw (unroasted) peanuts (I also pulled out a bag of roasted peanuts, for comparison)
* Napkins
* Dark construction paper (cut to fit around the inside of the cup)
* And water.

I let the children shell a few of the roasted peanuts.

They had the same little plant part on the inside, but tasted much better than the raw peanuts.

To "plant" the peanuts, the children placed the construction paper strips around the inside of their cups...

...wadded up the napkins, to fill them...

...slipped peanuts, spaced apart, between the construction paper, and the inside of the cups...

...and poured in enough water to soak the napkins.

Then, we placed the cups into a dark cupboard, where they won't get knocked over, and left them for a day. When we checked them this morning, to see if we needed to add more water to the napkins, their peanuts had already started to sprout.

We took a quick look at one of the peanuts, before putting it back into the cup, and the cup back into the cupboard.

I'll try to remember to report on their progress for Science Sunday. Once the plants get to be about three inches tall, or so, we ought to be able to transplant them to a large, dirt filled pot, and after four months, we might even get to see peanuts ready to harvest - probably not enough for another batch of peanut brittle, but I'll let you know.

It's great to be a homeschooler.


Christy Killoran said...

How exciting that growth can be seen so quickly!

OurWanderingAdventures said...

How fun!!!

Debbie said...

Oh I have so been wanting to do this!

Natalie PlanetSmarty said...

How interesting! We might try it out - I can only imagine how happy Anna will be to watch a peanut grow.

Ticia said...

That is SO cool! I don't think we've ever bought raw peanuts. I need to check and see if our store has them. Superman would love to see this.

Elise said...

This would be a perfect experiment for my cherubs with overnight results like that.