“Drought conditions in the Southwest, the traditional growing region for the Valencia peanut, have had a significant impact on availability of this crop for commercial food producers like us,” said Clark Bowen, CB’s Nuts founder and chief roaster. “We have been working on peanut crop trials with WSU Extension Franklin County for the last seven years and are thrilled to finally put the first seeds of a commercial Valencia peanut crop into Washington State soil.”
10 acres of Valencia peanut crop were planted at Friehe Farms on May 8, 2012, using seeds purchased from Southwest producers who have agreed to process a portion of the crop yield into a shelled and graded product for consumer consumption. An additional 2 acres were planted on land in Pasco, Washington owned by WSU Extension Franklin County.
“This initiative firmly aligns with our mission as we are committed to diversifying into a legume that works in balance with other crops in our rotation,” said Travis Meacham production manager for Friehe Farms. “We are excited about the possibility of producing Valencia peanuts at a yield that will meet our standards for crop sustainability.”
The decision to move forward with the commercial planting this year was based on crop yield data from previous trials. With appropriate capital investment, the project partners believe that a permanent Valencia peanut crop can be realized in Washington as an alternative to traditional Southwest producers. In the future this may include an organic Valencia peanut crop.
“The market for pure, natural peanut butter is strong in the Pacific Northwest with sales potential reaching into the tens of millions,” said Tami Bowen, president of CB’s Nuts. “The partnership with Friehe Farms provides us with the perfect platform for meeting this demand while building on our roots as a leading producer of Pacific Northwest peanut products.”
“I grew up in a big agricultural community in Wenatchee and have strong ties to central and eastern Washington,”
About CB’s Nuts
CB’s Nuts is a craft producer of CB’s PB all natural peanut butter and roaster of USA grown peanuts, pistachios, almonds, cashews, hazelnuts and pumpkin seeds. CB’s Nuts’ unique brining process and custom made barrel roasters bring out the flavor potential of every nut. CB’s Nuts are available at over 450 retail outlets across Washington, Oregon and California, online at http://cbsnuts.com, or at the company’s retail store and roasting facility in Kingston, Washington. Connect with CB’s Nuts at http://twitter.com/
About Friehe Farms
Friehe Farms is a large family owned farm located on the eastern side of the Columbia Basin Irrigation project about 9 miles east of Moses Lake, Washington. Irrigated by waters from the Columbia River and the Odessa Aquifer, Friehe Farms currently produces potatoes and sweetcorn for the processing industry as well as bluegrass and dark northern spring wheat. Friehe Farms believes that a strong business model can go hand in hand with sound environmental practices. Friehe Farms staff use advanced technologies and the best management practices to produce the most sustainable crops possible while minimizing environmental impact.
NOTE: Photos available of the planting process.