Peanut sales get boost during holiday season

Published 10:17 am Wednesday, December 14, 2011

SEDLEY—A banner year for peanut production means more to sell this holiday for peanut retail shops.

Sales at Hubbard Peanut Company in Sedley heat up when shoppers look for Christmas gifts, said co-owner Lynne Rabil.

“Our fourth quarter is very strong,” Rabil said.

The company receives orders from all over the United States and Canada and ships to Europe and Asia.

The company’s store is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 17. After Christmas, there are no Saturday hours.

The Peanut Patch in Courtland also sees an increase in sales around the holidays, said employee Ann Marie Brotzman.

“Business is perky this time of year,” Brotzman said.

Peanuts are planted in May and grow underground through September. The harvesting begins around early October. Once harvested, the peanuts are left on the ground to dry in the sun for three or four days. They’re shelled and graded by size. The largest peanuts are cooked, spiced or candy-coated for gourmet products, according to the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation.

Virginia is eighth out of 10 states that produce the crop, said Spencer Neale, a commodity-marketing specialist with the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation. In 2010, producers harvested 18,000 acres of peanuts, resulting in $7.3 million is cash receipts.