About Peanuts

At Hampton Farms we are involved in every stage of the product cycle including planting, growing, harvesting, shelling, roasting, packing and delivering.  By being in control of all the details, we ensure only the best peanuts get to be Hampton Farms Peanuts!

Our peanuts are grown, harvested, roasted and packed proudly right here in the United States.

 

Growing & Harvesting

Growing Regions

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The peanut farming industry in the United States spans from the North Carolina/Virginia Coast to parts of New Mexico. At Hampton Farms we bring raw farmer stock peanuts from all different growing areas to one of our two shelling facilities, either our eastern plant in Severn North Carolina or to our Western facility in Portales, New Mexico.

Planting

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The peanut crop is planted once a year across the country. Farmers prepare the fields and planting occurs in mid to late April.

Growing

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The plants are tended throughout the summer. Peanut plants “bloom” in mid-June. This puts the “peg” in the ground, which then grows to become the peanuts. While the peanuts grow in the ground, they are nourished through the stem of the plant.

Peanuts are also very sustainable to grow. It only takes just one gallon of water to make an ounce of peanuts.

Harvesting

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Harvesting takes place in the fall each year. Depending on the weather each season, farmers will start the harvest sometime in September and generally the entire crop is “in the barn” by the end of October.

Shelling

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The farmer stock comes to us to be cleaned, graded, sized and prepared for use as a final product. Most shellers simply sell raw peanuts to food manufacturers. However, we at Hampton Farms use our peanuts and ensure they become the best tasting peanut products possible: Grown, harvested, roasted and packed proudly right here in the United States.

Harvesting takes place in the fall each year. Depending on the weather each season, farmers will start the harvest sometime in September and generally, the entire crop is “in the barn” by the end of October. The harvest is a two-step process.

Food Processing

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At Hampton Farms, we have roasting facilities across the US to produce the best tasting products available. 

Severn, NC – We roast in-shell peanuts in our HQ facility. We also have a peanut butter production facility here.

Edenton, NC – We also roast in-shell peanuts in Edenton. This facility also roasts bulk peanut butter used as ingredients across the country. Also, in Edenton we roast shelled (out of the shell) peanuts

Springfield, MA – Our Springfield facility services the important Northeast consumer segment. We roast in-shell peanuts in Springfield. By roasting locally, we ensure we deliver freshly roasted products to our customers in the Northeast. We also produce cotton candy in Springfield, in a building separated from the peanut facility.

Portales, NM – This facility enables us to effectively service the Western half of the United States. We roast in-shell peanuts here and serve our customers from Texas and areas farther West.

Franklin, VA – State-of -the-art peanut butter plant where we produce the finest quality private label & Hampton Farms peanut butters.

Lubbock, TX – Our newest addition, one of the new peanut free almond butter production facilities in the US.

Peanut Types

Virginia Peanuts

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Contrary to the now standard state-naming trend, a “Virginia” peanut does NOT mean it was grown in the state of Virginia.  Virginia used to be the primary state in which the largest peanuts were grown, so the big peanuts that most people are used to seeing in the shell, became known as “Virginia’s”.   Virginia peanuts are now grown around the world. 

North Carolina currently grows the largest number of Virginia peanut acres.  In the US, they are also grown in VA, SC, FL, GA, OK and west Texas. Only 17% of the 2013 peanut crop were Virginia peanuts. The Hampton Farms brand of in-shell peanuts is 100% US grown Virginia peanuts and is now the #1 brand in the US: the peantus are also exported to Canada and other countries outside the US.

In-Shell – We first grade the peanuts for size, with the largest being separated from the smaller peanuts.  They are then screened for acceptable color, with those that meet that high standard now destined to become the ultimate – Hampton Farms In Shell Peanuts.  There are then 3 sizes of In-Shell Virginia’s.

Shelled  (out of the shell) – Those peanuts that are not large enough to become in-shells are then sent to the “sheller” which removes the kernels from the shell.  The kernels are then sorted into different sizes.

Valencia Peanuts

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The exclusive Valencias are grown in the dry sandy soils of eastern New Mexico.  This type yields a long peanut, frequently with more than 2 kernels inside each shell.  The kernels are smaller and come with a natural, sweeter flavor than other varieties.  This makes this peanut the preferred type of many natural peanut butters. 

New Mexico grows almost all the Valencia type peanuts.  A few are grown in Texas each year. Only 1% of the 2013 peanut crop was Valencia type. The Valencia type has a thinner shell than other varieties.  This makes it a great choice for boiling, a popular practice in the Southern United States.

Valencia Type - We handle all of our Valencia peanuts in our Portales, NM shelling facility.  We first size them to make the largest into an in-shell Valencia grade.  Smaller peanuts are then sized as Valencia kernels and used for naturally sweet peanut butter.  

Runners

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Runner type peanuts are the largest volume of peanuts grown in the US.  This type peanut usually yields the highest pounds per acre at the farm.  Runners are a great tasting type, with a small consistent round shape.  The size and shape make these peanuts a great value, and preferred by many candy and peanut butter manufacturers.

Georgia dominates growth of Runners, growing far more than any other state.  Runners are also grown in NC, SC, FL, MS, AL, TX and OK. 80% of the 2013 crop was Runner type. Runners are smaller in size than Virginia type peanuts. Therefore, we take them 100% out of the shell and roast the kernels. 

Runner Type - All Runners are shelled, meaning we knock the shell off them all.  

Spanish

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This type peanut is grown primarily in Texas and produces a small reddish-brown kernel.

Around 2% of the 2013 crop were Spanish peanuts. Their consistent shape, size and color make them popular with candy and brittle manufacturers. A naturally high oil content makes Spanish peanuts ideal for extracting peanut oil.

Spanish Type - All Spanish peanuts are shelled, meaning we knock the shell off them all.  

In Severn, North Carolina, we have a USDA facility on our grounds. The building is staffed by USDA personnel, that grade all our peanuts.