The 2017 Texas Peanut Blogger Tour began with the 13 Texas bloggers traveling into Lubbock and a peanut packed meal at Las Brisas Steakhouse. Find out more about Day 1 of the tour here!
Day 2 was the full tour day on our trip and the bloggers were ready to see what was in store. Many had never visited a peanut field before so it was a part of the trip they were looking forward to.
Out in the Fields
West Texas peanut farmer Mason Becker was kind enough to offer his Wednesday morning to talk to our group about peanuts. Becker is an advocate for agriculture and farming has been in his family for generations. Mason is actively involved in the West Texas Young Farmers Association. This organization strives to promote the positive aspects of agriculture through community outreach, youth involvement and by staying active in government decisions.
Becker gave the bloggers an inside look into the lifestyle of a farmer and the work that goes in to producing a high quality crop. The bloggers were able to hear a true and genuine story about how much farmers put on the line to do what they are passionate about. Becker discussed input costs, production costs, difficulties farming in the West Texas region and how he overcomes the challenges of everyday farming.
(Photo Above From A Cowboy’s Life Blog)
The bloggers asked several questions about generational farming, conservation, how markets effect the business and the difference between organic and conventional farming. After a Q and A session, the bloggers took photos and we were off to see what happened to peanuts after they were harvested.
Birdsong Shelling Facility
After getting an overview of the peanut planting, maturing and harvesting stages, it was time to see what happens to get the peanut from the ground into consumer’s homes. In order to do that, the bloggers headed to Birdsong Peanuts in Brownfield, TX. There, the bloggers received a tour of the facility starting with the peanuts arriving at the facility all the way to packaging and shipping. The bloggers were interested to know some of the clients Birdsong produces peanuts for such as Mars and Hersey.
(photo from Grace and Good Eats)
For safety reasons, Birdsong does not allow cellphones or cameras into the facility so the bloggers had to take mental pictures on this part of the tour. The bloggers were fascinated by all the moving parts that work to maintain and sell high quality peanuts in this production stage.
Farm to Fork Food Truck
After a long afternoon in the West Texas heat, the bloggers were ready for lunch! Luckily, the Farm to Fork Gastro Truck was parked at a vineyard from Trilogy Cellars and ready with a menu custom made for our peanut tour!
The menu consisted of 3 family-style entree options and a fresh gelato for dessert. Farm to Fork uses local ingredients including all of their meat and creams. To pair with our lunch, Trilogy Cellars provided two of their award-winning wines and gave us a background of their story (mentioned later in this post).
One of the entrees from Farm to Fork was a Korean Fried Chicken (above). A buttermilk brined and fried chicken sat upon a bed of Asian peanut slaw. The dish was topped with a sesame dressing and plum siracha chili sauce.
The miso glazed Chilean sea bass (above) was also passed around the table. The bass was served with a side of shiitake mushrooms and baby bok choy. The dish was covered in a peanut yuzu sauce to add in that peanut flavor.
The third entree was a short rib with ancho mole. This dish was devoured to quickly to get a photo. The mole was made with ground peanuts and ancho chile. The short rib was glazed with a spiced panela sauce and served over an oaxaca cheese polenta with a side of sautéed spinach.
Following the entree portions, the bloggers were able to cool off with a fresh gelato dessert. When people hear “food truck” they may think of barbecue and finger foods, but Farm to Fork sets all stereotypes aside with their fresh gourmet style dishes.
The lunch view consisted of blooming vineyards courtesy of Trilogy Cellars. Steve Newsom and Chace Hill gave us the background of how three families came together to make award-winning wines. Each family grows grapes in Hockley County outside of Lubbock and are dedicated to growing high quality grapes in order to produce their premium Texas wines.
(Photo above from Ginger Casa)
Newsom gave the bloggers a tour of his personal vineyards and told stories of his background in generational farming as well as his peanut-farming days. It is very common to grow both grapes and peanuts because of the arid West Texas temperatures and sandy soils that are ideal for both crops.
After seeing the grapes, and trying a few fresh from the vineyard, the bloggers headed to the Trilogy Cellars Winery in Levelland to get a better taste of the final product the Newsom, Hill and Bolen families produce. Several of the bloggers got signed up for the wine club after trying a few of the Texas wines. After the ladies were wined and dined, it was time for a break to catch up on blogging and photos.
Ending the Day
For dinner, the bloggers headed to La Diosa Cellars which can be found in the heart of downtown Lubbock. Tapas and sangria was the perfect end to a long day. La Diosa has a calm eclectic atmosphere and the bloggers enjoyed a buffet style meal full of various tapas. The women gathered around couches and tables to chat about their experiences and ask some questions about what they had seen throughout the day.
After dinner, it was time to head back to the hotel. Some bloggers continued exploring Lubbock while others began preparing to head back home the next morning. The day had been filled with a lot of information and it was packed with peanuts! Stay tuned to learn more about our bloggers and to see their posts about their time on the #TXPeanutTour17!