My Messinia

Revelation of Arachis Hypogaea

DSC_0935cotvJust a few days ago as I was driving to Kalamata I have noticed a lonely silhouette of a woman picking something at the vast barren looking fields. She was holding a blue nylon bag which looked quite full. She was a lovely site…her movements slow but very graceful. She has not noticed me taking photos of her and she looked at me only when I called with greetings. I was so curious of finding out what she was collecting.DSC_0937πσοτω

-“Peanuts” she said

(I was startled…hundreds of images and scenarios have passed trough my head…some with fairytale like connotations…but also pragmatic ones… such as like..”where are the trees or bushes at last?”…”are they seeds?”…”did the peanuts disperse on the fields for some strange reason and she gathers them back now?”)

-“Would you like some?” or rather with a more accurate translation “Can I treat you with some?”-she said…

-Before answering I wondered with disbelief…”Do peanuts grow on the ground?”

-“Oh yes!” she said….”and under…!”

(What can I say…it has been a revelation to me!!! I did not know! I thought they grow on trees or some large bushes!Imagine…how is it possible that I have never realized it…and considering that plants are of great interest to me! so it was shocking that I have missed on this one….so…  the peanut, also known as the groundnut! or arachis hypogaea is a legume crop grown mainly for its edible seeds.  It is classified as both a grain legume and, because of its high oil content, an oil crop. Atypically among crop plants, peanut pods develop underground rather than above ground. It is this characteristic that the botanist Linnaeus used to assign the specific name hypogaea, which means “under the earth.”)

In an act of kindness she offered again to treat me with the peanuts and without taking no for an answer…

-“Να σε φιλέψω;”-“Can I treat you with some?”…So here I am with my story and a handful of peanuts to prove it.DSC_0941otv


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