Bruce Holland of Holland Farms says he’s gathering peanuts as quickly as possible to save the green peanut crop for boiling peanuts and hoping to get enough sun soon to harvest the regular peanuts, a smaller variety used for peanut butter and canned nuts. He said cotton farmers may not be so lucky and could face total losses.
Despite about 20 inches of rain from Hurricane Sally, Holland Farms plans to move forward with rescheduled plans to open their seasonal pumpkin patch this weekend instead of September 19. The venue has become a staple the county’s annual Beaches to Woodlands Tour and features a corn maze and other fun-filled activities.
According to Holland, the corn maze is starting to straighten up following the deluge and their popular sunflower field “took a beating” which slowed down their growth but they will eventually bloom – probably in October.
Holland said the larger green peanuts are planted in sandier soil which typical drains quickly but that he still bogged down yesterday trying to get some. “We hadn’t been able to get in the field since the rain,” he said. He’s confident they’ll salvage enough of that crop to provide visitors with the boiled peanuts that help lure them to his farm.
But it’s a different story for the smaller peanuts he sells to market. Holland said thousands of acres are at risk because the ground is too wet to dig them up then three to four days of sunshine is needed to dry them up once they’re flipped out of the ground. “We need to get them out of the ground…there’s gone be total losses,” he said.
Per Holland, the outlook for area cotton crops is “horrible.” He said all the wind and rain left it twisted and laying on the ground, all “tangled out” and that will leave the crop with no fiber.
State officials are working to activate the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program to assist small businesses financially harmed by Hurricane Sally, including small agricultural entities.
Across the affected counties in Northwest Florida, it is estimated that hundreds of thousands of acres of agricultural products, including key seasonal crops and other commodities valued at $400 million and supporting about 8,000 jobs, have been impacted.
Wanna visit Holland Farms Pumpkin Patch & Maze?
Opens Saturday through November 1 at 2055 Homer Holland Rd., Milton, FL. Hours will be 8 a.m. – 6 p.m., Mondays through Saturdays; 9 a.m. – 6 p.m., Sundays. Enjoy a Farm hayride that will take you around the farm and to the pumpkin patch to pick a pumpkin of your choice. New activities for this year include the Holland Farms Mining Company and tennis ball cannons! Other activities include corn box, horse and regular swings, spider web, pirate ship, zip lines, pedal tractors on the racetrack, hill slides, rat racers, sandbox and an 8-acre corn maze with kiddie maze. Every visitor receives a free cup of our famous homegrown boiled peanuts. Sit back and relax on our farm market porch, see you at the farm! Follow us on Facebook Holland farms or Instagram: Hollandfarmsonline. For more information visit www.HollandFarmsOnline.com or contact BJ Holland at 850-675-6876 or email at Hollandfarms@gmail.com.