array of pumpkins outdoors

Peanuts, pumpkins and pies

Written by Beth Bright

The clocks go BACK an hour this weekend and that always make me stop and think: soon it’ll be December 21, the shortest day, start of the winter solstice and then Christmas.

But for now the birds need to make sure they have enough to keep them going through whatever the weather has in store. That means eating lots of high fat, high protein food like peanuts. And it just so happens we’ve had a delivery of these delicious nuts ready and waiting for feeders and bird tables across West Dorset.

blue jay with peanut in beak

Peanuts are much loved by tits, finches, nuthatches and woodpeckers. If you want to get all Autumnwatch set the bigger birds a challenge by creating holes in logs or branches and place the peanuts inside a little way. Don’t use salted peanuts because the birds can’t cope with the excess sodium. Keep it simple and they’ll be happy and no longer hungry.

Peanut facts

Peanuts shelled

  • The peanut is a legume not a nut
  • The Latin name for peanut is arachis hypogaea
  • The peanut plant comes from South America, probably Brazil or Peru
  • Fossilised peanuts date back 7,600 years
  • China and India produces the most peanuts

Don’t forget Charlie Brown

Peanuts is a phenomenally successful American comic strip invented by Charles Schulz featuring Snoopy the dog, Charlie Brown, Woodstock, Linus and others. It earned Schulz $1billion.

Snoopy flying

Pumpkins and lanterns

lots of pumpkins

Pumpkins are part of the squash family from North America. The oldest pumpkin dates back around 6000 years BC from Mexico. The name Pepon is Greek for large melon. Pumpkins contain lots of vitamins and potassium and are 90 per cent water. The seeds are a good source of protein, magnesium, copper and zinc.

You can make pies, roast pumpkins or carve lanterns. Here’s one (or two) we made earlier…

   carving pumpkin in kitchen with spaniel watching

    John Bright b and cat scene carved in pumpkin

For all your seeds, squashes and lantern inspiration come and see us at our country store. 

Holiday squash



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