Love them, hate them, or get seriously swollen from them, the peanut is part of the Australian cuisine landscape. Peanuts have been grown in Australia since the 1860’s but only became a commercial crop in the early 20th century.
You can find all this information and more on the website of the Peanut Company of Australia. According to the website peanuts were mainly grown by Chinese immigrants for domestic use, especially during the Palmer River gold-rush in North Queensland.
“Although there is one report of ‘ground nuts’ being grown by a farmer in the Condamine region in 1861 no serious attempts were made to grow peanuts commercially in Queensland until the early 20th century.
And this is where it gets interesting for South Burnett. The story continues to report that the first peanut farmers in the Kngaroy District:
“…included Samuel Long who planted three acres near present-day Corndale in 1901. Another farmer B.J. Johansen planted a crop around 1915 beside what is now the Bunya Highway.
Brothers Ben and Harry Young, of Memerambi, are widely regarded as the pioneers of the South Burnett peanut industry. The sons of a Chinese immigrant, they planted their first crop in 1919. Harry Young subsequently designed the first peanut thresher in Queensland and Ben became a director of the Peanut Marketing Board now known as the Peanut Company of Australia (PCA).
The operations started in a small barn at Crawford, north of Kingaroy and later moved to the Kingaroy railway yards and then to PCA's current location.”
You can find this story along with everything you ever wanted to know about peanuts, courtesy of the Peanut Company of Australia. Find facts about nutrition, product information, nutritional facts and industry information too. Check out the Industry timeline, which provides a brief overview of the history of the Australian peanut industry and the Peanut Company of Australia.