2013-10-16 / People


Filmmaker captures harvest scene from decades past
By Anne Marie Kyzer

Harvest season is in full swing but few are doing it the way Joseph Barnhart planned last week.

The Hephzibah filmmaker has been collecting hours of footage in Burke County for his documentary, Growing Peanut Butter. To illustrate the harvest methods used in decades past, he called on a few friends and a team of mules to dig peanuts the old fashioned way. Local resident Neal Quick brought his mules to Burton Heatwole’s farm for the demonstration, and afterwards the peanuts were stacked for drying just as they would've been long ago.

Barnhart called it a rare event and a treat to see 40-year-old methods put into practice.

“Finding mules is hard enough much less finding them trained enough to pull a plow,” he said.

Barnhart said the footage will be important to his fulllength documentary, which also details modern peanut production methods and the manufacturing of peanut butter.

Once completed, he hopes the documentary will help others understand and appreciate what it takes to produce one of the world’s most important food crops. Having grown up on his parent’s farm, Barnhart said he understands the hard work involved. Though a lifelong disability has kept him from extensive physical labor, he sees his documentary work as one way he can show support for the industry.

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