The Newsroom Blog

Growing Peanuts and Self-reliant Families in Tonga

It’s harvest time at the peanut farm in Fatumu, Tonga—where a “Food for Families” project is wrapping up after a successful first year.

According to one participant, the crop was “very, very good,” and the peanuts were “nice and big.” Each family received anywhere from 10 to 19 bags of peanuts from their acre.

A bag of peanuts sells for $150 Tongan Pa’anga (around $70 USD), which will be a great help to each family to pay for school fees and other needs, with enough remaining to plow and replant for another harvest.

One observer says everyone is very happy with how their crops turned out and some are going to double their acreage. They said what was nice about planting peanuts is that all the family can be involved, including the children since there are no chemicals involved.

They can plant, weed, and harvest the crop together as a family. They all pulled together to make their acre a success. Even though a few decided to opt out of the project, the majority of the group continued on and were successful.

When they pull the peanuts at harvest, they pile them and let them dry. The next step is to pick the peanuts from the plant and lay them out in the sun. This process takes a few days of stirring the peanuts.

Each day they empty the bags onto mats then at night they bag them again for storage. The next day, if the sun is shining, they empty the bags of peanuts onto the mats again. This is done until the peanuts are completely dried.

Raising peanuts is a lot of work, but these families have proven they can do it. They are hard-working people and are excited to see the results of their joint labours.

The families and the project were supported by Welfare Services (LDS Charities) of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Representatives of the Church congratulated the families who took part in the peanuts project at a special closing ceremony on 4 January to celebrate the success of the project. But for many of these families, the planting, growing and harvesting of peanuts may continue to be a source of income and community strength for years to come.

The Church encourages all its members to be self-reliant and provides instruction and assistance for them to do so. 

Former Church President Spencer W. Kimball said, "Save for time of need. You must not spend all you make. Money must be put aside for missions and for schooling for your children... It may mean that the parents of today will go without many things that they would like, but tomorrow will come the harvest."

Learn about growing your own garden by clicking here.

Newsroom contributors: Linda Murdock and Susan Winters

Browse the Blog

About The Blog: This blog is managed and written by staff of the Public Affairs Department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The information here is reliable and accurate but should not necessarily be viewed as official statements from the Church. The purpose of this blog is to provide journalists, bloggers, and the public with additional context and information regarding public issues involving the Church. For official news releases and statements from the Church, visit

Style Guide Note: When reporting about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, please use the complete name of the Church in the first reference. For more information on the use of the name of the Church, go to our online Style Guide.