“Since I retired from teaching, my goal is to educate people about peanuts and farm life,” says Gloria Jeffcoat of Houston County.
That seems only natural for Gloria, who taught for 30 years and has spent 39 years helping husband George on the family’s peanut and cotton farm.
“George and I live on the original homesteaded acreage of the farm, but his family owned the land years before it was homesteaded. The original deed goes back to 1885,” said Gloria.
Like the Jeffcoats’ farmland, a love for agriculture seems to have been passed through Gloria’s family for generations.
“I didn’t grow up on a farm, so it was a way of life that was new for me when George and I married,” Gloria said. “My dad was raised on a farm but didn’t farm himself, so Dad always loved George because he farmed.
“He loved to visit and ride out to check the crops, and it’s a life that I love, too. It was a good way to raise a family,” said Gloria, whose three children are now grown.
In addition to their farm work, George is the current president of the National Peanut Festival, held each year in Dothan.
“This year we had a Peanut Pavilion with peanut products and a ‘Farmer for a Day’ booth where kids could mimic farm chores like picking apples, gathering eggs and milking a cow,” said Gloria.
George is also president of the Houston County Farmers Federation, and Gloria serves as chairman of the Houston County Farmers Federation and vice chairman of the State Women’s Committee.
“We really are blessed to work with such wonderful people in the Farmers Federation. They are kind and take their responsibilities seriously, and if you ask them to do something, they are there, willing to help,” said Gloria.
Several of the recipes Gloria shares this month are peanut recipes she has accumulated over the years she’s spent promoting peanuts, while others are family favorites.
“The oven pot roast is one of George’s favorites. My Mother’s Egg Custard is just old-fashioned custard and she added the meringue because she didn’t want to waste the egg whites. She would put it in the oven to brown when we sat down to eat, and we’d have it warm from the oven for dessert,” she recalled.