Monday, May 19, 2014

Growing Peas

Plant your peas in the early spring. The cooler weather is their friend and I have never had snow hurt my pea plants. Ohio has certainly given the local home gardener plenty of cooler weather this spring. My peas should be happy. I plant my peas 1" deep, about 3" apart in nice tidy little rows. Use a trellis to support the viney tendrils that grow. You will have a harvest in about 55 days.

After harvesting, I wash the peas and give them a quick blanch before zipping them up into a freezer bag. Label your bags with a date as you will most likely never harvest enough peas in one day to fill more than a bag or two. Unless you've planted a ton of plants. Each day as you harvest and freeze you'll want to document what day your vegies were frozen. Obviously the point is to use up the oldest bags first. Frozen peas don't retain the same amount of wonderful crunch as the fresh harvested pea.

Grocery store peas fuhgetaboutit. The sugars turns to starch so quickly after being harvested that there really is no comparison to strolling to the outback and harvesting your own. Trust me when the snow is flying, busting out a bag of your garden fresh peas from the freezer will make you smile. Freezing them immediately after harvesting does help with retaining a better tasting pea.

To harvest the pea, go gently. The peas do not have a sturdy root structure and yanking or aggressively picking them will disturb the plant. Just hold the plant in one hand and use your other hand to gently pluck the vegetable from the vine.

 This year my peas were late getting into the ground. The daily average temperatures should not be above 75 degrees or so during the day for the best crop. I have yet to see flowers on my peas so I am probably going to have a less sweet crop this year. We'll see. Maybe they will be just fine.

Growing peas in the home garden is almost like having a flower garden. The foliage in itself has such a dainty lacey look. Then the flowers are equally pretty. I love legumes. I really need to branch out and plant a few exotic varities next year. I might shoot for an autumn/winter harvest and plant something new this fall.

A new recipe has caught my eye. Dilled Chicken Salad with Peas and Asparagus sounds refreshing. Piled high on some Bibb lettuce...this sounds like a plate of heaven right now.
Look the chives (looking scrawny) have a new home once again. I have moved this batch at least 3 times to different homes, and around from garden to garden at each house. These are well traveled.

On a completely different note. Anna got ink. She's a Harry Potter fan. Her unique one of a kind tattoo reflects so many different aspects of who she is as a person. The Womping Willow. The Castles. Dreamer and Realist rolled into one. My second born daughter has become my right hand woman.

1 comment:

  1. That is one hell of a skillfully rendered tattoo. When I got my (very small) tattoo 30 years ago, the colours available weren't nearly as vibrant. Really, just breathtakingly beautiful.

    If you don't get peas, you can always eat the shoots before they get too tough. Most years we just harvest for the leaves and take whatever pods grow as a bonus. They make a nice salad with a light dressing.