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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

All Hail The Peas!

All hail the peas!

It is once again time for the Feast of the First Peas here at May Dreams Gardens. Festivities include eating a few peas right in the garden, admiring the beautiful pea vines, picking peas, and shelling them to display in one of my best bowls.

All hail the peas!

You know what’s ironic about this pea festival?

I don’t really like peas unless they are fresh picked from my garden. I don’t, really. I would never order peas as a side dish in a restaurant, nor would I buy canned or frozen peas. I do tolerate peas in vegetable soup and other dishes where they are mostly just used as a garnishment.

But for a few days every year in June, I like peas, I eat peas, I celebrate peas.

All hail the peas!

Peas are not one of the easiest vegetables to grow, but I’ve learned my pea planting lessons and believe that barring Mother Nature interfering, I will generally have a good pea harvest each year. I just need to remember to plant peas early, choose a variety that does well in my garden, protect the young pea vines from critters and then celebrate the harvest.

All hail the peas!

All this means that I try to plant my peas on or around March 17th, well before the last frost here in my zone 5b garden. I plant the variety ‘Green Arrow’. ‘Green Arrow’ usually gives me eight, nine, even ten or more peas in a pod. The more peas in a pod, the better, because it takes time to shell all those peas.

When the peas are just coming up, I sometimes cover them with row cover until they are big enough to start climbing on the support I give them and withstand a little rabbit nibbling. This year, by the way, I skipped doing that, and the peas were fine. Where are those rabbits?

Oh, did I mention pea vines need support? You can support them with short fencing, or even some twigs that are sturdy enough to hold the vines up.

All hail the peas!

I tell gardeners that if at first you don’t succeed with growing peas, try again the next year and the next year until you figure out what makes peas grow well in your climate. It is well worth the time and effort to taste the sweet goodness of home grown peas while standing in your garden on a beautiful morning. Then you will know why once a year, I like peas.

All hail the peas!

18 comments:

Janet said...

I don't eat Lima Beans unless they are fresh-- it is like they are different vegetables. FRESH is BEST!

Frances said...

Hi Carol, there is nothing as good as fresh peas, well worth the effort of all that shelling. We grow the sugar snap here, we love to eat the pods too. The rabbits took out half of the first planting, but the remaining survivors are feeding us well and the later planting is coming on strong. Early planting is key. All hail!
Frances

compost in my shoe said...

would not touch them unless they were fresh...processing changes everything...

Lisa at Greenbow said...

All Hail... I remember those days of sitting under the maple tree taking those sweet little peas out of the pods. Having to shell more because of eating them raw.

Your picture reminds me of the peas in the pod pin that I saw in the artists shop in Chicago. I wish I had bought it. A perfect way to enjoy peas.

Gail said...

Delicious looking...Now I am remembering how perfect they taste. sigh, gail

Kathy said...

We also plant them before the last frost but we have to wait until the soil dries out, or they rot in the ground. If it is a wet spring and gets hot early, it is usually a bad pea year for us.

We don't cook or freeze any of ours either. All eaten fresh, which is a trick.

prue said...

Now that looks like a bowl full of goodness. But how many plants do you need to fill it?

Laura said...

I remember eating dinner at my uncle's in-laws (Sophie and Cyp) house once when I was a kid. They served a salad that had one ingredient in it that I didn't like- peas! I ate everything else in that salad except them. I remember Sophie making a comment about it but I guess since I ate everything else, she let it slide!

HappyMouffetard said...

Hi Carol -what a wonderful havest. I think we managed about 20 peas in total this year. Still, there's always next year...

Faith said...

Just found your blog today but am greatly enjoying both the photos and the articles. I will certainly be a regular visitor.

I grew peas for the first time last year but afraid they didn't do too well - they were at the very back of the garden and don't think they got enough water.

Commonweeder said...

I can't believe it. My peas are sulking. Even compared to other peas in my neighborhood! Yours look yummy.

Muum said...

I am like you, peas are not my fave when cooked (overcooked!) ,etc. I like them fresh from the garden and that is about it. Mine are not ready, but we are having a cool, wet spring, and my small crop is coming along!

Sue said...

I've been growing edible pod peas, so that I can skip the step of shelling. Yours sure are pretty, though!

mss @ Zanthan Gardens said...

I enjoyed my 'Green Arrow' peas this year and intend to plant them again in the fall. There are a couple of other varieties I'm going to try to because one packet of English peas did not provide nearly enough peas to satisfy this gardener and her Englishman.

Jessica said...

I had great peas this year, but I ate all of them in the garden - nice reward on a hot day of gardening!

Sylvana said...

I love sweet peas! The only way I don't like peas is pea soup!

I try to start my peas early, but for some reason I just haven't been able to get them to start growing until the end of April. Next year I will try the row cover and see if that helps -- unless I have my hoop house!

Rose said...

I'm not especially fond of peas, either, but I do like the sugar snap peas, especially in stir-frys. Every year I plan to plant some, and every year I can't get them out early enough. Sigh, maybe next year.

I see you've gotten some nice rain; we finally got a little last night, thank goodness. I'm tired of dragging that hose all over the place and getting myself soaked in the process:)

acorn said...

Try just running hot tap water over frozen peas until they are just warm or cold of you are adding to a salad. I grow edible pod peas and they are just starting to flower here. They are surely one of the best things from the garden - after tomatoes!