You can’t get that delicious sweet taste of shell peas (sometimes called English peas) ANYWHERE except by growing you own. And even more enticing is that you can shell and freeze with no blanching and enjoy in the winter with that same fresh-from-the-garden taste!
I depend on peas as one of our green vegetables in the winter when fresh green vegetables from the garden are rare. As well as being delicious, they provide key antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits and are very high in nutrients.
Peas are about the easiest vegetable to grow. Harvest takes a little time but most years they usually come in and finish quickly. The most time will be spent in shelling them. After that — transfer to a zip lock freezer bag and enjoy in the winter.
For the first time in all the years I’ve grown peas — probably over 30 years — some of my peas didn’t germinate. I purchased from a new source — but certainly a reputable one — Fedco. So I’m not sure if there was a problem at the seed’s source or not.
I planted 5 rows. The first row — planted with last years seed — came up fine. The other rows came up sparsely. I guesstimate the spots of mature peas amount to about (not including the row that came up ok) 1+1/2 full rows.
Fortunately for me — we’ve had rain in due season this year. I’ve never experienced that before in the 35 years I’ve gardened. And — because of the rain and cooler temperatures — I still have peas that started producing the first of June just finishing up now. Thus, in spite of spotty germination I’ve managed to harvest and freeze a little over 1 1/2 gallons for winter use.
Peas are an easy crop if you plant only what you need. Otherwise — the picking and shelling can become an overwhelming task.
I plant 4 or 5 rows (maybe 6 to 8 feet long and 3 feet wide) and in a year that all goes well that gives me 3 gallons for the freezer and many meals of fresh eating too.
Your crop will always vary according to the weather. Here are examples of how mine have performed in the last 5 years:
- 2009 – early drought lasted just a few days too long and the peas did not fill out. Only one gallon of peas for winter.
- 2010 – weather good; was able to harvest for two weeks; 3 1/2 gallons for freezing plus had lots for fresh eating
- 2011 – turned unseasonably hot just as the peas matured; harvest was much more time consuming than usual because they all came in within 2 days; 3 gallons for freezing
- 2012 – weather good; matured over a 10 day period so harvest was easy; 3 gallons for the freezer plus lots for fresh eating
- 2013 – germination spotty; weather good; harvested for 3 weeks; little over 1 1/2 gallons for the freezer and a few meals of fresh eating
You can have fresh-from-the-garden tasting peas for your family even in the winter. It requires minimal effort for a few days and is so easy.
Organic Gardening is easy, effective, and efficient—– and it’s a lot healthier.
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