Saturday, August 13, 2011

Catching up - Pealicious!

I have been remiss in posting lately, but promise to get back on the band wagon with the goal of posting once a week.

To catch you up, here is some info on the pea experiment

Well, as it turns out I went out of town during the height of our pea harvest.

Fortunately, our neighbors helped us enjoy the bounty and there were enough for us to enjoy some too.Unfortunately we came back to many pods that were past their prime. Who knew months ago that mid-July would be prime pea harvesting time?

The majority of the peas that we enjoyed mid-July went into salads. We blanched the peas for both - a quick dip in boiling water to preserve their color and stop the sugars from converting to starches - and then created a dressing of minced shallot, finely chopped mint, lemon juice, olive oil, Dijon mustard and salt and pepper to taste. Yum!

I learned a few lessons about cultivating peas this year -
  • Five varieties may be too many. Next year I think that we will grow fewer varieties of peas and perhaps less of them.

  • As it turned out, the golden snow peas weren't as interesting to eat as I anticipated, though this could be the quality of soil where they were planted. I may try them one more time...

  • I am still not quite sure how we were to use the purple soup peas, but am sure that if we grow them again it will only be for their amazing  purple flowers and pods! Perhaps a pea teepee out front?

  • You can't count that they will be ready when you want them to be, so watch what you plant underneath or near by to them. I had tomato starts between the rows of peas in both of the troughs with the plan that as the peas phased out in June the tomato starts would have room and the light they need to come in. With the peas lasting through mid-July they definitely stunted the tomato starts initially.

  • The chicken wire trellises worked well for the peas. The thing I like best about these is that I can roll the whole thing up at the end of the season and it won't take up much room in my garage. I should note though that the purple peas were supposed to be about 6 feet but ended up far taller than that. As a result, they tumbled over the top of the trellis and cascaded nearly to the ground.

Next up ...Favas!

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