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Thursday, July 22, 2010

garden report: the peas

so, the peas are all done, and here's a quick look back at how they did. you may recall that i went a little nuts at the seattle tilth spring edible plant sale, since all of the starts were half price by the time we arrived. i'm glad we had the opportunity to try out so many different varieties, as some did decidedly better than others. 

one success was a variety of snow pea called golden sweet edible podded. as the name would indicate, they were golden, sweet, and the pods were edible. 

the golden sweets were especially fun because they came from beautiful purple blossoms. they grew tall, and produced plenty of peas that were best straight from the vine. the sweetness made them a great little outdoor snack. 

the other winners were the curvy, curly dwarf snow peas (they grew into twisty shapes!), and sugar sprint. these, too, were edible podded and were crunchy and sweet. we ate these, along with the golden sweets, raw, in stir fries, on salads, and mixed in pasta with grilled chicken. yum!

for the shelling peas, it was a different story. above is the extent of the harvest, and, frankly, two of them weren't good at all.

left to right:

green arrow-- we had high hopes for these, because they share a name with a superhero. (superheroes are kind of a big deal in this household...) while the plants didn't produce very much, the peas tasted good. 

blauschokker-- these were a lovely and dramatic addition to the garden with their purple flowers and dark, dusky purple pods. inside, the peas were a pretty light green. however, they tasted bitter. maybe i left them on the vine too long? not sure, but i don't think i'll grow these again unless as ornamentals.

dwarf grey sugar-- i thought at first that these were supposed to be edible podded, but after trying to eat a few i realized i must be wrong. with these, too, the peas inside were bitter and disappointing. in fact, i ended up throwing these and the blauschokkers in the compost bin. there just wasn't enough there to make it worth the effort to cook or save them. (believe me, it takes a LOT for me to throw out anything edible, and especially if i've invested months in growing it! these were just bad.)

so, that's how the peas did. i hope to try some new varieties next year and get a good fresh eating crop, plus some to put away in the freezer. if anyone has suggestions for varieties that do really well here, please leave a comment!

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