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Monday, April 5, 2010

Peas--Keep Harvesting and They'll Keep Producing!

Last Friday at the UC Davis Good Life Garden we harvested quite a few peas!

We are currently growing two types: shelling peas and Sugar Ann snap peas. For those of you like me who thought a pea was a pea was a pea. That is not the case! Shelling peas are grown primarily to "shell" or to eat the peas inside and not for the pod. Sugar Ann snap peas on the other hand are grown to eat whole, pod and all!

What I have found is that you can eat a shelling pea, pod and all if you get it young. If you wait then the pod become a little woody and chewy. The same applies to the Sugar Ann snap peas but their pods tend to stay tender on the vine for longer than shelling peas, and boy, do they live up to their name! If you harvest them at just the right time--not to young, not too old--they are so sweet and delicious! I happen to have this variety growing at home and can't seem to be patient enough to incorporate them into a salad or stir fry because I'm snacking too much right off the vine, but I digress.

The point of this entry is to let you home gardeners out there know the importance of regular harvesting! If you want your peas, or cucumber, or beans, or really any edible that produces multiple fruits, legumes or vegetables--you need to harvest early and often! By harvesting our peas the plant will produce more. If we waited until the pods were all older and fatter (See photos.), our plants would get the message, "My work is done!" But we want them to keep kicking out the peas into spring, so we'll keep harvesting and so should you!

1 comment:

Harry Osell said...

I forgot to keep the package so I don't know if mine are sugar or shelling but it doesnt matter picked early they are great stir fry and later they never make it to the pot grandsons girl friend said she hates peas because her mother made her eat canned peas with manoynese ...after she ate a few off the vine ...thouse she likes