Monday, March 16, 2009

Pea Brained!

is what you are if you don't grow peas in your garden this year. What's that you whine? You don't have a vegetable garden? And what does that have to do with the price of teabags these days? Haven't you heard? There's no law against growing veggies in amongst your flowers. On the contrary, it's often very beneficial to both and the gardener as well. Fresh veggies are tasty and healthy and, if you do it like I do, they can be very pretty too.
These are a few of the peas I'm growing from seed this year;
sugar peas, they are very easy to grow, taste delicious and you can harvest them for months.
They look great in your border or flower bed with their pretty little white flowers. They are climbers so you have to have a frame for them. In my nick of the woods you can sow them directly in the soil (after soaking them in water overnight) in April. The germination rate is very high, always a plus in my gardening book.
This is what they look like when they are ready to harvest and don't they look pretty in their spring green frocks?
Sugar peas are easy to cook; just wash them, put them in a pan, add water until they are barely covered. Bring water to the boil and cook them for 5 to 7 minutes. Serve them with a little knob of butter.
I'm also growing peas and frankly if you have never tasted peas straight from the pod you haven't really lived. Eating them that way is such a delight, like a mini explosion of spring in your mouth, so tender and sweet. There is however one drawback; if you've eaten them like that frozen peas and tinned ones will never satisfy you ever again unless you enjoy the taste of sawdust.

Growing them is as easy as falling off the compost heap; you grow them exactly the same as sugar peas. The only difference is that this time you let the pods swell until they have the desired juicy little peas inside them.
This is what you end up with, a basket full of culinary joy. The purple pods? Well, that brings me to another kind of pea I'm growing this year
capucijners, at least that's what we call them in my country. It's something we eat quite a lot but it is apparently practically unheard of in other countries so it may be unfamiliar to you. Its botanical name is Pisum savitum, which is exactly the same as the pea so that's not helping but, after a prolonged spot of googling, I found out that the Brits call them marrow fat peas.
Not the most appetising of names but believe you me, tasty capucijners most certainly are. Here you can mostly buy them dried, tinned or in glass jars, it's not often that you can buy them fresh and that is exactly why I grow them myself.
And just look at those pretty purple and pink flowers, gorgeous enough to grow in your flower border.
Those purple pods would also look very pretty in your border, wouldn't you say? It's almost a shame to pick them but as soon as they are ready; pick them, shell them, rinse them, put in pan with a bit of water, boil for 10 minutes and serve with a little knob of butter.
My capucijners are already in the ground; I'm growing them, just like the peas and the sugar peas in my new border. The capucijners will look great growing in amongst the purple and pink flowers on the right side of the border. I'm expecting the first harvest to be around half June, can't wait to have them fresh on my plate!
Kadootje is checking out a basket full of happiness: sugar peas, broad beans, savory and sweet peas. Which brings me nicely to another pea I'm growing
the sweet pea. I always buy the scented ones, Lathyrus odoratus and I'm having great expectations about these ones.. ;-) And where will they grow this year? Well, in my veggie garden of course.
You grow sweet peas exactly like peas but this time it's the flowers you're after. The more you pick, the more the plant produces. Be sure to feed your sweet peas well and you will be rewarded with a plethora of flowers.
A tiny bouquet like this is able to perfume a whole room. I have little bunches of them dotted around my whole house, utter Bliss. A word to the wise, be sure to never grow peas on the same spot but choose a different spot each year instead.

After reading all this you may rightly conclude that yours truly has peas on the brain but that's quite a step up from being pea brained, wouldn't you say? Do yourself a big favour and go and buy them, sow them & enjoy them in the garden, on your plate or in a vase. There is only one genuine excuse for not growing peas and that's when your climate is not suitable.

copyright 2009 Y.E.W. Heuzen

38 comments:

garden girl said...

Peas, wonderful peas! So delicious and so easy to grow. I can hardly wait. You're so right Yolanda - frozen and canned peas taste so different from peas from fresh from the garden.

GardenJoy4Me said...

Yolanda .. I think everyone should have a bit of potager garden : )
Fresh veggies from your own garden are always better ..
Every time I see Tara in the header picture she makes me chuckle .. so innocent and sweet .. and full of the dickens too ! LOL

Chiot's Run said...

I love sweet peas, they're so pretty. I have some seeds I got from my grandma's house, real heirloom plants.

Tyra in Vaxholm said...

Hi my potager friend, I so agree with you. It is the mix that makes it so exciting and as you say they enjoy and thrives together, veggies and flowers.
Lovely pea pics Yolanda.

xoxo Tyra

Bangchik and Kakdah said...

Your sweet peas are so nice. I have tried planting winged bean or locally known as kacang kelisa . When fresh, they are so crunchy and tasty.

nancybond said...

Peas from the garden are delicious beyond description. :) Cannot wait!

marl1 said...

De mooie 'raasdonders' zijn idd erg lekker en die peulen zijn ook prachtig- hoop dat ik ze weer bij een groentejuwelier zie liggen....;-))))

Gail said...

YE, Your new bed looks wonderful and call me pea brained! I only grow sweet pea flowers...no garden yet! But I have friends who share the bounty from their vegetable gardens! Kind aren't they! gail

Grace Peterson said...

Yolanda~~ Love your post, a nice balance of information and humor. Fresh peas straight from the garden are nothing short of taste bud heaven. And the odoriferous sweet pea flowers are heaven to the nose. Good luck with your borders. Hope to see the mature pictures.

keewee said...

I always grow peas, and this year I plan on planting sweet peas. I have fond memories of all the sweet smelling bouquets of sweet peas my mother placed in vases around the house. I hope I have inherited her "green thumb"

chuck b. said...

Those purple pea pods would look nice in the border indeed!

Jan (Thanks For 2 Day) said...

Mmm, your garden is making me hungry, and I can practically smell the lovely sweet fragrance right now;-)

Curmudgeon said...

Hi YE! The Wenches too have peas on the brain. LOL! We put in our peas on Friday. We're growing the mange-tout kind--3 different varieties, including a yellow podded one. We're also growing the shelling kind--including a purple podded one. I had to search high and low, far and wide to find that purple one. It seems very hard to find them here in the states. You have inspired us to also grow some just for their sweet flowers.

Karen - An Artist's Garden said...

Yep - my peas went in on Sunday - although they never make it to the dinner table - I eat them straight from the pods when I am working or walking in the garden, can't wait :)
Thanks for the info about marrow fat peas - I will have to look into them.
K

Cat with a garden said...

Peas! That's it! For the first time in her short gardening history our mom will do an attempt at veggies this year. We've got Lollo Rosso and rhubarb already and were thinking what else... Peas might be a very good idea. We will check again that post were you talked about lettuce you can use single leaves of... that sounds like something we would want too.
Purrs, your feline friends Siena & Chilli.

Anna said...

I am drooling at the thought of picking fresh peas later in the year after reading your post. You are so timely in singing their praises Yolanda, as tomorrow is St. Patrick's Day - the traditional day for sowing peas. 'Ezethas Krombek Blauwschok' is a lovely mange tout pea as well if the pod is picked when small. Sweet peas are the very essence of summer - would not be without them :)

nikkipolani said...

Aaaaaaagh! You remind me that I meant to grow sugar snap peas this year. Wonder if it's too late for my area.... I love the look of those purple pea pods.

Gemel said...

I had better get some peas then, how inspiring your post is....

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

Both your peas & Sweet Peas are beautiful. How I wish it didn't get hot quickly around here, so that Sweet Peas & peas would last longer.

stadtgarten said...

The peas look really lovely and I think it is a good ideato plant them between the flowers.
Groetjes,Monika

hkki said...

beautiful garden

Terra said...

I very much love sweet peas and sugar peas so I appreciate your photos.
Last year I discovered how well beans grow, when my friend gave me a pack of seeds.
So pea brained or bean brained, it's all good.
Terra
http://www.twitter.com/terragarden

Lisa at Greenbow said...

I've had all the best intentions to plant some but it isn't happening. I need to clear a new space for them. It isn't happening this year. Sigh...

Pamela said...

Thanks for the info. I had no idea you werent supposed to plant peas in teh same place each year. Sweet peas that is. Thanks

Glo said...

Definitely going to get the sweet peas in earlier this year! I grew some shorter ones in the window box and the draped down quite nicely:) Thanks for the informative and jolly post ~ in fact, bless your little pea-picking heart :)

Connie said...

Great post, and timely, too. Today I just planted out sugar snap peas I started in peat pellets. Yes, I know that is cheating, but this time of year we get so much rain that the peas often rot before they come up, so this insures me a pea crop. It works for me!

kate smudges said...

Oh yum ~ I love fresh peas. Since I will have a garden plot this year, there shall be peas! The capucijners look gorgeous ~ I shall look for them here! Marrow fat peas doesn't sound anywhere near as delightful as the Dutch word for them. Big pats to Tara ~ she looks so adorable in your banner image.

gintoino said...

Your peas look tasty Yolanda. My capucijners are already flowering, si I expect to have pods very soon. Unfortunately most of the seeds didn't sprout, will not be able to eat my capicijner crop yet as I want to save the seeds for next year

Monica the Garden Faerie said...

I'm growing beans to eat (and lots of other veggies), but not peas. I'm just not super wild about peas. You might even say I don't give them a chance!

Flighty said...

I'll be growing some, but I've not decided which yet! I must admit that I do prefer broad and runner beans.
I'll be growing lots of lovely sweet peas again! xx

HappyMouffetard said...

I can't imagine a garden without some sweet peas in the summer, nor a veg plot without some form of edible pea.

I love sweet peas - I could inhale their perfume forever.

Lovely post, Yolanda.

Chookie said...

I grew some "Purple Podded Dutch" peas a few years ago and they were yummy! SO I think that is what the capucijners are here. I presume that like cappucino, the name comes from teh brown cloaks of the Capucin monks.

Libby said...

Yes to all the above, I definately love growing sweetpeas and will grow them again this year, I love picking large handfuls of them every couple of days!!
Peas I have now grown for a couple of years, I grow @heritage' which clib to over 6ft. I like your idea of growing them in the flower garden, I wonder if I could find a 6ft obelisk to grow them up???

lisa said...

Hear hear! I want to be pea-brained this year too! I'm planning to grow some edamime beans, red "yard-long" beans, and some sweet peas, too. In fact, I plan to skip buying annual flowers altogether except for pansies, since they are edible too! I bought some lettuces and various greens for a "potted salad mix"...I can hardley wait! :)

Kerri said...

Yolanda, after reading about your peas I want to go out and sow some right now, but alas, I'll have to wait a few weeks yet.
I was able to buy a brand of frozen baby peas that were almost like fresh grown but recently they've not been available, so yes, it's back to the unpalatable ones :(
Peas straight from the pod...mmmm...I can't wait!
I'll feed my sweet peas very well for more blooms this year. Thanks for the advise.
Happy spring!! :)

Kylee said...

Though we have grown peas before, they are a bit too labor intensive although we do love the taste. You have to grow so many to get any amount to eat, plus the work of shelling them! I know...quit whining, right? I do like frozen peas for eating, but never ever offer me a canned pea because those are mushy ickiness. We will grow sweet peas though.

Actually, you have me thinking maybe we should grow some peas for eating this year. I'm kind of hungry for some right now...

jennahsgarden said...

Do sweet peas do well in a pot? I have some seeds and I think I may toss them in a pot with a handmade trellis and see what happens. Also, I seem to remember that they die out when it gets very warm?

Hello, btw! I seem to be your Garden Blogs Webring next door neighbor! Though I get different things when I click on prev and next from your site, I always get YOU when I click next from my blog! :)

Barbara said...

You have convinced me...this year I'll have a go with peas not only the sweet peas (lathyrus odorate) which I love very much and sow every year.