Peas Aplenty

I spent much of yesterday harvesting purple hull peas.  We have a great crop of them this year.

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Purple stained fingers.

Purple stained fingers.

For better or worse, our gardens are safe for creatures.

For better or worse, our gardens are safe for living creatures.

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We’re pleased that our local university will be serving them in their cafe next Tuesday as part of “Local Food Day.”

Last night Cherie fixed us an delicious dinner of cornbread, rice and a purple hull pea stew, which is one of my personal favorites.

It’s a great time of year.

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18 comments on “Peas Aplenty

  1. nebraskadave says:

    Bill, I never grew peas but one time and that was about 30 some years ago. My crop was a wonderful crop with tons of peas. I harvested them and began the shelling process with my two young (about 9 and 10) kids. They complained the entire time of shelling the peas. After the shelling the canning process began. At the end of the day, I was exhausted from working with the peas and fighting with the kids to help me. Back then a can of peas was probably about 35 cents. After all that work, stress, and drama, I realized I could have gone to the store and bought the equivalent in peas for less than five bucks. I realize that we gardeners don’t raise and preserve food to save money but for the quality of safe food. For me it was a bad experience with family that I never repeated. My time for gardening back then was very limited and peas just too long to process. I have been thinking about revisiting peas. Maybe next year I’ll give it another try.

    Have a great pea pickin’ day.

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    • Joanna says:

      One of the reasons I often go for sugar snap peas or something of that ilk. No podding and still a pea flavour. Having said that, I still like peas from the pod and love the taste. We need a bigger version of one of these http://www.homesteadharvest.com/ps50.html

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    • Bill says:

      Peas and beans are a lot of work, which is why a lot of farms like ours don’t have them. But we love them and think they’re worth the effort. Peas fresh from the garden don’t taste anything like the ones that come out of a can. And both peas and beans are legumes that fix nitrogen in the soil. They’re an important part of our garden rotation plan to give the soil fertility.

      I’d definitely encourage you to try it again!

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  2. shoreacres says:

    Love that view of the field, but I’m nearly overcome at the thought of harvesting all those babies! It just makes me appreciate even more the ones I get at the farmers’ market — already shelled and ready to cook!

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    • Bill says:

      I’ve spent a lot of time in that garden over the last two days. Cherie has been shelling them during the day and tonight we’ll shell some more while watching a movie. We offer them both shelled and unshelled. We like giving folks the option.

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  3. I don’t think I have ever eaten a purple pea. It’s fun that the university cafe will be featuring them. –Curt

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    • Bill says:

      They’re regional southern favorites–a variety of what are called Southern peas, cowpeas, field peas, and several other things. Blackeyed peas are a variety also. We really enjoy them.

      The university will be featuring our food on the same day that the voting will be happening there and elsewhere at college cafes across the country to select the winners of the Bon Apetit Farm to Fork grants I blogged about recently.

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  4. DM says:

    Sweet! Also love the pictures, and had the same thought as Shoresacres..that is a lot of pick’n. DM

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  5. pattisj says:

    I’ve never heard of purple hull peas.

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  6. df says:

    Purple hull pea stew sounds like an amazing treat. We haven’t grown peas with any great success yet, but we’ve been shelling plenty of speckled cranberry beans having planted enough from purchased heritage seed this year to hopefully provide us with a proper crop next year. It is a lot of work, but they are so good for long term storage (and I love them).

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  7. Oh, how I miss fresh field peas. Wonder if I could grow them with any success out here in the PNW? Thanks for reminding me!

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    • Bill says:

      The varieties I know about love long hot dry summers. But we grew this years crop in a summer that was wetter and cooler than usual and they’ve done fine. Maybe you should just try a row or two and see what happens!

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