So far this spring, we have enjoyed lettuce, spinach, parsley, cilantro, and mint from our garden. But as of yesterday, the “real” harvesting started. The weather was gorgeous, in the 70’s F, sunny with a pleasant breeze blowing, perfect gardening weather. The children and I went out to our shared plot to check the peas, and I was pleased to see loaded vines and many full pods. The Lord has blessed us with a good balance of rain and sunshine this spring. This year we tried something new with planting six rows of peas very close together and surrounding them with chicken wire. I am pleased with the strength and health of the vines, but it is a little tricky reaching some of the pods growing close to the bottom of the vines. I think a wire with bigger openings would be better. After picking for an hour, we had our basket about half full.
Today we popped the pods, a job I always have enjoyed. When I was a girl, I used to imagine the pods were little canoes. Our daughter was trying to guess how many peas were going to be in each pod before she opened them. I remember playing that game too. I have to limit how many raw peas get popped into little mouths, so we will have some for the freezer.
After the shelling is done, I blanch the peas. Fill the blancher half full of water. Bring to a boil. Add about 8 cups of peas and bring to a boil again. Remove from hot water and put peas in cold water. Once peas are cooled down, drain off the water and put peas into bags or containers to freeze. This harvest yielded 4 pints of peas, 3 for the freezer and 1 for our supper tonight.
Sometimes it seems like a lot of work for a little bit of food, but the joy of raising and eating our own produce, knowing exactly what we are consuming cannot be beat.