Give Peas a Chance!

This year we have been having record temperatures. With the heat, some plants start start to bolt to seed.

My spinach has done this and the radishes were finished weeks ago. The lettuce is starting to make heads, which leads to seed production.

One challenge in gardening is to prolong the time we can harvest vegetables before this puts an end to it.

But some plants we actually want to go to seed – corn, beans and peas. Our beans are flowering and will be producing soon, but right now I can enjoy the peas.

I usually plant three varieties that mature at different times. This allows for a longer harvest and an earlier one, too. I don’t plant snow peas anymore because I noticed the shelling peas were often ready to pick when the snow peas were still flowering.

Early varieties don’t produce as large of pods or even for as long, but they do give a taste of what is to come. This year, the variety I usually plant wasn’t available, but the seed company sent a replacement.

This variety, Strike, tended to have small plants that were low to the ground. They also produced quite a lot – not that I’m complaining. They are a tasty treat. When I brought them to the market, I was surprised at the demand for them.

This has been a very good year for peas. Keep watering them and they keep producing. A few days ago, we started to harvest the next variety that was ready, Lincoln.

This is an old standby for a lot of home gardeners. These peas are sweet and produce medium-sized pods. And this year they are producing a lot. Our late- maturing variety, Green Arrow, is almost ready to be picked.

Green Arrow was recommended by a gardening friend from Saskatchewan. She said it was reliable and produced well. It is also an heirloom variety, which means it has been proven over time.

Heirloom varieties are often the easiest to grow because they have been grown in many different kinds of soils and climates. They also tend to be naturally resistant to insects and disease … although, this isn’t much of a problem in the Yukon as they haven’t gotten this far north yet.

It is a good idea to plant varieties that will withstand whatever comes along.

At the market, I often get asked if the pods are edible on the shelling peas. They are, but, they have a papery lining in the pod that some may not like to eat in a stir-fry. But that doesn’t stop everyone: I have seen people munching away on them, leaving only the stem uneaten.

As wonderful as fresh garden peas are, we aren’t able to eat all that our garden can produce. So we do sell a large amount of them, but we also freeze them and eat garden-fresh peas all winter.

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