Garden Peas, Hold the Salt

first of the peas

First of the garden peas

We grew up eating peas, both fresh and canned. We loved them. When we moved to the States, it stunned our classmates to see my sister and me eating them from our lunch tray at school. Looking back, I don’t remember anything really delicious arriving on a school lunch tray but somehow those peas were edible, at least to us.

Kids would scoop there peas on to our trays and dare us to eat them. It was a nifty party trick. I don’t have many positive memories of lunch at school, but I do remember eating the offered peas and enjoying the attention that came with it.

Now I’m growing my own peas. Straight from the vine, they’ll be fresh and crisp.  Inside is the hidden treasure: a row of nature’s green pearls.

sweet pea unfurling

Shoots and ‘ladders’

Although I’ve always known that peas were good for you*, I didn’t know they were also good for the environment.  According to The Worlds Healthiest Foods:

Peas belong to a category of crops called “nitrogen-fixing” crops. With the help of bacteria in the soil, peas and other pulse crops are able to take nitrogen gas from the air and convert it into more complex and usable forms. This process increases nitrogen available in the soil without the need for added fertilizer. Peas also have a relatively shallow root system which can help prevent erosion of the soil, and once the peas have been picked, the plant remainders tend to break down relatively easily for soil replenishment. Finally, rotation of peas with other crops has been shown to lower the risk of pest problems. These environmentally friendly aspects of pea production add to their desirability as a regular part of our diet. – Source WHFoods.org

sweet pea

Pea perfection

sweet pea flower

Pretty flowers give way to legumes

*Of Note:

Apparently peas aren’t good for everyone. Peas contain naturally occurring substances called purines.  Taken in excess they can cause health problems in people with gout or kidney stones.  The purine converts to uric acid.  They suggest limiting any high purine-containing foods such as green peas. Who knew?  You can find the complete article here.

23 thoughts on “Garden Peas, Hold the Salt

  1. The photo of the white flower in so pretty and the info about the peas fascinating. How cool that they aid in soil erosion and soil replenishment.
    Alys, how long have you been gardening? After you answer I’ll tell you why I ask.

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    • I started with houseplants when I was 16, then put in tiny patio gardens here and there during all my years of renting. We bough this house 17 years ago, and I’ve been gardening here ever since.

      Can’t wait to read your reply.

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      • When I first came to your blog, via Boomdee :-), I was a bit intimidated. I’ve always had houseplants but never a garden, and have only had success with basil the past 2 years. So I came to your blog wondering if I would find a comfy place to pull up a chair or even it I would have anything to share.
        The reason I love visiting here is because you don’t intimidate those of us who aren’t gardeners. You share your successes but you also share those things that are not as successful. You convey such humility and humor at those moments, and that makes me feel welcome.
        You clearly have talent but you don’t lord it over the rest of us!!
        And THAT is a gift!

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        • Speaking of gifts, your comment sailed through with the proverbial big red bow. Thank you for such gracious comments. My goodness you’ve made my day. What amazing feedback as well. Thanks, LB. Though I understand that gardening isn’t for everyone, I would hope that everyone feels welcome. Such a relief.

          I’m glad you’re here.

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  2. What a lovely comment LB made – and so true! I love the way you research your subject and offer us these tidbits of information – it all gets stored away somewhere in the grey matter to be regurgitated at some pivotal moment in time …..

    I’m a pea lover too – one of my favourite veges – eaten anyway it comes. Raw, cooked, fresh, canned, frozen. Peas and gravy, peas and mint, peas in a salad, peas with a roasted chicken – mushy peas [I learned that one in the UK] Peas, peas, peas, peas, peas – sung in a Monty Python-esque manner – yummy peas!

    I love climbing sweet peas too – related obviously to the pea flower which is just as pretty but minus the scent……

    Enjoy your peas! 🙂

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    • Does this mean that today I can refer to you as Pauline Pepper Peas the 5th?

      Thanks for reading and singing along! Thank you, too, for your gracious comments, above. I’ve learned so much since blogging.

      I’ll have to find scented climbing sweet peas to plant. They sound divine.

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      • You may refer to me however you wish – like my cat, I answer to anything including a whistle 🙂

        Do you not know of sweet peas? You must grow them – your life will never be the same again, I promise – they need a trellis or something sililar, you plaant the pea-ettes straight into the ground [they don’t transplant that well] in early Spring and they will delight you with their myriad coloured flowers and beautiful scent all through summer. The magic of them is the more you pick ’em, the more they flower. you can have vases and bowls and jugs full of sweet peas everywhere in your house for months! Heaven!

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  3. I remember peas being my favourite ‘eat without washing’ item in grandpas garden. I love them fresh of the vine. I often will steam sugar peas and top with fresh lemon juice and lemon pepper too. So many nice comments here my dear. I will add, (( you )) make it look easy even though I know, it’s a lot of work.

    One thing I also love about Sweat Peas are the little delicate tendrils that twist around your finger tips. I also appreciate how non-pretentious they are, they look great just plunked into an old canning jar on the kitchen counter and smell so awesome. If I can find some out of season here, I send them along. You will love the English Cottage Garden vibe they’ll lend to your garden too.xoK

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