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The Ultimate After School Snack


My glut crop this week is peas, and they are only a glut crop because my kids are grown up.   For years, all through pea season, a whole gang of kids would arrive after school and feast on peas straight from the vine. The cry of “two hands, use two hands to pick” is still a family joke.

These are Willow, or Sommerwood peas, seeds a gift from Celia at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial. They’ve done well enough for me to save some seed for next year, but they haven’t stolen my heart.  I like tall climbing peas, since I have to fortress fence my garden beds against everything from brush turkeys to bobuck possums, so I need to use the vertical space productively.  And these are only about 80 cm tall.

I’ve had a few favourite varieties over the years.  Telephone is still my favourite of the tall climbers, though it is a bit prone to powdery mildew if we get a warmer and wetter than usual winter.  In all the years of open, unfenced gardens, I swore by Greenfeast.  They’re a dwarf variety that bears really prolifically, peas so sweet that I very rarely got any to cook.

One of the minor benefits of being between parent and grandparent generation – I get to eat peas.  But I still can’t  think of any better way of dealing with a glut of peas than a gang of kids.


{ 10 comments… add one }
  • Michele October 10, 2013, 8:41 pm

    Ahhh peas… yes telephone peas are my definite favorite. I’ve been saving these seeds for years and they never fail to please- fresh pea soup, primavera, pea flour chapatis. I have tried greenfeast for the second time this year and got reasonable results, but for sweetness and crispy crunch the dwarf sugarsnaps have won my choice pick this year. Although, my purple podded peas are just flowering now as I planned them to be for dry storage. Their beautiful flowers are sweetly scented giving promise for the future crop. Thank you for your insights and shared knowledge.

  • Linda October 10, 2013, 8:48 pm

    Lovely post! I need you here with the cry of ‘two hands’. My kids love the peas and it’s very rare that I bring them inside for a meal.

  • Jude Wright October 11, 2013, 6:22 am

    I know the ‘use two hands to pick’ cry; I use it at school.
    We are also having a good pea season; not great, but good.

  • Pavel - Desired World October 11, 2013, 9:36 pm

    You really are a permaculturist, aren’t you Linda? Using peas to pad out your fencing to keep out turkeys and possums whilst everyone else buys something convenient and single-purpose from Bunnings.

  • celia October 14, 2013, 2:02 pm

    I’m glad you liked them a bit, Linda, they’re not that tall really, but they’re quite mildew resistant, which seems to be important here in Sydney. I’d love a tall climber that was mildew resistant, but haven’t found one. We didn’t get a good crop this winter, which is shame. x

  • Linda October 14, 2013, 2:04 pm

    This spring has been even more than usually dry – 1 mm of rain last night was about the best fall in months. If we’d had a bit of rain I would no doubt have appreciated the mildew resistance more!

  • Jo@TheDesertEcho October 14, 2013, 7:01 pm

    Everyone has their “better than the supermarkets” favourite, some people say strawberries, some tomatoes, but for me it is shelled peas. I remember the first year we grew them I ate one fresh and was amazed at how sweet it was, too good to cook with. I think it was something like greenfeast. This year I grew purple podded peas and whilst they were beautiful they were very bland in comparison. back to the greenfeast next year!

  • Linda October 15, 2013, 10:01 am

    Hi Jo, I think the purple podded peas are an excellent variety for drying and storing. I usually try for multi-purpose, so I just dry and store my excess Telephone or other green peas. But if I were going for maximum yield of a storing pea, these might be the go.

  • jerry karoki October 31, 2013, 4:50 am

    What is the difference between sommerwood & greenfeast peas. I am a Farmer in Kenya.

  • Linda October 31, 2013, 10:50 am

    Hi Jerry, they’re both mildew resistant. Sommerwood are a bit taller – Greenfeast are real dwarf peas. The Sommerwood need something to climb to about a metre. The greenfeast will bear successfully with no trellis at all, though they do like a bit of twiggy trash over the ground so they are not directly touching soil.

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