The weather remains cold, and the cold I have remains, so I’m not doing anything outside right now. (Yardwork is on next week’s plan, though, when it’ll be a little warmer and I’ll be a little healthier.) So it seems like time to review what I planted this year. And why not start with the earliest crops? So let’s talk about peas.

I bought the packet I planted a few years ago, I know, though I don’t remember the variety. I can’t remember why I selected peas in particular as one of my three or four vegetables to plant, as they were never a favorite; I liked them fresh when Mom grew them, but not really in things. As I recall, last year I had Michelle plant some while I put a tomato and a pepper in the ground, and I never got anything from them–which makes sense, since we didn’t get the house until June, so it was entirely the wrong season.

This year I planted them good and early, and watched in near-amazement as they actually came up and–wonder of wonders!–did what they’re designed to do, and produced peas. These were bush peas, and after this year, along with my Hutterite beans experience, I’ve concluded I’m not a big fan of bush legumes. They’re okay, especially in a raised bed, but they seem to need a little support that it’s hard to give when they’re that short, and they’re not as productive as I would like. My peas became a tangled mass of pea plant, leaning on itself, doing okay but probably not thrilled.

I got a decent number of peas for the amount of attention I gave the plants. They weren’t the best shelling pea ever, but I don’t know the variety so that doesn’t help me much. At the end I let the rest of the pods dry and I now have a baggie of peas in my pantry, awaiting soup or rice. I don’t know how well they’ll do, but that’s part of the fun.

I’m not saving any to plant next year. But I do plan to plant peas; my pick at the moment is Golden Sweets, based on Daughter of the Soil’s review (I was convinced the moment she mentioned Mendel, to be honest). This means I’ll be eating them in stirfries or dried in soup, but that’s fine; I like peas those ways and the only way I liked them shelled this year was either fresh or in aloo mutter. I may end up picking up a shell (English?) variety anyway; it depends on how I feel, and how the new pea trellis I plan to make next spring goes.

Conclusions (have I mentioned our kitchen lab notebook, in which we record our recipe experiments–mostly with ice cream–and write down results and draw conclusions for future work? It’s the best lab notebook ever): I will continue to plant peas, but I’m going to try non-bush varieties and see if I can find a plant I like better.

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