More Peas Please?

Peas on the vine, soon to be harvested as dried shell out pease.

Peas on the vine, soon to be harvested as dried shell out peas.

I’ve been up since 3:30 am this morning. Why? Because it seems to be my new ‘witching’ hour. I’ve been getting up around 4:30 for ages now (with a brief hiatus of 6 am while on a trip out of town) and enjoying the quiet mornings alone. Well, with my dog at my heels. At this hour, not even the birds are awake. I’ve often joked that what I really need is a herd of milk cows. I mean, why else be up at this hour?

Yesterday, I spent the day harvesting things in the garden  and making compost piles for next year’s soil (it always seems to take longer to do things than I think it will). This year is my first time trying to grow dried peas so I wasn’t really sure when to harvest them. However, I realized it needed to be done when Stellar Jays arrived and began gobbling up the peas at an alarming rate. So, I finally decided yesterday that I’d better get at them if I am going to have any for myself this year. After all, how else will I make pea soup or dahl this winter?

I got as far as getting the stalks down, getting them picked clean, and  getting them heaped into the garden corner to form the beginning of my compost pile. I placed the pods in a bowl. By that time (and after having done the same for the last of my potato crop), I was too tired to then face shelling them out.  It was only 4: 30 pm and I wondered why I felt too tired to face the shelling out task until I realized that I  had been in the garden for more than 6 hours and had been up for more than 12.  Perhaps I should pace myself better next year.

Dried Alaska peas.

Dried Alaska peas.

So, this morning I have spent the first few hours catching up on emails and the last hour and a half shelling peas. I’ve been shelling peas since 5:15 am and have just walked away from the bowl to do something else. Yes, it is quite a dull and repetitive job, but someone has to do it. Earlier in the season, I was shocked to see over and over again that a big of a basket of pods would shell out into barely enough for the two of us for dinner. Well, it is even more of a shock with the drier peas! After a diligent hour and a half, I’ve only got a cookie tray full of dried peas for my efforts. Either the Stellar Jays got more than I thought, or next year I’ll have to plant more peas. The harvest is probably only enough for a few good meals!

Now, I wonder what kind of return I’ll get from the broad beans?

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4 Comments

Filed under Food Sovereignty, Locavore, Sustainable Farming

4 responses to “More Peas Please?

  1. You’re a crazy girl. I’ll buy you a bag of organic, locally grown dried peas and we’ll do the ham and pea soup together. Wait…ham….now you’ll need to buy a pig! haha!

  2. howlingduckranch

    Yeah, and have you ever thought about the butchering process?

  3. Marjorie Stewart

    We’re on Vancouver Island so have fewer weather challenges but my husband was raised on a small farm and grows veggies every year.
    I just thought I’d add a couple of bean thoughts for you.
    Put big pinches of chili flakes in with your bottled beans to spice them up. And we like runner beans best. When we’ve had enough, we let them dry on the vines and bring them in to dry further. These dried beans can do anything other beans can and make great Boston Baked Beans and lilac-coloured hummus.

  4. howlingduckranch

    Thanks for the tips Marjorie! As it happens, I’m just in the process of harvesting my broad beans (read pulling the plants and hanging them to dry because rain, rain, and more rain is the only thing in the forecast!) I’ve never bottled them before, I’m thinking I’ll use them as dried beans. I make an Egyptian dish called ‘Ful’ with them.

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