Wednesday, July 14, 2010
I can't get over it. The massive intensity of our pea situation this year. Back in February, when the weather was wooing us with sunshine and sixty-five degrees, we set out to the garden with our first seed packets and got to work planting peas. There were two varieties that went into the ground that day, and they both lay dormant for quite some time, while spring turned its back on us, and wintry weather resumed once more.
By mid-May, we had some pretty sizable pea vines shooting up out of our garden bed, a morning stretch that kept reaching and reaching. By the middle of June we had a jungle of vines and leaves, those little, green tendrily things latching onto neighboring trellises, fennel and everything else they could touch. We'd picked a few plump pods by then, and the numerous white flowers were promising us more.
First let me say that it's smart to read the information on the seed packet. In the case of our peas, it would have been beneficial to know just how tall those plants would become. The name of one of our varieties should have been a clue... "Mammoth Melting Peas" don't exactly sound like the runts of the litter. I'm about 5' 8" tall, and if I stood back to back with these vines, they would surely win the height contest. Our trellising system was beyond inadequate; we didn't plan for such altitudinous plants.
Nor did we plan for so many peas! Not that I'm complaining about such a spectacular harvest, but they just kept coming and coming. Other gardeners' vines began to die back and quit producing, but not ours! It was a marathon of pea production that has kept our fridge overflowing with pods for weeks. Aren't they beautiful? They've been a much welcome addition to so many of our meals. I wish I would have documented them all to make a gallery for this post... Stews, casseroles, curries, salads. Peas are the crunch, the sweetness, and the bridge between spring and summer.
This weekend I went to the garden to take pictures before the vines fell by the wayside, but I was too late. They had literally fallen over from their own weight. So rather than a photo shoot, my boyfriend and I set to work harvesting the last of the pods and cutting down the vines. We're working our way through the last few pounds of peas in our fridge, savoring each as we finish this year's crop.