The Root

One gardener’s quest to get to the bottom of it all.

Saturday Seed Survey: Peas December 6, 2008

So, it turns out my local food co-op makes an annual bulk seed order, which means merry Christmas to me: New seeds at a discount from a regional, largely organic, non-GMO supplier. Virtue + thrift = legitimized greed!

Now I have a gloriously dense seed catalog full of crops I’ve never heard of, and my garden plans for ’09 are totally in flux. I would like to grow a nice big batch of peas, but which ones?

So I’m appealing to you: What are your favorite pea varieties? Below is the list of peas available in my seed catalog; check your favorite, if it’s among them, and/or write your true favorite in the comments.


Garden Geek July 13, 2008

I have seen more peas in the past week than I had ever seen in my life ’til now. The best have been from my own garden, but I have bought pounds from farmstands. I have priced shelling peas from here to the coast (the cheaper pea was farthest away). I now know that a nice, fat pea pod usually holds 7 or 8 peas, but I have shelled 10 peas from a pod. A real coup. Neville had front-row seats to this show — “Ooh, a tenner, babe!” (Not yet hip to my strange lingo, he initially thought that I was talking about opera singers and glanced at the TV.) “Another tenner! That’s three tenners from this batch!!”

We threw handfuls into coconut curry and pasta. I make great green blendersful of pea puree for Freya. By this Friday, though, pea mania was wearing a little thin. My last batch sat on the counter for a couple days, until some were sprouting and others were gooshy and khaki-colored. There was a titch of mold. Looking at them, I didn’t want to feed them to my daughter’s young stomach. But I was goddamned if I was going to toss what I had shelled. So I boiled them and made pea pesto. Tonight we dine on homemade pesto and prosciutto pizza. In typical fashion for us, at about 10 pm.

I never liked pesto. In my previous life, people would go wild for pesto and I would just be like, “What?” But I made this; I know the ingredients — some of them since sprouthood — and I can taste them. Fresh basil, garlic, Parmesan, those peas. It tastes good.

In addition to going all Rachel Ray on my own ass, in the past week Neville and I have really gone Martha Stewart on our bedroom’s ass. Ah, the story of our bedroom’s paintjob. Thanks to the previous tenants, it used to be a cave: a dark brown base accented with weird light-blue rectangles, which used to frame their posters, and a glossy tan ceiling. Heavy, navy blue drapes. I don’t know what they were thinking. The room sucked up all available light like a black hole. But it wasn’t even like cozy, sleepy cave, it was just hideous. And we slept there for a year.

But now. It is an orange grove! Rich, golden orange walls, sage green curtains and bedspread. So refreshing and natural. Passing a day lily on the street today, I got all sappy: My room is the color of a day lily’s throat.