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Grow What You Eat: PEAS

Leguminosae Family: Part Two | PEAS

Learning to grow your own food does not have to be scary and confusing. The purpose of this series, "Grow What You Eat" was developed from our desire to take the mystery out of growing your own food.

Growing food was priority number one, when we decided to take steps towards being self-sustainable. However, there was no blueprint to guide our desire and searching online for "beginner" resources was convoluted and overwhelming. We are writing this series, "Grow What You Eat" because it is what we wish we had access to when we started out on this journey. Theses posts are not all inclusive and honestly an entire website could be dedicated to just one variety. The information contained in this series is designed for the beginner to have the necessary information to get started. Step one, just put the seed in the ground.


Garden peas, English peas, dry peas, or shelling peas are the different names for the same types of peas in which the whole pea is eaten only... without the pod. The pod is the outer "housing" or the hammock that surround the peas. The individual peas are removed from the pod and either frozen, canned, cooked, or eaten fresh. The pod is inedible, but do not throw away the pod, put them in a compost so that they can feed the next generation of peas. The circle of life. Hakuna matata.


Sugar peas are divided in to two categories: Snap and Snow.

Both are eaten with the pea and the pod.

The snow pea is usually eaten fresh when picked young. If you have ever had a veggie platter, or stir-fry, the pea used most likely was a snow pea. Snow peas have a characteristically flat edible pod with sweet juicy peas.

Likewise, the snap pea can also be eaten fresh, however the major difference between the two is that the snap pea combines the best qualities of the Garden pea (plump juicy peas) and the snow pea (edible pods.) Snap peas will often require that the string be removed or "snapped" prior to eating.

(Photo credit: Mountainfeed)


Peas are available in the bush or pole growth habit. Take a look at the blog on Beans for more information on this. For some inspiration, check out how we grew peas in a greenstalk with a tomato cage one season.

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