Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Pea Harvest!

Today I went for a walk in my vegetable parterre and my to my delight - the peas were ready for harvest!

I had so much fun watching them grow week by week that I kind of forgot that the end result would be - well, the end result is actually compost, so this is more of a middle result - the middle result would be crispy sweet crunchy pea pods.  Best served just rinsed off.  No dressing, no cooking, just good to eat.

Before I tell you about the intricate trellising scheme I came up with, I just want to take a look back at the peas ...

We started on St. Patrick's Day - the traditional day to plant peas.  I don't know why, but it's supposed to be lucky so I do it each year.  Luckily - this year it actually worked and I didn't have to dig through a couple of feet of snow and ice to plant them.

A week passed - and not a single pea was in sight.  With my usual optimism, I was convinced they were all dead.

But, by the next week, there were little pea leaves shooting out all over the bed.  And a few weeds.  I pulled the weeds and left the peas to grow some more.

Not much seemed to happen over the next week.  They grew some more leaves.  There wasn't even any weed drama to keep the interest up.

They just kept growing along.  I just looked at them.  It wasn't very exciting.  I started to think I should put in a trellis.  Those bamboo stakes seemed like they would play some part in the whole trellising event.

Finally their tendrils started shooting out along the stalks.  They were ready to start climbing on something, but I still hadn't gotten the trellis up.

They got to be around 6-inches tall and really, if I didn't put in the trellis, I should at least remove that oak leaf that blew into the bed.  Something should be done.

Actually, I kind of forgot about them - oops!  I went back today - 25 days later - to take a look and it seems like they handled the problem all by themselves.  I'm not sure how this happened.  It's the strangest thing I've ever seen in the garden!  I don't think that I was gardening in my sleep, but you'll note that the bamboo stakes have moved into the peas and have crossed over each other to form a basic trellis that the peas are clinging to.

My DH claims no knowledge of this - and I don't think our pup did it, even though she is the smartest dog there is.  I've narrowed it down to 2 possibilities.

1 - a kind pea rescuer who was passing by heard the call of the peas and came over to help them, finding only the bamboo stakes available they did the best they could to fashion a rudimentary trellis out of them or

2 - gardening squirrels have struck again.  They think that the peas are really for them, so they deicded to take over the garden bed and trellis them the way that they want with no regard for my dinner table.

I'm leaning towards #2.

This is why when I saw the peas were ready for harvesting, I quickly snapped them off and brought them inside for dinner.  After all, I worked so hard at growing them - what with poking holes in the ground and forgetting they were even there and all.  But let's not forget that I took pictures of their progress - until I forgot about them.

Okay, so maybe I didn't work so hard at growing them.  I left some on the vines for the squirrels.

These are the ones I harvested for dinner.  They were delicious and my DH and I loved them.  Our pup refused to even give them a try, but that's okay, it just means that there will be more for the gardening squirrels.

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