I do this all the hard way. Why? I still don’t have a ‘pea sheller’. I managed to find a blueprint for one and I have a friend who found one at an auction sale but that’s as close as I’ve got. I know what I want, but don’t feel gifted in carpentry. I’ve offered to hire someone to make one too, but no luck so far
So I pick peas for 2 hours each day, pod for 5 hours at night followed by an hour of blanching and packaging. It gets the best of me when I’m not feeling up to it. This goes on for about 10 days. Why so many? We eat them all and they are so great tasting that it has become one of my favorite vegetables. When it comes time to eat the succulent little things I completely forget the work and even give some away as gifts.
But….I want a hand machine!!!!!
I bought a cheap little thing online that was no big deal as far as production goes if you are talking about hand-cranking it, but it was suggested that it could be hooked up to a hand mixer. It was a whole $60(cringe), but I thought about how many hours it would save me. This sucker bought it. All it did was squish them. there was no way to set it so that they wouldn’t. The hand mixer tied to it just squished them mighty fast. It looks as little and tinny in real life as it does in the picture! They said the peas had to be mature – well they were…unless they meant hard as pebbles. I didn’t have the guts to buy the $280 version (in case it was better) because I was so thrown by my first attempt.
It’s taken about 6 years now, but I have finally got my pods to look the way I want. I had to start with a hybrid that yielded me 10 different kinds of peas when I saved peas on my own for the following year. I picked the ones I wanted the most. I hated the ones that were round and blunt on the end because the were hard to break open. I also didn’t like the small ones with hardly any peas in them. Now they are super long with 10-11 peas per pod and snap open like a charm.