Categorized | Projects, Using Nature

It’s Pea Season…sweet


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  :(

pea shelling

My favorite pea shelling place

 

 

 

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.

blanching-peas

Blanching peas

 

 

 

 

pile-of-garden-peas

Pile of garden peas

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

garden-peas

Garden peas

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. 

 long-pea-pods

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8 Responses to “It’s Pea Season…sweet”

  1. Naomi says:

    You are simply amazing. You can call your new variety of peas ‘Sherry’.
    Like I said before, you are living my dream. :)
    Food for thought:
    http://www.ehow.com/way_5242982_homemade-pea-sheller.html

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/LEES-AMAZING-PEA-BEAN-SHELLER-/270396988001

    • sherry says:

      The last one is the shelled that I bought that squishes everything. The first one describes (too simply) a complicated process of garage sale looking for a long time (I’m not in town where I can do this nor have time) and construction that is more difficult for the average ‘Sheila’ than you can believe. One link there has the simplest and perfect solution to slice the pod. My thumb has no problem with that and can do it 5 times faster. Thanks for the attempt. The thought is so much appreciated Naomi!

  2. Those are really beautiful peas Sherry. I think its amazing that you have created the right patch for you and I am so impressed. About shelling peas. About two years I sat down with Mom to shell and noticed she was doing it the hard way. I showed her how to shell them more quickly. She about freaked when we both realized she had been doing it that way for her entire life. She will never admit to this. I felt bad telling her that Dad taught me his method when I was a kid SNORK! Lets hope youre not doing it my Mom’s way ha hah!! Anyway there are a couple of hand crank machines online, so maybe you could look again. Someone actually soaks theirs to soften them first. Anyway again, picture perfect peas. Sorry I am not there to help you….eat them…lol

    • sherry says:

      Haha. I don’t think anyone can shell them without tasting every 5th one to see if they are good. By the time I get them picked and shelled I’ve had enough until the next day for sure.

  3. Naomi says:

    Dare I ask for a sample of your seeds from this year?

    I don’t have enough room to grow peas for seed, so I bought a big bag from Stokes. I bought them in the spring, planted some, but it wasn’t until fall that I realized that I had one very large bag of sucky pea seeds. I was so upset, but didn’t get a chance to call them for quite some time. They wouldn’t refund me because I took so long. Now I have a huge bag of sucky peas that I plant each year. They are supposed to be… oh gosh I can’t remember what type… The reason I can’t remember is because they don’t look anything like any one variety. In a short row, I will find pea plants that grow short fat peas, long skinny peas, short skinny, light colours, dark colours…. AND snow peas. I counted at least 5 distinct varieties, none of which where impressive.
    Next year, I am planning to have room to start growing seed peas. I did find 1 plant from my batch that I was reasonably impressed with. It is a larger pea, with a reasonable yield and a fairly sweet and flavourful pea.

    • sherry says:

      We could arrange something. Yes keep the peas from the variety you like – that’s how I got mine started.

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