Monday, July 6, 2015

Harvest Monday - July 6, 2015


This week was about peas.

First Bowl of Peas
 
I grew two different shelling pea varieties this year – Aladdin PVP and Sabre.  The Aladdin is quite interesting as it is a semi-leafless variety, which makes seeing the pods & picking very easy.

Aladdin PVP's semi-leafless pea vines
 
Another interesting thing about Aladdin is that all the peas matured at roughly the same time.  Shelling peas aren’t exactly a high yield crop and having most of the peas mature at the same time make things easier if you only have a small patch - it's definitely better than picking a few pods each day, waiting to have enough for a meal.    I did 3 pickings this past week and this variety is basically finished.

Aladdin PVP
 
But for all the talk of how little shelling peas yield for the space they use, I was actually quite impressed.  I sowed a 2’ x 3.5’ space for each variety (2’ x 7’ total) & so far I have harvested a total of 864 grams (1.9 lb) of peas which is just over 6 cups (I am weighing shelling peas only after they are shelled; 1 cup of shelled peas equals approximately 140 grams).  Considering how quickly the peas mature, you can easily use the space for a summer or fall crop afterwards or even try another sowing of peas as some varieties (Aladdin being one) are supposed to tolerate the heat very well.

The first picking of Aladdin gave me about 1 1/2 cups of peas
 
Aladdin has very few, if any pods left on it while Sabre, which matures over a longer period, still has a good number left to pick.

The sugar snap pea harvest is now in high gear:

Sugar Snap Peas
 
Last year I mistakenly left some sugar snap peas on the vine too long & they got super plump.  And then I tasted one - it was amazing - so incredibly sweet!  I think I had been picking my sugar snaps much too soon before and now try to leave them on the vine until they are nice and fat.

The lettuce is really flowing now:

Royal Red
 

Simpson Elite & Radichetta
 
I generally harvest & prepare (wash/dry) about one week’s worth at a time so that making a salad during the week is super easy.

My little Camelot shallot experiment from last year was a bust.  They all divided into 5 or 6 bulbs, which was good, but then they proceeded to bolt.


Bolting Camelot Shallots
 
I pulled them all up and harvested the rest of the scapes while I was at it.

Cleaned Up Shallots & Scapes
 
I kept a few shallots for fresh use and decided to try the onion variation of Michelle’s Garlic Crème with the remaining ones.  I made it yesterday & let it sit in the fridge to cool overnight.  I had a taste this morning and it is delicious - can’t wait for lunch!

The Fort Laramie strawberries are done, but Connie’s are still giving us a bowlful of berries every day or so.

Connie's Strawberries
 
I thought I would have some favas to show this week but, having never grown them before, it’s a bit of trial and error at this point as I try to figure out what the best stage to harvest them is.  I did pick one of the pods as it looked filled out and felt quite firm, but the beans inside seemed a bit too small.  I’ll likely be harvesting a few of those this coming week.

Also harvested, but not photographed was a tiny bit of mizuna that went into a salad.

My harvest totals this week were:

Chinese Greens – 20 grams (0.04 lbs)
Lettuce – 1,348 (2.97 lbs)
Peas (Snap) – 850 grams (1.87 lbs)
Peas (Shelling) – 864 grams (1.90 lbs)
Scapes – 126 grams (0.28 lbs)
Shallots – 830 grams (1.83 lbs)
Strawberries – 896 grams (1.98 lbs)

Total for Week – 4,934 grams (10.88 lbs)

Total to Date – 22.76 kg (50.17 lbs)

To see what everyone else has been harvesting over the past week, head on over to Daphne’s Dandelions, our host for Harvest Mondays.

Till next time…

“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things” ~~ Robert Brault

45 comments:

  1. Very nice harvest! Haven't tried these varieties of peas, but maybe I'll plant some next year. My favorite shelling is "green arrow" as a very good producer.

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    1. I've heard of Green Arrow & now that I've decided to give shelling peas a spot in the beds, will likely try it in the future.

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  2. Nice pea crop! The sugar snaps do plump up nicely (but we hardly ever let them). Do the pods still stay tender? Interesting you use fresh shallots; I always considered them too precious and waited until they were fully-formed bulbs.

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    1. The pods stay VERY tender just so long as you don't wait until they get to that leathery looking stage. I would have like to wait for my shallots to mature fully, but since they all bolted, I thought I was better off harvesting them right away as apparently they wouldn't get any bigger anyhow.

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  3. What lovely harvests, Margaret. I wish I had time to be a bit more analytical about my harvests. Perhaps in retirement (in about ten months). Your pictures are lovely.

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    1. Thank you! How wonderful that you are retiring soon - I'm sure you are looking forward to having much more time to spend in your garden, be it productive or simply sitting back and enjoying it.

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  4. I haven't grown any shelling peas this year, I just didn't get round to sowing any. I love eating them straight from the pods.

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    1. I think that's my favourite way to eat them as well. I'm actually not a big fan of steamed peas, but do love them in certain recipes.

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  5. I'm impressed with your pea harvest. Maybe I'll try them next year. Sugar snaps are nice that they tolerate variations in size, but I prefer them a bit smaller. And I wonder why your shallots bolted? Mine are sizing up and still looking OK, knock on wood.

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    1. Well, the shallots were a bit of an experiment. I took 6 bulbs from the seed sown Camelot shallots I grew & planted them last fall in the same way I planted my regular Golden shallots. I just wanted to see if they would divide & grow in the same way as typical shallots. Well they did divide very well with 5 or 6 divisions each & the divisions looked very thick. Now that I think about it perhaps seed shallots are meant to bolt - after all, where would the seeds come from otherwise?

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    2. Onions are biennial so they bolt the second year. That's why onion sets are not the way to grow onion bulbs, they are likely to bolt before they reach size. I think you are right, seed shallots have to be different from the usual French shallot that you divide and plant.

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  6. Nice harvest. I used to like my snap peas plump too. Though often in the early spring I couldn't wait and would pick them earlier.

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    1. Those first few are the worst & I often don't wait. Now that they are really flowing, it's much easier!

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  7. We have lots of pea pods but no peas ready yet. How many do you eat straight from the pod.

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    1. Not as many as you would think, actually...I think the sugar snaps are so good, that I don't "need" to crack open the shelling peas. All right, I did have some, just because it's hard not to ;)

      You really must grow some sugar snaps next year, Sue - you will be amazed!

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  8. I can never wait for the snaps to plump up. I'm gobbling them as fast as they appear. I guess there IS some point to waiting............................................darn!!

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    1. You know what that means...you have to grow MORE! And not within easy viewing distance from the house, just in case your husband happens to look outside & catch you munching.

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  9. Your peas look yummy! And you have a nice variety of goodies coming in.

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    1. I'm so busy with the darn mulching right now, but I really have to start thinking about succession planting or else I'll have very little to show come August!

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  10. Nice varied harvest, Aladin peas sound interesting, I like having peas mature at the same time so they do take up precious real estate.

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    1. It is convenient that they all mature at the same time and that it's an earlier variety as well, although for me it took 80 days whereas the packet says 67.

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  11. Nice looking peas. I like plump sugar snaps myself, even if they have some strings.

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    1. The current variety I have (I think it may be the original as it's just called Sugar Snap), has strings even when it's not as mature. I don't mind having to remove the strings - they are just too good!

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  12. Great harvest. I have not grown shelling peas in years should think about doing so again.

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    1. Thank you Norma - you definitely should give it a go; it's much more worthwhile than I thought it was going to be.

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  13. I haven't thought before about growing shelling peas, but that bowl of peas looks amazing! I'm adding it to my "wanna do" list.

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    1. Ah yes, the ever expanding "wanna do" list - I think most of us have one of those & with all the new things to try the question is, will it ever get shorter?

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  14. That is nice that the Aladdin peas come in all at once, unless you grow lots of them, but most of us don't have enough space to grow too many shelling peas. That is quite a good harvest for a small space. I'm with you when it comes to fat snap peas, they are sweeter and more flavorful, in my opinion.

    I'm happy that the Shallot Crème came out delicious. I may be having a go at the shallot version myself, I found the first shallot scapes today...

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    1. It was one of those happy gardening accidents when I missed harvesting those few snap peas last year. And then of course I kicked myself for having harvested so many of them before their peak of deliciousness!

      Oh no...now your shallots too. Well, at least we know they won't go to waste. I have ricotta on my shopping list to give your ricotta topped bread a try...getting hungry just thinking about it!

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  15. Oh, those peas! I buy mine at the farmers' market and shell enough to freeze several containers full. I only have room to grow a few.

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    1. I normally only buy frozen peas as podded ones are hard to find. Shelling the peas brought back fond memories of when I used to do that at my grandmother's house - I loved her peas with rice!

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  16. I envy your peas. They look wonderful. I never seem to have enough room to grow peas but when I do they are my most favorite thing to snack on when I am in the garden. Your lettuce looks very happy and healthy too. Funny, I tried growing shallots once with the same results. They all bolted on me.

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    1. A little trellis with climbing sugar snaps is so worth the space, if you can find it. I'm not devoting a ton of room to them either (a 2' x 4' spot), but since they are climbers & you eat the entire pod, the harvest is really good. I've never had an issue with either Grey or Golden shallots bolting, so was actually a bit surprised when these sent up flower stalks.

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  17. What a great harvest. Your garden looks like it is very close to mine in terms of maturity and timing of crops. That is a great variety of pea that you have found. Harvesting it all at once, or over one week, would be wonderful. Enjoy your harvest this week!

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    1. Thanks Lexa - the garden is finally giving us a somewhat steady supply of greens, so we are happy campers right now!

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  18. Your Aladdin peas look like they give good yields. And your spring crops are still looking great.

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    1. The yield on the peas is actually quite surprising, especially considering how short the vines are - I would say no more than 24" tall. I'm wondering if the tall vining shelling peas would produce more - I'll probably give them try at some point.

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  19. Peas look great! They have such a short lifespan in our garden that we don't bother with shelling them.

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    1. Thanks! There seem to be a few heat tolerant varieties, so I think I'll try some succession plantings next year to see if I can extend the harvest.

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  20. Your garden is lovely. Producing so much! I made note of the pea varieties so that I could try them next year. I like that they are producing at the same time so that you have plenty to eat for one meal and even more to freeze for later. Oh, and I do want to try that garlic creme! Yum!

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    1. Thanks Karin! Peas are so fun to grow & I'm glad I decided to try shelling peas this year (although sugar snaps are still my favourite). And they are all sorts of fun for the kids too - fun to pick, fun to shell and fun to eat. My daughter, who up until this point would not touch a pea, is actually eating them - just another of those little miracle's courtesy of the garden!

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  21. I have so little space, I'd never get more peas than I could actually eat in the garden. And I do eat them in the garden. This year, I tried 'Tom Thumb' and heirloom variety that doesn't require staking. It's actually giving me a second harvest on the same planting, but I'll use all the peas produced as snowpeas -- it breaks my heart to have to throw the shells away. Great growing, girl, you are a champion!

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    1. Oh, thanks Helen! I've added Tom Thumb to my "varieties to try" list. I've never tried a pea that doesn't require staking; not having to worry about supports would make it super easy to find a spot to tuck an extra patch of peas into. I think I see more peas in my future ;)

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  22. Hi Margaret, Those peas sure look yummy. I didn't plant any shelling peas this year but need to look and see if I have some seed. Maybe can get some in for fall. Thanks for the reminder. Nancy

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    1. Your very welcome, Nancy - I was going to try to grow some in the fall, but decided to use the spot for a 2nd sowing of squash as my 1st sowing is beyond pathetic right now!

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