Peas, please!

Peas – those round, sweet, green things – even people who don’t much like veggies seem to approve of peas. It’s the perfect instant veg, to be whipped out of the freezer and cooked at a moment’s notice, but let me assure you they are even better when picked and eaten fresh.

Lots of people think growing peas is a bit of a waste of time and space… but they have probably never picked them and eaten them straight from the pod. They are so sweet and so delicious! I pick a few at a time, as they mature on the plant, and steam them for a couple of minutes, then run them under cold water and add to my salad alongside my home-grown leaves and broad beans creating a garden salad ­– delicious.

Peas are one of those things that we think of as essentially ‘British’. Fish, chips and mushy peas, pie and peas, pea soup… but as is so often the case when you look into it, they are a relatively recent arrival on our shores and originate from north-west Asia!

But our climate suits them perfectly and they thrive here. As a nation we certainly love them – we eat far more than any other country in Europe, chomping around 9,000 each per year. That’s a lot of peas! Fortunately, they are good for us combining fibre and protein with vitamins and minerals and must be the most popular of the ‘5-a-day’… or is it ‘10-a-day’ now? I can’t keep up!

They are relatively easy to grow either from seed, or you can buy them as small plants. The only real problem is with pigeons… they love them! Having lost an entire crop in one day a few years ago, I now cover them with netting. Even then, they still get a bit nibbled. But to me, the sweetness, the vivid colour and that pleasing ‘pop’ of the pod makes them all worthwhile

6 replies
  1. James says:

    Can’t be the garden pea. Fresh out of pod are gorgeous.
    Iced cold pea and mint soup is a firm favourite or pea hummus/pate makes a wonderful veggie snack or starter.

  2. Rosemarie says:

    Peas in the pods always bring back childhood memories of sitting with my Mother shelling peas. I think I probably ate more than went into the pan, but nothing beats that taste. Sadly the younger generation don’t have the time to either grow them or cook them. In fact I deliberately had a look in my local supermarket for some peas in the pods – sadly there weren’t any. When I asked I was told, there is no profit in them. Sad. Thank you Joanna for stirring a childhood memory X h

  3. Susan says:

    I’m a big fan of mange tout and pea sprouts. Both easy and quick to grow. At the moment I am overwhelmed with broad beans – just made hummus with the “has beans” – those that got too big and tough skinned, although great when double podded and put into a mixed salad. Happy growing and eating everyone!


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