Celia Hart's blog about what's going on in and around her studio.
Art, printmaking, inspirations, gardening, vegetables, hens, landscapes, wild flowers, East Anglia, adventure, travel.

Thursday, 18 July 2013

As UN-alike as peas in a pod

Here is the promised review of the peas growing in the Pigeon Proof Pen, I've introduced them in their flowering stage: Curruther's and Robinson; Shiraz and Tutankhamun; and Salmon Flowered.

Here are their pods . . . definitely not all alike!

Let's start with the green pods . . . 
Tutankhamun's pods all develop near the top of the plant, the pods are medium sized, straight and usually in pairs. The pale green peas inside are beautifully sweet and have a classic pea flavour - perfect to sprinkle in a salad without even needing to cook.
If you want to win a prize at the village show, grow Robinson! the pods are magnificent – they grow singly on long stalks, the pod is attractively long and curved and contains up to a dozen beautiful bright green peas which have an excellent fresh garden-pea flavour.


After the clusters of gorgeous flowers, the petite pods of the Salmon Flowered pea, develop in clusters at the top of the plants. These are perfect pea pods in miniature and when young the peas are sweet and very flavoursome. Older pods will contain firm round peas which are lovely added to pot-cooked pork or chicken dishes.


Shiraz is the first purple podded pea commercially marketed as a 'mangetout', these pods here have gone over – you need to catch them young before the peas start to swell to use them as 'mangetout' but I can confirm that stir-fried or steamed the young pods remain blue-purple in colour but don't have the flavour of a classic green mangetout like Carouby de Maussane. At this later stage the peas can be shelled - they are sweetish but lacking in a good pea flavour. Next year I will grow a green mangetout alongside so I can use a mix of the two and have the flavour and the novelty colour to use together.


Curruther's is an old fashioned purple podded variety with tough leathery pods – these are translucent and become more red as they age, with a pale bloom on the outside. The peas inside are pale pea-green and tightly pack the pod; even at this stage the peas taste sweet with only a slight mealiness. Cooked, the peas change to sage-green in colour but don't be put off - the flavour remains very good.


I can't resist snacking on a few pods of peas when I check the Pigeon Proof Pen, and there are plenty for using in our suppers. I will of course be saving a few pods for seed for next season . . . the new pea in the pen, Robinson, is a keeper and I'll save most of this year's modest trial harvest to sow next year.

Celia
x

34 comments:

  1. Thank you for a fascinating overview of the peas in your pigeon proof pen. Nothing beats the taste of a freshly shelled pea!

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    1. One of my favourite garden snacks.

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  2. I do hope you've sent this to a seed merchant!It's exactly what I used to hope for when buying seed.
    I'm home again after a lovely trip. I got as far east as Norfolk!

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    1. I could send it to the Heritage Seed Library, apart from 'Shiraz' I don't think these varieties are sold commercially.
      Do tell where you've been on your travels!

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    1. I was savouring the different pea flavours accompanying a filet of Red Bream and they were all superb!

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    1. Thank you Sarah - heritage peas are fascinating to grow.

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  5. Informative, entertaining and well written. Prettily pictured too, thank you.

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    1. Thanks you - yes I was pretty pleased with the photos.

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  6. gorgeous peas and blog title. Who can resist a fresh pea?

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    1. I can't ;-) many don't make it to the kitchen.

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  7. What a yummy and pretty report!

    Have the thwarted pigeons moved on to another garden this year or have they just been content with "window shopping" from the outside of your protected pea patch?

    Celia, your arrangements of these peas, open and closed, really shows your artistry. Truly delightful to see.

    xo

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    1. You seem very concerned about the pigeons, Frances! I love the idea of them "window shopping". They are still about in the garden, pecking the leaves off the walnut tree and breaking the young branches and stealing the hens' food. BUT most importantly NOt getting the peas!

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  8. So pretty! And so tempting. You've got me wanting to try purple podded peas again. I will resist though. All the purple peas I've tried have been terribly susceptible to powdery mildew which is an absolute scourge in my garden. *sigh*

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    1. This summer is extremely hot for the UK, 30C for over a week now, so mildew is a possibility now as the soil dries out. My pea crop is just about over, but watering and mulching is a good idea to help prevent mildew.

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  9. They look beautiful, but after my recent purchase for cut flower seed for next year and only having a very small patch I'll have to give growing beans and peas a miss. Plus I'm ashamed to say on your blog I really only like frozen peas, I know I'll hang my head in shame and promise to try harder....

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    1. You could grow a mix of tall peas or beans with sweetpeas and get the best of both worlds!

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  10. I loved learning all about your pea pods - they are beautiful.
    Have you ever done a linocut of them?
    I collect pea pods - inanimate ones - wooden, silver, ceramic, bronze and an embroidered silk one.

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    1. The header on this blog is from a linocut I did on a workshop with Richard Bawden, but I never did an edition or sold any. Perhaps another pea pod design should go on my list.

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    2. Please do - you would definitely have a sale here.

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  11. You have fixed it-thank you!! Now I shall comment often. Following our Twitter conversation we grew Shiraz and I was amazed not only by the pods but also by how gorgeous the flowers were!

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    1. Hello Sara, welcome to PPPs :-)
      The flowers are exquisite aren't they! You'll be hooked now ;-)

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  12. Thanks for the round up Celia. I was hoping you would do this and it is fascinating to see the different levels of crop and hear your assessment of their taste and culinary value. Don't they just cry out to be drawn or painted? Beautiful photographs by the way!

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    1. They do indeed! But I've been so busy working on and organising the printing of my packs of Christmas cards ... you will appreciate the unseasonal focus when I reveal what's been going on in my studio this year!

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  13. They are all almost too pretty to eat!

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    1. They are pretty, but I assure you that I do eat them!

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  14. Every time I visit your blog I ask myself why don't I grow some PPP's too, if only to paint.

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    1. I know you could do a splendid painting of purple pea pods.

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  15. I love this post......!
    Xxx

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    1. Thank you - I enjoyed writing it x

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  16. I really need to remember the names of ours this year! Need to write it all down. Memory like a sieve but will try to remember Robinson!

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  17. Interesting post - I grew a climbing variety of purple podded peas a few years ago and found them really tough. Maybe I'll have another next year as purple is one of my favourite colours.

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  18. A gorgeous post! I love your image styling.

    wearecultivate.wordpress.com

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