One of my absolute favorite crops that I grew last year was the Oregon Sugar Pod II Bush Snow Peas. I bought them on a whim and had never grown them before. They were an early and vigorous producer and the pods were humongous, super sweet, and very crunchy! I pack my lunch every day for work and these snow peas were an awesome (and healthy) snack all summer long last year. I just ate them raw or dipped them in a little ranch dressing or hummus. I also used the snow peas in spicy Hunan stir fry or just sautéed them with (homegrown) garlic as a side dish. Delish! Below is a picture of some of my prime specimens from last year:
This year, I wanted to once again grow the Oregon Sugar Pod, but I thought I’d try growing PURPLE snow peas called Desiree that I bought off Amazon. As a side note, I LOVE PURPLE VEGGIES!! The purple pigment contains Anthocyanin which has been shown to aid in healthy aging (no wonder I look so young and vibrant), to prevent cancer, and to protect against cardiovascular disease. BUT purple veggies also just look so darn cool. My goal is to one day have an all purple vegetable garden. But anyways…
The Desiree peas packaging seemed a bit sketchy that I got in the mail from Amazon, so I don’t have super high hopes for purple peas, but it’s worth a shot. I think I should have bought them off Baker Creek which describes them as: “Desiree Dwarf Blauwschokkers Garden Pea – Stunning violet-blue pods are produced on lovely little bush plants that do not require staking. The delicious peas are perfect for soups and stews, or pick small and these can be used as a snow pea. A great addition from Holland.”
I decided to try soaking the peas for a few hours to help soften the seed skin for faster germination. I also planted Purple Teepee Bush Beans from Baker Creek in my other raised bed.
Even though I was happy with my snow pea crop last year, it was a bit of a viney hot mess. I read that trellised peas produce a higher yield (read: trellis = MORE MONSTER SNOW PEAS). So loosely based off this website, http://www.diynetwork.com/how-to/outdoors/structures/how-to-build-a-trellis-for-growing-peas – I now have a trellis made of leftover wood and flexible twist tie garden wire (which I never even knew existed!). I went into the hardware store in town (probably with a look of deer in headlights) and said, “I don’t know what I’m looking for, but this is what I want to do…” And the worker was like, “oh, you need ‘flexible garden wire’, here you go.” I think that may have been my first good experience at a hardware and/or home improvement store ever! The trellis is screwed into my raised bed, but it can easily be unscrewed and moved for crop rotation.
I directly sowed the seeds in mid-April and planted them approximately 1 inch deep and 2 inches apart. My peas germinated after about 3 weeks. They took longer this year due to a late April cold snap here in da ‘burgh (trust me, I was freaking out that they weren’t popping up, but they powered through). I usually put 2 seeds per hole to ensure germination across the row, so I have no idea if any of these baby plants are Purple Peas (fingers crossed).
Below are my peas today and the vines are starting to grab onto the trellis (with maybe just a little bit of coaxing by me).
Can’t wait to snap them directly off the vine, crack them in half, and pop them into my mouth!