Seed Saving–first item of business, the peas.

peas in buckIf your once green peas are looking bloated and showing signs of late season garden rust, they probably look like mine. Peas are definitely early risers and early sleepers. Is anyone else’s peas in the mood for castration yet?

peas in a buckHarvesting a bucket of woody, decaying pea pods made me question whether stir-frying the last crop was worth it…should I just collect the remaining pods and revive the innards next year?

Once I passed through the three stages of pea-related grief, I asked a fellow farmer about techniques for saving pea seeds for 2010 and did a search on google. Each query brought me one step forward and two steps back, because the appropriate pea seed saving method is to wait until the pods have become organisms akin to old men of the Florida coast. It’s best to wait for the pods to reach full maturity on the plant. Unfortunately I didn’t research this before the bucket harvest.

This site provides some information on the process including this–“Allow pods to dry brown before harvesting, about four weeks after eating stage. If frost threatens, pull entire plant, root first, and hang in cool, dry location until pods are brown.”

Lucky for Missoulians who have already picked the remaining pod-ies, there’s this advice from the Daughter of the Soil (a credible moniker, no?)–“If the peas are no longer receiving moisture from the plant then there’s no particular reason to leave them on the plant, as far as I can see.” My plan is to wait until the little peas are rattling around in their graves–then I’ll assume they’re ready for their next life in the garden!


One response to this post.

  1. Posted by gardenpatch on August 4, 2009 at 1:18 am

    oooh bluebarn, you beat me to the pea-seed post! I gleaned my information from our own Sandra Perrin, in Organic Gardening in Cold Climates, but it sounds about the same as what you found. Waiting til the peas are crispy vellum works really well. I found that some of them snap in my hands, so I’m sure I’ll have a few volunteers next year.


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