First Impressions of the National Heirloom Expo

national-heirloom-expo

I made it. 2,400 miles of driving. Across Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Nebraska, Nebraska (that state never seemed to end), Wyoming, Utah, Nevada, and into California. We crossed the Mighty Mississippi, ate Mexican food in the middle of nowhere Iowa, stayed with a friend and his dog in Omaha, watched tumbleweed cross the highway at the Wyoming border, walked on salt at the Bonneville Salt Flats, and navigated through the turns of Donner Pass. After all that I made it to the National Heirloom Expo in beautiful Sonoma County, California.

I stayed up in Willits, California with my wife’s grandparents, I had a 90 minute drive down to Santa Rosa, passing by vineyard after vineyard before arriving at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds. Got my parking spot, later realizing I could have parked a little further away (there is my frugal side coming out). As I stood in line waiting to get my pass I spotted a big celebrity for this expo – Jere Gettle – the owner and founder of Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds.

Seed packets, seed garlic, and much more available in the vendor hall at the National Heirloom Expo.

Seed packets, seed garlic, and much more available in the vendor hall at the National Heirloom Expo.

The first part of the expo I saw was the vendor hall. Lot of things to look at and lots of things to purchase. I was most interested in the seed companies that were there since as much I would like to, carrying bags of compost or soil amendment 2,400 miles back across the country would be hard. I enjoyed checking out the diversity of seeds available for you to grow your very own mini-expo at home.

Meet Mount Squash

Meet Mount Squash

Squash as far as the eye can see.

Squash as far as the eye can see.

Just beautiful!

Just beautiful!

All sorts of watermelon

All sorts of watermelon

Next up the exhibitor hall. Walking into this hall is a jaw dropping experience. I have seen many photos online of the exhibits in past years. They do not do it justice. The giant tower of squash greets you as you enter the door. And then there is table after table of squashes, eggplant, peppers, tomatoes, watermelons…its just an all you can say is wow moment. I talked with someone from Baker Creek there and was saying how overwhelming this display would be for someone who has never read a seed catalog, never been to a farmer’s market, and only shops at the grocery store. The amount of diversity is even hard for me, who has been the last few years searching out new produce like Captain Kirk searched for new life and new civilization.

Yuxiiiangbinggua Squash. Try saying that name even once.

Yuxiiiangbinggua Squash. Try saying that name even once.

Some of the produce even came with a story. One of the more interesting ones is the Yuxiiiangbinggua (I am not even going to begin to try and say that one). As the sign indicated this squash is from China originally. They found it in Thailand being sold by a Chinese seed seller. The squash itself is sweet and is of very high quality. How amazing that seed collected in China, then found in Thailand, was able to make it to the U.S. to be grown and then appearing at the National Heirloom Expo. This squash’s journey to the expo, makes mine look like a walk down to the neighbor’s house.

Since I don’t eat raw squash I wasn’t as tempted to bite into them as I was at the table full of heirloom apples. I a huge apple connoisseur. I have reviewed over 50 varieties over on my blog, Eat Like No One Else. Here is a sampling of some of the apples on the table.

Heirloom Apples from Gold Ridge Farms

Heirloom Apples from Gold Ridge Farms

Ananas Reinette Apples

Ananas Reinette Apples

D'Ancy Spice Apples

D’Ancy Spice Apples

Sea Breeze Apples

Sea Breeze Apples

I am just beginning to touch scratch the surface to what is on display. Here are some more photos of eggplants, peppers, and tomatoes. Be amazed by the rainbow of color!

Yes these are all eggplant. Different sizes, colors, and shapes!

Yes these are all eggplant. Different sizes, colors, and shapes!

Look at all the different corn seeds from Baker Creek. Way more than just the yellow and white cor you find at the grocery store.

Look at all the different corn seeds from Baker Creek. Way more than just the yellow and white corn you find at the grocery store.

Amazing selection of peppers from Full Belly farms.

Amazing selection of peppers from Full Belly farms.

Most people think garlic is just garlic. But there are many different varieties. The Garlic Guy from Los Olivos Homegrown had tables set up showing his collection of garlic. He grows about 200 different varieties!!!

The Garlic Guy shows off his wares.

The Garlic Guy shows off his wares.

No vampires at this table.

No vampires at this table.

This is just a peak of all that is available at the expo. Stay tuned for more from the expo.

7 Reasons Why I Am Going to the National Heirloom Expo

Photos courtesy of Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds/RareSeeds.com

Photos courtesy of Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds/RareSeeds.com

(Pretend I am saying the following in a loud television announcer’s voice) It’s the 6th Annual National Heirloom Expo!!!!! in beautiful Santa Rosa, California (end loud voices in your head!). The pea project is heading west, 36 hours west to be more exact, to enjoy all the sights, colors, textures, and of course flavors at the world’s largest heritage food event. Why I am going besides the cool sounding name? Here are my top 7 reasons (now make some drum rolling sounds in your head). But first…

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Photo courtesy of Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds/RareSeeds.com

Photo courtesy of Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds/RareSeeds.com

TOP 7 REASONS I AM GOING TO THE NATIONAL HEIRLOOM EXPO

 

1. Seeing & tasting the sights
There will be plenty of sights to take in at the expo. There will be plenty of photos to snap for Instagram. The star has got to be a towering display of squash. How fun is that?! Squashes in all sorts of shapes, colors, and sizes. All sorts of heirloom varieties of fruits and vegetables will be present (over 4,000 varieties expected). It will be fun to just take in all the beauty, touch it, and even smell it – when produce gets together, the smells are wonderful. There are tastings going on as well, so my taste buds won’t be left out of all the fun.

Photo courtesy of Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds/RareSeeds.com

Photo courtesy of Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds/RareSeeds.com

2. Speakers
All five senses will be needed for this expo. Ears are needed to hear the over 100 speakers, discussing various topics throughout the expo. They have 3 different halls where people will be sharing. I printed off the list of speakers, so I could highlight the ones I want to see, as the options are so numerous. Here are a couple that I am really looking forward to

John Valenzuela on Classic Heirloom Fruits of California
* Ken Love (of Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers) on Amazing Exotic Fruit
* Jennie London on How to Start a Small Market Farm (hopefully some tips I will need one day!)
* Ken Green (Hudson Valley Seed Library) telling the stories behind different heirloom varieties.

Click here to learn more about the speakers that are coming.

3. Networking
With people from all parts of the natural food world, this is a great networking event for a food writer/gardener like myself. Hopefully I can meet some people that I can learn from and maybe be a help to me along my career path.

Photo courtesy of Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds/RareSeeds.com

Photo courtesy of Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds/RareSeeds.com

4. Fruits of their Labor
Another one of my online projects is a website called “Fruits of Their Labor“. This is me sharing my passion for visiting farms, vineyards, orchards, etc and sharing the stories behind how the products came to be – all the time, money, sweat, setbacks, and successes. The expo will introduce me to a lot of different potential subjects for this website, that will feature more in-depth magazine style e-books.

Photo courtesy of Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds/RareSeeds.com

Photo courtesy of Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds/RareSeeds.com

5. Awesome vendors
Last year they hosted over 350 vendors selling all sorts of things from food to gardening supplies. A couple of the vendors that I saw on the list that peaked my interested are are xroads Philippines Sea Salts and Koda Farms (a rice producer).

Here is a list of the food vendors at the expo.

6. Seeds
There will also be vendors at the expo with seeds (such as Redwood Seeds). I always look for an opportunity to see what other seeds might be out there, that I haven’t seen before in a seed catalog. There are always rare gems out there to find that you can grow yourself; you will never find them on a supermarket shelf.

7. For my kids
The expo is not just for adults. For the first time, they are having a 3 day kids expo with a pavilion just for kids. I am happy I can bring along my kids and they will have something specific tailored towards them. The best part is that kids get into the expo itself for free! Here is a schedule of what they have going on each day for the kiddios.

Photo courtesy of Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds/RareSeeds.com

Photo courtesy of Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds/RareSeeds.com

There you have it. If you have the chance to head out to this expo, take it. With so much to see and do, it will be worth the time and money you spend. As for me, I am looking at the expo as a potential life changing event that will help further propel me into my future food goals. Going? Leave a comment below and I will see ya there!!!!

Green Beauty Snow Pea Review

Green Beauty Snow Peas Harvest Text

Wow. What a pea season. I have never trying to growing so many varieties in one year (18 total). It was so fun to taste and watch the different plants grow. As my plants are all but done for the season I wanted to take so time to go back and review some of the varieties I grew this year. I am starting off with the Green Beauty Snow peas. I picked up this variety for the first time this season from Baker Creek.

The two tone flower of a Green Beauty snow pea plant. Such a pretty flower.

The two tone flower of a Green Beauty snow pea plant. Such a pretty flower.

The description that Baker Creek gave about this pea was that the flower it produced were “magnificent”. Look at the photo above. I think that qualifies for magnificent.

Green Beauty Snow Peas stay so tender when when large, you can eat the peas out of the middle, then fill the hallowed out pod with peanut butter. How cool is that?

Green Beauty Snow Peas stay so tender when when large, you can eat the peas out of the middle, then fill the hallowed out pod with peanut butter. How cool is that?

Move aside celery, snow peas can be used to hold peanut butter as well. Put the peas inside on top and you have a slightly different version of “ants on a log”. This just shows you how long these snow peas stay tender. It’s amazing.

Lots of beautiful snow peas growing with support of some yarn.

Lots of beautiful snow peas growing with support of some yarn.

I planted Green Beauty in two spots. I grew them along side some sticks with yarn tied in between them for support.

I growed my Green Beauty snow peas on a tripod that I had from the previous year. This method worked well.

I growed my Green Beauty snow peas on a tripod that I had from the previous year. This method worked well.

The other spot was with a tripod. I think both methods worked equally well. I do have to say that tying the yarn to the sticks was a lot easier. They have a rougher surface, making the yarn stay on better – as it has something to get stuck on. Whereas the store bough stakes are a lot smoother, so it slips off more easily. The free sticks I gathered around my property for the win!

Those are some nice looking peas ready to be picked.

Those are some nice looking peas ready to be picked.

These pods grow quit large and produce many peas if you let them go to that stage.

These pods grow quit large and produce many peas if you let them go to that stage.

This snow pea is just emerging from the flower. As my oldest daughter would say "welcome to the world"

This snow pea is just emerging from the flower. As my oldest daughter would say “welcome to the world”

Pros: The pods grew really fast. I was amazed after one day how big they grew. They were also very sweet and tender. Probably the most flavorful snow pea I grew this year.

Cons: Didn’t produce as many peas as some of my other plants. However I will give them a pass this year because I didn’t think they had the ideal location. They deserve a bigger, better spot next year. Maybe not quite a con, but the only thing that didn’t go well with growing Green Beauty this year.

Will I Grow Them Next Season: Oh yeah. So many reasons to give them a large spot in my garden. I will have to acquire some more seed though, as I was trying to dry the seed on the plants and something got into my garden and ate the seeds – yet they left alone any still green peas or my green beans, go figure!

Pea Gardens Across the World (7/29/16)

Peas Across the World

Here is the final edition of this season of “Pea Gardens Across the World”. It has been a fun run, sharing photos of different people’s gardens from places all over the planet. We have had people from Australia, the United Kingdom, British Columbia, and many different states in the U.S. Thanks to everyone who was willing to let me share the fruits of their labor. I will kick off the month of August, by sharing photos another legume – beans. If you have any great bean pictures, let me know (via twitter) and I can feature you next week. As for now, let’s take a look at some more peas for the last time this year.

This picture is from my gardening. Not my best picture Lighting was difficult and couldn't get it to focus right but you can see a flower growing there on my Magnolia Blossom Hypertendril peas.

This picture is from my gardening. Not my best picture Lighting was difficult and couldn’t get it to focus right but you can see a flower growing there on my Magnolia Blossom Hypertendril peas.

This is one from my own garden. It’s Magnolia Blossom Hypertendril peas. These plants are still alive and growing flowers, even through all the heat we have been experiencing here in Michigan. They are producing much, but the fact that they are alive while everything else is pretty much seed now, testifies to the fact of their longevity. This variety has earned a bigger place in my pea garden next season.

The purple yarns adds a nice color contrast to these climbing peas.

The purple yarns adds a nice color contrast to these climbing peas.

Our next photo today is from Holly Collingwood. Holly is a freelance writer from Fort Collins, Colorado.

Some late sown Lincoln shelling peas growing in a raised bed with some sticks to use for support as well as to create a beautiful presentation.

Some late sown Lincoln shelling peas growing in a raised bed with some sticks to use for support as well as to create a beautiful presentation.

Next up we have Rob Smith from Sheffield, UK. Make sure to check out his website to see all the great things going on in his garden. His photos will take your breath away. Rob is a columnist for Garden News and Kitchen Garden.

These seed pods are all dried up and ready to be saved for the following year. This particular variety is Garden Sweet Pea from Burpee.

These seed pods are all dried up and ready to be saved for the following year. This particular variety is Garden Sweet Pea from Burpee.

The next person on the list is a fellow Michigander, from the Thumb area of the mitten. Shar Mohr grew Garden Sweet Peas that she got from Burpee Organic. She is saving seed for next year. I highly recommend this, especially with something as easy to save as pea seeds. Just let them dry out on the vine. They are ready when they are completely dry and the peas inside rattle around in the pod.

Shelling peas grown by a first time pea grower. Welcome to the club!

Shelling peas grown by a first time pea grower. Welcome to the club!

Last and not least this week is a picture of some shelling peas from Citizen K. A first time pea grower, she is excied for her first harvest. Congratulations, Citizen K!!!!

I just want to again thank everyone that was a part of this year’s Pea Garden Across the World. Thanks for allowing me to share with that world was is going on right in your backyard. Look for my Bean Gardens Across the World series starting next week. See ya then!

Pea Gardens Across the World (7/22/16)

Peas Across the World

Pea season is really starting to wind down now. Not as many photos are learking out there, but I managed to find a few jems to share this time around. Next week will be my season finale of “Pea Gardens Across the World”. For now enjoy a few more pictures of the peas from around the world.

Special note – I am currently working on a pea e-cookbook, should be out soon. Sign up for my email list to be notified when it comes out and how you can get it.

I love seeing all the recycled materials used in growing these peas. Not only are resources being saved and reused, it is very visually pleasing.

I love seeing all the recycled materials used in growing these peas. Not only are resources being saved and reused, it is very visually pleasing.

First photo today comes from Urban Edible Gardens. This company was founded by Esiah Levy in 2015. They use 100% recyclable materials in the gardening, .along with providing help with soil management – a very valuable but undervalued part of growing food. Check out their website and twitter feed to see what they are up to. I am sure you will be as impressed as I was.

Snow peas growing up your basic backyard fence. Classic, simple, and effective. Lots of places for the peas to grab a hold off.

Snow peas growing up your basic backyard fence. Classic, simple, and effective. Lots of places for the peas to grab a hold off.

Our next photo comes from Allison from Minneapolis, Minnesota. She is growing snow peas, up a chain link fence. Simple and I like it!

A big bowl of freshly harvested and shelled peas. A thankful sight when all that shelling is over!

A big bowl of freshly harvested and shelled peas. A thankful sight when all that shelling is over!

Kristy Johnstown, PA
Kristty from Johnstown, Pensylvania spend 2 hours of time harvesting and shelling these peas. After that she ended up with 6 pounds of peas. That’s a lot of shelling. How exciting to have that many when you are all done! Kristy is a YA fantasy writer, check out her website.

Chef Keith is on the rooftop harvesting some peas. I champion chefs who are NOT afraid to get their hands dirty and go to the source of their food. Better yet when they grow it or harvest it themselves.

Chef Keith is on the rooftop harvesting some peas. I champion chefs who are NOT afraid to get their hands dirty and go to the source of their food. Better yet when they grow it or harvest it themselves.

What a beautiful set up here. The star of course is that bowl of peas ready to be enjoyed.

What a beautiful set up here. The star of course is that bowl of peas ready to be enjoyed.

Cressida picked a beautiful setting to shell her peas.

Finally, this week I have peas from La Frasca, a Friulano-Italian restaurant in Halifax, Nova Scotia – a beautiful part of Canada that I need to make my way to some day. Make sure to follow them on twitter to see all the yummy things they are posting.

Alright that does it for another week of Pea Gardens Across the World. Do you have a photo to share? You can contact me at eric at thepeaproject.com or send me a message on twitter.

Pea Gardens Across the World (7/15/16)

Peas Across the World

Sickness (stupid summer cold, blah!) and the 4th of July week kept me from posting a Pea Gardens Across the World post last week, but this week I am back – with a vengeance – specifically against that cold. I will post these updates for another couple weeks, and then I will change my focus over to beans instead to better fit what is in season. I may be the pea project, yet even I have to move on at some point. My peas are about past their peak, so my interest in peas is about to wain. So if you are growing beans as well, get your pictures ready for the first post on Friday, August 5th. Now without further ado, let’s look at this week’s photos. We got an interesting mix of people this week. We got some Australians, a British Colombian resident, a photographer from Maryland, and a Food Network personality (now that one has to peak your interest). I enjoy people from all walks of life – united in growing our own peas. I hope you will too.

A Spring Blush snap pea that I am allowing to fatten up to save for seed for next season. I have been careful to select only those pods with red blush upon them.

A Spring Blush snap pea that I am allowing to fatten up to save for seed for next season. I have been careful to select only those pods with red blush upon them.

First I want to share with you something from my own garden. I have been sharing with you my Spring Blush peas that I am growing out this year. These unique snap peas are green with a red blush. I am saving seeds now of all the peas that show this trait as only about a 1/3 have the blush. In theory, a higher percentage will have it as the variety is grown out.

Very healthy looking plants that hopefully will produce tons of Sugar Snap peas.

Very healthy looking plants that hopefully will produce tons of Sugar Snap peas.

Lots of sugar snap peas just ripe for the picking.

Lots of sugar snap peas just ripe for the picking.

These two photos are from Ma & Pa Farmers. They have appeared before on this site in the very first edition of Pea Gardens Across the World. Since then their temperatures have cooled enough to produce a more bountiful crop. They are located in Australia. Thanks for sharing once again.

I absolutely adore the purple flowers on the Golden Sweet Snow pea variety. Such beautiful plants that produce tasty, golden podded snow peas.

I absolutely adore the purple flowers on the Golden Sweet Snow pea variety. Such beautiful plants that produce tasty, golden podded snow peas.

This photo was supplied by Melanie Watts from Prince George, British Columbia. She is growing the Golden Sweet Snow peas that I have raved about this site many a times. They are one of the most beautiful pea plants, with purple flowers that turn into yellow snow peas. I am saving a ton of seed from these this year, that I will have to share for the next season.

Thumbs up to these peas that are growing like crazy for Susan Feniger. I love the enthusiasm and the trellis supporting these peas.

Thumbs up to these peas that are growing like crazy for Susan Feniger. I love the enthusiasm and the trellis supporting these peas.

This next contributor is certainly the most well known one and the first one to have a Wikipedia page about them. Susan Feniger starred in the Food Network show “Too Hot Tamales” back in the 90s and has made several other appearances on the network. She is the owner of Mud Hen Tavern – a shout out to her birthplace just south down US 23 from me in Toledo, Ohio, home of the minor league team with the coolest name – the Toledo Mud Hens! She also owns the Border Grill restaurant. What you might not know aout her is that she is a fellow pea grower. Got to love that she takes the time to grow her own food. It can be easy to be a chef and be so busy that you are disconnected from the source of your food and how it makes its way to your kitchen. Glad to she is getting her hands dirty. Hopefully she will take some time to look around my blog (who doesn’t hope that a celebrity would look at their blog!) and see some of the amazing pea varieties I have been growing this and be inspired to try some of those. I am sure she would make some amazing dishes with Golden Sweet Snow peas or the Spring Blush snaps! One of my goals behind this project is to one day be able to grow peas, not just for the farmer’s markets, but for chefs like Susan.

Let the record show, that I didn’t seek her out on purpose. I was just searching for “growing peas” in the twitter search engine and her photo came up. Only after I send her a message and got a response, did it dawn on me – I had an OMG moment – that I knew who she was and that I had an unexpected celebrity run-in!

A handful of snap peas from a first time pea grower. These kind of hand shots, really shows off the fruit of one's labor.

A handful of snap peas from a first time pea grower. These kind of hand shots, really shows off the fruit of one’s labor.

This one is courtesy of Shunkwiler Photo. This is her first time growing snap peas and she shows off what she grew, like a proud parent. Check out this Maryland photographer’s website to see beautiful moments captured by a skilled photographer. Congrats to you on your first harvest!

I love when you hit that perfect angle and you can see the sun shine through the peas.

I love when you hit that perfect angle and you can see the sun shine through the peas.

When Brent first started growing peas, he remembered 3 to 4 peas per pod. Thanks to the sun, you can see 8 peas beginning to form in this pod. I can be hard to capture a photo like this without it being too bright, so I am impressed with the photo Brent managed to take. I don’t think I have any pea photos this year that came out like that. Nice work, Brent!

Thanks again to everyone who contributed photos for this week. If you want to be featured in a future week, let a comment below or contact me on twitter. And make sure to take a moment to sign up for my e-mail updates. I am releasing a short pea e-cookbook soon and this is your way to find out how to get it when it comes out.

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Saving Pea Seeds – Parsley Peas

Parsley Peas seeds

The pea pods have completely dried up now, ready to be picked off the plants. You need to always wait until the pods look like this.

Being a blogger definitely has it perks. I get to meet a lot of amazing people who are kind and generous enough to freely share their seeds. Rick Rickman, who I interviewed earlier this year for the Gardens Across American project, send me some pea seeds to try out. The catch was that he wasn’t going to tell me what they were until they began to grow and showcase some unique growing traits. The first pea to do that was known as the Parsley pea. A variety that instead of shooting out a bunch of tendrils, shots out a series of small leaflets, great for putting in salads or doing some light cooking with. I grew another variety, the Petite Snap green that behaves in a similar fashion.

Here are the Parsley Pea plants are they were beginning to sprout. Even early on I could tell there was something special about these plants. The small leaflets were stretching out like arms.

Here are the Parsley Pea plants are they were beginning to sprout. Even early on I could tell there was something special about these plants. The small leaflets were stretching out like arms.

The plants did pretty well. I samples a few of the leaflets, but mainly let the plants grow for seed so that I could do a bigger crop in the future. Rick gave me 10 seeds and I was able to turn that into 137 seeds!

Parsley Peas

A great selection of dried out pea pods, ready to be shelled for seeds.

Here is a video of me talking about the dried up pea pods just before I picked them.

I grew them in a black container that I got free from a grocery store. It works really well as a mini raised bed. I had a mix of soil and compost. It was the perfect way to grow just a few seeds in.

Parsley Peas

I started with 10 seeds this year and turned that into a collection of 137 seeds!

Make sure whenever you are harvesting pea seeds that the pods are completely dried up. There should be no green and they should feel dry and brittle. If you shake a pod, you may feel some of the peas shifting around inside. This means that your seed is fully mature and ready to save. Once I get to the point that I am just collecting seed from a pea plant, I forgo any more watering, so the peas can dry out as soon as possible.

I want to return the favor that Rick showed me and share some of my seeds with other people. Stay tuned to the pea project to find out when and how this will take place. You can keep up to date by entering your e-mail address below to receive all of my email updates.

Pea Gardens Across the World (7/1/16)

Peas Across the World

Happy Extended Fourth of July weekend to you! Let the fireworks begin with my weekly posting of pea pictures from around the social media world. We got snap peas, purple peas, peas that are green and red, and more. So hop in the hammock, grab a cold lemonade, and enjoy this pictorial feast of peas.

Here is an after dark view of some sugar snap peas going for a climb. I haven't tried doing string vertically like in this photo, but I do like the method.

Here is an after dark view of some suger snap peas going for a climb. I haven’t tried doing string vertically like in this photo, but I do like the method.

Lauren shared with me this after dark photo of her sugar snap peas.

A beautiful purple pea.

A beautiful purple pea.

While the pods may be purple on the outside, the inside the peas are still green. Makes for a great contrast in colors in this photo.

While the pods may be purple on the outside, the inside the peas are still green. Makes for a great contrast in colors in this photo.

For the second week in a row, Raves is contributing to my Peas Gardens Across the World post. Thanks for being the first two-time contributor and enjoy your purple podded peas!

The variety in this photo is the Super Sugar Snap pea. They said to produce earlier on somewhat shorter vines than regular Sugar Snap. They also are resistant to powdery mildew.

The variety in this photo is the Super Sugar Snap pea. They said to produce earlier on somewhat shorter vines than regular Sugar Snap. They also are resistant to powdery mildew.

Virginia allowed me to share with you this photo of her Super Sugar Snap peas. She is a spinner, weaver, knitter, occasional dyer, and craft booth protector. Check out her wears at Spinning Ginny. I am thinking next year I should growing both Sugar Snap and Super Sugar Snap and do my own comparison on the difference between the two.

Spring Blush peas that are reaching for the sky!

Spring Blush peas that are reaching for the sky!

And last but not least, Chrissy from Back Yard to Fork, shared a picture of her Spring Blush peas. I am growing this same variety as well. Both of us got our seed from Baker Creek. This variety grows really tall – Chrissy said she is going to need a ladder to harvest them. The pods themselves are unique in that they have a red blush on them. At least some of the pods do. I found that about a 1/3 of my Spring Blush peas have the red feature on them. I am only saving seeds from those particular pods.

Are you growing peas too? I would love to see your photos. Email at eric at thepeaproject.com or reach out to my on facebook or twitter.

Never miss a beet (and do grow those too!) here at the pea project. Sign up for my e-mail updates in the box below and get the latest news right to your inbox, including information on future pea related e-books i am working on.

Harvesting Magnolia Blossom Tendril Pea

Magnolia Blossom Peas

This morning I wanted to share with you another one of the pea varieties I am harvesting – Magnolia Blossom Tendril. This is one of my two hyper tendril varieties that I have been telling you about over the last couple months. The other one is Spring Blush. I picked up this variety from Baker Creek. They are a good quality snap pea, that have been outproducing my Spring Blush. Althought to be fair, I am saving all the “blushed” peas on the Spring Blush plants, so I haven’t been picking as many.

Beautiful flower, front and center.

Beautiful flower, front and center.

Magnolia Blossom Peas Harvest

Bountiful harvest of Magnolia Blossom peas.

Lots of beauitufl green snap peas to harvest. The plants are producing really well.

Lots of beauitufl green snap peas to harvest. The plants are producing really well.

Baker Creek’s description says that these peas produce for weeks. I would have to testify to that being fact. They have been producing for a couple weeks now and are still growing pretty strong, even as we have entered into the summer season.

Boy do these peas grow tall. I am 6 foot 1 inch, and now I am looking up at them!

Boy do these peas grow tall. I am 6 foot 1 inch, and now I am looking up at them!

I can’t believe how all these peas have gotten. They are now dwarfing everything else in the garden. Get much taller, I am going to have to use a ladder to pick them! They are now taller than their trellis. Since they have all those tendrils the plants are extremely sturdy. It would take quite the wind to knock these guys down.

I wrote a post on how to harvest the tendrils from these plants. Lot of the tendrils now have gotten too tough to eat. The only ones that are still tender enough are going to be at the top of the plants. I harvested some of them when I took the photos for this post. I am not concerned about having enough peas anymore, so I was pretty liberal with taking the tendrils off the tops.

I have added a few more photos of these peas for your visual enjoyment!

They taste as look as they look!

They taste as look as they look!

Look at the stem of this plant. It has purple running through it. Kind of reminds me of a candy cane.  How strange and cool!

Look at the stem of this plant. It has purple running through it. Kind of reminds me of a candy cane. How strange and cool!

These guys have certainly exceeded their trellis.

These guys have certainly exceeded their trellis.

Love the two-toned flower these plants produce.

Love the two-toned flower these plants produce.

Perfect Magnolia Blossom snap pea ready to pick.

Perfect Magnolia Blossom snap pea ready to pick.

Peas Gardens Across the World (6/24/16)

Peas Across the World

It is time for another edition of Peas Gardens Across the World. This week I am featuring peas from 4 different gardeners that live in places like Australia, Canada, Massachusetts, and Chicago. The great shots in this post include pea flowers, peas ready to be harvested, and harvested peas.

Plenty of flowers on these plants, that means a bountiful harvest is coming.

Plenty of flowers on these plants, that means a bountiful harvest is coming.

The sight that any pea grower loves to see, plants full of flowers that soon will be pods.

The sight that any pea grower loves to see, plants full of flowers that soon will be pods.

Angie is a great photographer. I love how she captures this pea flower. You can see each detail, including the subtle green lines that run up the petals.

Angie is a great photographer. I love how she captures this pea flower. You can see each detail, including the subtle green lines that run up the petals.

Who said that vegetables can't produce  pretty flowers. I love pea flowers and in the end you end up with peas - it's a win-win.

Who said that vegetables can’t produce pretty flowers. I love pea flowers and in the end you end up with peas – it’s a win-win.

Angie from the Freckled Rose shared with me her photos of two varieties of peas she got from Baker Creek, De Grace and Little Marvel (two varities I need to test out in the future). Make sure you check out her blog – it has lots of great photos and information. It has been featured by HGTV gardens. I particularly like her monthly garden tours, where she shows you what’s going on in her garden.

Here is a shot of some purple peas. These peas are so beautiful and much easier to spot when picking as they stand out from the green leaves of the plant. They also produce flowers with shades of purple in them.

Here is a shot of some purple peas. These peas are so beautiful and much easier to spot when picking as they stand out from the green leaves of the plant. They also produce flowers with shades of purple in them.

Thanks to Raves for allowing me to share this photo of her purple snow peas. She is growing them in pots on a table on her back deck.

Look at this beautiful pea, ready to be harvested and enjoyed.

Look at this beautiful pea, ready to be harvested and enjoyed. Peas are so sweet when picked right off the plant, nothing like it!

Kim from Toronto, Canada, let me share the above photo. A beautiful pea ready for enjoyment.

Harvest time - the time when all your hard works pays off. I love this photo of Donna's harvest with the peas flowing out of that colander.

Harvest time – the time when all your hard works pays off. I love this photo of Donna’s harvest with the peas flowing out of that bowl.

Donna from Larkin Lake Strategic Communications shared with me this photo of a bountiful harvest.

Are you growing peas too? I would love to see your photos. Email at eric at thepeaproject.com or reach out to my on facebook or twitter. At the end of the pea growing season I am going to have a contest, where people vote on the best pea picture. The winner will get the very first copy of my upcoming pea recipe e-book.

Never miss a beet (and do grow those too!) here at the pea project. Sign up for my e-mail updates in the box below and get the latest news right to your inbox, including information on future pea related e-books i am working on.