So What is This PEA Project?
The mean of the PEA project is two-fold. First, it’s about my passion for growing peas in my garden, of all different sizes, shapes, and colors. Second, the PEA project is an acronym for People Enjoying Agriculture. I want to not only share my passion for growing my own food but also the passion of others. I hope to inspire more people to not only grow their own food but grow things that they would never thought possible. If you just shop at the grocery store you would never know the diversity of fruits and vegetable that really exists.
Origin of the Pea Project
It started in the same way lot of ideas on the internet start with – a lack of information. When I first began gardening I wanted to find pictures of crops I was growing (particularly peas) and how the plants looked at different stages of growth, to see if I was doing things right. I could not find any useful source for this information. In response I did some tracking of my plants on my food blog, Eat Like No One Else. But it really never fit in with all my other food passions, so it never became a major part of my blog, and was almost forgotten about.
One of my passions is sharing with people new varieties and flavors. I have enjoyed doing this through my experiences working a farmer’s market table and working in the produce retail world. I’ve never had the opportunity to choose what was being shared with people, everything has been chosen for me. I want to have that opportunity,but I don’t want to be a full time farmer. I have seen the commitment full time farmers have to make and it’s not something I am interested in. However, a short term commitment I could do. There is a couple that I have found at farmer’s markets around Ann Arbor, Michigan that grow mainly garlic. They have become the experts of garlic with over 40 varieties (I think!) on their farm. Once the garlic is ready, they harvest it and bring it to the market. They are committed to being at the market every single week throughout the growing season, just for a small window when their product is available. Everyone knows “the garlic people” and look forward to visiting their table during the appropriate months. This kind of concept really inspires me!
The “garlic people” got me thinking, “What if I could be the Pea guy?” I love growing peas. They are the first crop I had marked success in growing. A garden fresh pea should almost be considered a different vegetable from what you find in the store. How cool would it be to have a stand full of different shapes, colors, and sizes of snap, shelling, and snow peas!?
Then the whole fear and doubt kicked in. Could I make money doing that or would it just be a vortex sucking precious dollars out of my bank account? Then I thought, well what if I blogged about the experience? I surely could make some money doing that (sorry that’s why you have to deal with the advertisements you see around the blog). I already profit from Eat Like No One Else, I felt she I could do it again. Plus, there was that forgotten gardening part of my blog I would love to revive.
My eventual goal is to have my own business selling all different types of peas at the farmer’s market. For now this blog my chronicles learning how to be the best pea grower as well as experiencing with varieties to find ones that do the best and of course taste the best.
On January 31, 2016, I had to be rushed to the ER with a rapid heart rate. At this time we discovered that I had heart failure with significant reduction in heart function. Not something you expect to hear at 36. As a result I have not able to work my day job at Whole Foods Market. It means I also have to table my desire to sell peas at the farmer’s market. So instead I have decided to focus in on spreading my love for agriculture as well as maintaining my own garden with some help with some of the hardest labor tasks.
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