Why I Am Growing…Capucigner Peas

Seeds I got from Saverine Creek Heirlooms
Seeds I got from Saverine Creek Heirlooms

One of the most enjoyable things I have been doing this year with the blog is reaching out to other gardeners. It’s great to chat with people about what they are growing and sharing my experiences with them. One of the coolest things I have come across is a gardener that not only grows heirloom vegetables, but uses their seeds to produce jewelry. I am talking about Saverine Creek Heirlooms. The owner of this business was kind of enough to send me some seeds to grow for this pea project. The variety she send is called the Capucigner Pea (pronounced cap-ou-SIGH-nah)

Seeds I got from Saverine Creek Heirlooms
Seeds I got from Saverine Creek Heirlooms

Here is so more information on this variety –

1. It is a purple podded pea.
2. It has been grown at Monticello, the famous garden on the property owned by Thomas Jefferson. Their website had this to say about the pea – “is a hardy, centuries old heirloom pea first grown by the Franciscan Capuchin monks in Holland and Germany during the early 1600s.” You can actually buy seed from them.
3. Here is some more history on the pea from the Mother Earth News website – “The Capucijners are a Dutch category of pea equivalent to the English grays. Because they are hardy, many of the early Capucijner-type peas were sent to the Pennsylvania Dutch by Mennonites in Holland, probably as early as 1683. Folklore has assigned the development of the Capucijner pea to Capucan monks in Holland. While it may be true that a certain old type of pea now known as gray or capucan evolved in the cloister gardens of these monks during the late Middle Ages, most of the named varieties that belong to this group were created or perfected much later by Dutch seedsmen. The names have served for a long time as convenient tags for a type of pea, not necessarily denoting their origin. The Blue Pod Capucijner is a case in point, for in France it was known as pois à crosse violette, nothing in the name to do with monks.”
4. The plant will produce bi-colored flowers that when they fade will turn blue.
5. They grow to 5 feet tall
6. The pods are edible if you pick them young, otherwise allow to grow and use as a soup pea.
7. In Holland, you can find these peas in jars already pre-cooked.

Trellis for my Capucigner Peas
Trellis for my Capucigner Peas

The seeds I received sprouted really well. The plants are doing great so far. In fact, they have won the award of being the first pea to shoot out tendrils that have taken a hold of something. I am growing them on long sticks I cut from trees around my house. I have some string tied onto each stick to connect them, giving the peas something to take hold off.

Capucigner Peas sprouting
Capucigner Peas sprouting