Wednesday, 7 July 2010
This was our first pea, other than snow peas, to produce this year. These took from germination to production almost exactly 2 months; let's say 70 days including germination. They were described as reaching 30" in height, but like the Norli, I'd say they surpassed that by a not insignificant amount. However, a generous provision of sticks were sufficient to hold them up.
I'll definitely save seed from them as they now seem impossible to find. We got them from Vesey's in 2009 but didn't get around to planting them until this year, and this year I note they don't seem to be in their catalogue. There doesn't seem to be a lot of information about them out there either. Too bad. We really liked these a lot.
Not only are they early-producing peas, they produced prolifically, even prodigiously, with pods in pairs, plentifully plump. (Sorry, I'll stop now.) I think that's what gives them their name; the pairs of pods I mean. One thing I really liked about this variety was that the pods were quite thin, and it was very easy to tell when the peas had filled out to fill the pods. I can already see that this is not going to be the case with other peas we are growing, and I know I was always getting grumpy about buying peas in the pod which turned out to be mostly pod and not so much pea, even though they looked big and fat.
I don't know if these are really super extra-tasty peas, or whether because of those co-operative pods we were just able to pick them all precisely at the peak of perfection. (Sorry; I will stop. Maybe.) Either way, it hardly matters. These were some great peas. We ate a bunch over the 2 weeks they have been producing, and whenever they produced more than we could eat in a day, we blanched and froze the excess. Yesterday was their best day so far; we picked 8 quarts (measured with the pods on) which almost doubled our harvest. The peas seem to be able to get fairly large before they start to get starchy - always a good quality in a pea. We expect to pick another 5 or 6 quarts or so before they finish. So say at least 20 quarts when all is said and done. That's from 240 original pea seeds planted, which seems pretty impressive to me.
I expect them to be done in another week or so. I guess that doesn't quite make them indeterminate, but not quite determinate either. Lets call them semi-determinate. However, I'm glad we have planted other varieties even though I like these so much, as otherwise our pea season would be pretty darn short. I don't know how much this fast finish is inherent in the variety, and how much was determined by the weather. I've noticed that the plants have really shrunk down and yellowed a bit since it has been so brutally hot and dry - like most peas they plainly don't like really hot weather. However, the other varieties of pea plants seem to be holding out better.
You'll note I haven't been posting any recipes with these peas. That's because they are so good just plunged into boiling water for about a minute or two, drained and served. They're even better raw in the garden, but you can only eat so many that way, I guess. At any rate, it seems a waste to gussy them up when they are so truly excellent plain.