Peas

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Peas are such a sought-after crop in the early summer, they cause us to have great big lineups at the veggie trailer!  Nothing is sweeter than young shelling peas straight out of the pod.  When I was little, my Gran would harvest ice cream buckets full from her garden, and then we would sit on lawn chairs in the shade and shell them.

IMPORTANT: How to tell the peas apart: As farmers, we take for granted that we can tell by looking at them which peas we have.  The average person can not!  The shelling peas have a more blunt end and tend to be fatter with a thinner shell.  But the easiest way to tell them apart is the different bags we use: Sugar Snap Peas (edible pod) are in zippered sandwich bags, and Shelling Peas aka English Peas (eat only the peas inside) are in a bag with a red bit of tape around the top to hold it closed.  If all else fails, try eating the pod and if it’s stringy, then you have regular peas on your hands!

Season: Peas are ready as early as we can have them (sometimes late June) and go until early or mid August.

IMG_9582In 2017, we began a relationship with Marcus from Covenant Growers in Winkler, MB.  He grows peas, beans, and sweet corn, and also produces Manitoba’s first hard cider, Dead Horse Cider (find it at MLCC!).  We now get peas from Marcus, often delivered by his cousin Rayvn or his aunt Murley.  This GREATLY increases our capacity as the amount of peas we have demand for would take another 2 employees picking full time in pea season.  We now have as many gorgeous, sweet, fresh peas as the Veggie Lovers’ of Brandon want!  Every year in corn season we take a trip to Winkler to visit Marcus, and we look forward to many years to come of working together!

Preparation Tips: Shelled peas have a shelf life of under 48 hours, so keep them in their shells until just before you use them.  If you are going to freeze them you must shell them and blanch them first.

Peas are very tender and require a very short cooking time.  They are best when just barely steamed until their color turns vibrant!

Peas are one ingredient in one of our favourite recipes, Nova Scotia Hodge Podge.

Storage: Keep in the fridge in the bag they come in. Keep away from apples as they release ethylene and can cause the peas to spoil and lose their sweetness faster (this also goes for carrots, lettuce and potatoes and many other items). The stem that you don’t eat on top (the calyx) will wilt first and be your indicator to get eating your peas, but I have no worry that they will be in your fridge that long!

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