It’s a miracle! I am harvesting peas! Fat, juicy, succulent peas! It has been three years since my efforts at pea growing have been rewarded with an actual harvest. But here they are, waiting to be picked.
These are a sugar snap variety called Cascadia, that I purchased from Nichols Garden Nursery in Oregon. They are supposed to grow only 24 inches tall and not need a pea fence for support, but the peas did not read the seed catalogue. The vines are about 40 inches tall. They very much like the makeshift pea trellis I constructed out of rebar and garden twine, and it’s much easier finding the peas when the vines are off the ground.
My triple protection system has so far successfully thwarted both rabbits and deer. In addition to my electric fence with the charger that will electrify seven miles of cattle fencing, the pea bed has its own short fence for additional rabbit protection. While the peas were small I also had a fence “lid” on the bed to keep deer from grazing, but as the peas grew I had to remove it. So now there are bamboo stakes poking out of the bed at odd angles, to make it difficult for deer heads to get close enough to the vines to bite off the fattening peas. It’s ugly as sin, but it’s working.
I am very pleased with the flavor, so sweet and green-tasting, and with how fat the peas grow while the pod remains tender enough for eating raw. The peas that made it intact from the garden and all the way into the kitchen are going to be the star of tonight’s garden salad. And I will celebrate feeling like a successful gardener, for as long as that lasts.