›› Kayla Siefried
There is nothing more incredible than harvesting the first pea pod from your garden in the early days of summer. It’s crisp shell, sheltering the luscious peas dwelling within, a burst of moisture, flavour, and green when you first bite in.
There is honestly little else in the garden that gets me quite so excited than the first harvest of summertime snap peas. It seems too miraculous to be happening—a small seed placed in the garden bursting forth unfolding a web of roots, and tender stems of growth, on its long voyage toward producing edible delectable parts. It somehow seems impossible. And yet, one day in June you’ll be wandering your garden, and spot it—a mature pea pod, ready to be tasted, right then and there!
Peas happen to be one of the easiest things to grow. They require little from the soil aside from a beneficial soil microbe that helps their roots release nitrogen after they decompose, (that naturally exists in the soil), they yield an abundance of pods and are well loved by kiddos and adults alike. If you are a gardener that is looking for the easiest veggies to grow, I’d start with a crop of peas and beans, potatoes, lettuce, and other leafy greens. All of these have a relatively high yield, the seeds are quick to germinate, and they don’t require an immense amount of nutrients from the soil, nor do they have any major pests or diseases that attack them.
As you enjoy your first June pea harvest, don’t forget that June is the first time you’ll need to begin to plan your winter garden! If you’d like to have veggies to harvest all winter long, June is when you’ll sow seeds for your winter cabbages, brussels sprout, cauliflower, sprouting broccoli, and winter parsnips. And, if you miss that window, don’t fear, there are many local growers who will be present at the Compost Education Centre’s August 7th Plant Sale, and all will have plant starts available for the wintertime garden harvest. Until then, happy pea picking!
For more info and gardening facetsheets, check out our website, compost.bc.ca.