peas again

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they've sprouted, maybe we'll have some pods before the frosts. i'm hoping we have late frosts and they will do well. if anything they will be a cover crop. we've really enjoyed the peas this year and only regret we didn't plant more and years ago.
this garden is about 1.5m x 1.5m, raised bed and almost all clay (a little sand was added to it many years ago when it was set up as a perennial garden). it was used to grow green peppers the last two years (both years produced well). this year it had peas and mixed leaf lettuces. it did ok. the lettuces eventually bolted and i had to get them turned under.
which was a good chance to examine the soil to see how it was changing from the plant roots, the few holes where i'd put worms a few months ago and the light mulch of shredded paper i'd put on top to keep the lettuces from getting dirt splashed on them.
there was more evidence of fungal hyphae along the fractures of the clay as it crumbled. most of this was likely fed from the decaying shredded paper. the places where i'd put worms or where there were decayed roots from the peas or lettuces were more easily noticeable. no worms were found. probably too hot and not enough organic materials in there and they didn't have an easy way to get down deeper either.
i dug out four trenches down about 30cm and put down the bolted lettuces and whatever else on top that was organic and then on top of that put several kilos of worms, chopped up organic materials and worm poo. then buried them. i'm hoping they'll do ok this time. one trench i made deeper in the middle to give them a way to work down if it gets hot again. good luck little buddies. :) gotta make sure to get some green manure on there in a week and a half. then i planted plenty of peas on top.
this garden is right next to another garden of the same shape, height and soil and that has been treated a little differently to start with and will be examined later this fall after the volunteer squash plants are done.
other peas are in progress, but they are not pod peas, instead they are the round smooth kind you find in split pea soup. a small patch to increase the seed stock for next year. i like how they grow, they are quite cute with their many tendrils. i'm not sure they would be good fresh or not, i'll try a few when they plump up a little more.
the fun continues... :)
songbird
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songbird wrote:

ok, i can't find the exact date planted but i think these sprouted after 4 days. that makes the planting date around Aug 12.
today i see flowers, so i may get pods before the frosts come.
just good to know it takes about 25 days from planting in the summer in heavy soil with full sun. watered often enough to keep the soil moist.
from flower to pod not sure how many days, but it seems to be only a few.
songbird
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I had "Peas with cream sauce" with the fresh green peas from my garden today.
http://alturl.com/9nt82
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Nad

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Derald wrote:

most of the harvest here too does not get far from the patch. we barely had enough this summer for two or three meals because we were both snacking as we'd walk by.
still speaking of peas i was not at all disappointed by the sample of the smooth round green peas i had the other day fresh off the plant. true the pods were not as tender and tasty, but the peas were good. from my reading i was lead to believe that they would not taste as good. i'm building up my seed source for next year so i'm trying not to raid these quite so much.
songbird
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Derald wrote:

i'm not sure what you mean by saying that LMs don't dry well? i pulled about a pound of dry LMs out of the two patches i grew. they seemed fine and sprouted well. i have not cooked with them and perhaps that is what you mean? that they aren't good soup or porridge peas?
the peas above were smooth round peas in a mixed bag of soup beans you would get at the store. so no variety name given for these.
they didn't croak in the hot weather we had (90s for weeks on end) and they didn't get nearly enough water. i liked their upright habit and the many tendrils they put out so they've supported each other. i'm sure this is something they've been bred for as a field crop. i planted them in a small clump with about a 6 inch spacing.
a cheap experiment at around $1/lb. about 14 kinds of beans to try. they've been a good cover crop, planted late, the full evaluation comes after the hard frost and dry bean harvest. i'll get the scale out. :)
songbird
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Derald wrote:

old seed? mine were all planted from freshly harvested and dried seeds. almost every one came up within a day of each other. we had sunshine and i watered them each day enough to keep them moist (but not too soggy). now i am watering them about every other day. looking good. first time i'm doing a full solo pea patch. they will be falling all over each other shortly and supporting each other too i hope. we'll see how it goes.
as for rains, i know what you mean, we didn't have much rain here for almost two months and then 8-10 inches within a few weeks. now it has spaced out and moderated.

if i had a two story house it would be a great thing to capture the water off the eaves up high in a cistern and then have that water plus the added water pressure from the height to do fun things like small fountains or even something i am calling a moss table (the design is in my head :) ). in addition to the use of the water for the gardens of course.

i would not like to garden in the arid southwest. that would be tough sledding.
songbird
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songbird wrote:
...

the lack of a hard frost has meant actual pea pods have made it to harvest. they are 2-3ft tall and flowering up a storm. about 37 days from pea to edible pod.
the low temperatures we had a few nights last week took out the squash and the tops of the green pepper plants. there are still green peppers developing though so no reason to give up yet there.
tomatoes still producing a few here or there.
much picking of dry beans lately. 6-8lbs of pinto beans already and several lbs of the many other beans too. much more to come as they ripen/dry.
strawberries flowering again.
songbird
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Derald wrote: ...

not something i would ever choose to mix. i'll leave that to the pros...

i'm hoping things will hold off for a bit yet. i need a few more days to finish up the staining and then a few other days to get some other things done outside.

glad to hear things are going well. have you done the mustard greens under them before?

haha, well i hope you slept well after all that?
i finished the first pick through of the one pinto bean patch just in time before this round of rains returned. shelled them out as a nice break from staining. measured them on the scale at about 10lbs. not bad for a cover crop on a spot i'd normally have left bare.
songbird
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Derald wrote:

heh, i'll still leave it to others, i need every brain cell i have left. :)

i made the mistake in my first planting of not letting the peas grow another week or two before putting in the lettuce seeds. they rapidly took over. i did get a crop from the peas, but not nearly as much as what i'm seeing now with the peas growing alone.

i'm keeping things simple here -- going back to trench and flood irrigation for a few gardens next year. we are lucky that water is not a limiting factor for us.

i'd never even tried growing blackeye peas until this season. as i put them in late i didn't really expect a crop. it looked like i just squeaked by and the pods are drying out now. they probably could have used another month. being flooded out four times probably didn't help either. too much rain the past few days for dry bean harvesting.
i really enjoyed how they grew being so different than many of the other beans. with the pods sticking out like antennae. i didn't have them growing up a fence or trellis, that probably would have helped them a lot too.

go light with that stuff for the garlic and onion patches. too much nitrogen means more green up top and more bug troubles below.

staining the house. it's mostly red cedar slab siding. a lot of edges that show. i still have the eves to do (which means painting upside down and carefully around the 70someodd vents). the recent rains and a pulled tendon has given me a time-out -- the foot feels better, this weekend will have me back to it, i'd like to get this done so i can get the gardens finished up i'd like to redo.

for the perennial bulb gardens i'll cut those beans off at ground level so that the roots and nitrogen fixing nodules will be left behind to rot and feed the bulbs through the winter and spring. this will be the first year of trying this approach so we'll see how it goes.
all the pods will get used one way or another. last year i put all the soybean pods through the worm bins. made good worm poo eventually. this season i'll have a lot more pods. a few bags i'll keep for the winter worm bins, the rest will get buried or used as mulch.
i am filling in three strawberry patches (about 2000sqft total space) and each of those can use plenty of mulch on top along with organic materials worked into the soil. the compost pile doesn't get much other than stubborn weed root clumps or seedy weeds.
for people with limited space it's not really worth planting dry beans for that alone as they are cheap enough in bulk. i like messing around and have various empty spaces or patches in transition to play with. i'll keep planting them now that i know what each is like i can plant more suitably. knowing me i'll keep collecting varieties as i come across them.
songbird
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Derald wrote:

i'll be interested in hearing how long they actually do last for you. we have raised beds too and yes, that does make flood irrigation trenches a challenge, but i'd rather have a way of watering from the side and letting it flow in than having to get the leaves wet.

wow, that's pretty extreme!

:) i have a list like that too.
our water table is pretty high. we have two ditches through the property that run the whole year. if electricity gets horribly expensive then we could put in a solar system to pump water from a shallow well, but for the most part i'd rather use any solar setup for heating hot water and electricity for the house. that would pay for itself a lot faster than just setting it up for irrigation.

do people use the dried cowpeas for cooking too or are they too yucko for that? i'm mostly growing the soup beans so i have stuff that keeps without it having to be canned or frozen. i did see a package of cowpeas at a store and almost got them but i didn't. if i see them next year i'll pick some up and give them a try.
from what i'm seeing of the blackeyed peas harvest so far they didn't like all the rain we've had lately. i'm not a huge fan of them anyways so i'll grow a much smaller plot next year (as a continuing seed source, to see how they do with a full season and they'll be up higher so they won't get flooded).

i'm pretty sure for the vining pintos it would have helped some as there would have been less loss to rot. i planted them thickly and they climbed all over each other. as it is yet another thing to maintain i'm unlikely to trellis them as i already have plenty to keep me going. if i lose half a pound out of ten from rot and don't have to deal with fiddling with trellis and having to take them down or clean them off at the end of a growing cycle then i consider it a good trade for the time saved.
hmm, i think if i saved stalks from the cosmos and planted beans to run on them for the next season they would work well enough. i'll have to keep a bundle for next year to test out. that would be a nice use of them. something simple like a piece of twine at the top and a teepee pattern would not go against my ideas of simplicity and low maint. at the end of the season then they would get buried like everything else. perhaps okra stalks would work too? i asked my brother to save me some okra seeds for next year to try here.

ah... not too many trees here with roots going into the gardens. only had some this year when i've been digging up and redoing the north bean patch. i like the full sun and less maint. with all the stone patches and pathways it is much better to not let leaves or stuff accumulate as then it sprouts weeds. from a few pine trees i'll rake some of the pine needles up and use them for the plants that like 'em. the cedar trees around the borders are all mostly a ways away and the other cedars scattered around are also a ways away from any gardens.
a friend is giving me bags and bags of shredded tree bark and branches from an old tree that came down on their lot in the city. i'm very happy and so are they, as they get to reuse the bags. they said they'd give me their shredded leaves later this fall too. i have a large strawberry garden that can use them. i'll have to remember to give them some jam next time i visit.
nice neighbors are good to have and keep happy. :) we are losing one of ours this fall. :( gonna miss her a lot. i go down and have tea and bring her veggies and fruits when i have extra. *sigh*
songbird
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wrote:

Sounds like something that should be discussed in a cooking or nutrition newsgroup to me.
Steve
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Steve B wrote:

I don't understand how the growing and eating qualities of pea cultivars is off topic for rec.gardens.edible or was two sentences about cooking old peas too much?
David
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wrote:

Just as I don't understand my question about eating corn silk being taken by some as not relevant to this newsgroup. BTW, my post above is meant to be taken with a grain of salt. It will give it the proper flavor.............
Steve
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wrote:

I thought you had me killfiled.
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Derald wrote:

Yes, they are usually used as stock feed and/or green manure not human food. We miss out on a number of cuisines and types of ingredients that are common in the USA. I dare say the converse is also true. There is no customary way to cook cowpeas so either you have to go it alone from recipe books or pay big money in a big city restaurant where some chef has 'discovered' some cuisine that uses them.
Oz has undergone a food revolution in the last 50 years and there is no sign of it abating. Some vegetables such as okra have gone through an adoption process and are now not so rare here, so you can get them in better grocers and ordinary people like me grow them. Okra appears to have originated from Africa and arrived in the US with the slave trade. I guess cowpeas did the same. So maybe we will be eating cowpeas in years to come.
I haven't taken time to play with them as I don't especially need a legume to improve my soil and many legumes (eg standard peas , broad beans etc) use up resources to grow large amounts of greenery for a small edible crop and they take time to prepare. I don't find the calories available or the flavour worth the trouble in many cases. If I am wrong about the wonderous taste of cowpeas tell me about it.
David
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wrote:

You assume correctly, both okra and cowpeas came from the slave trade. Gardenders in OZ should consider trying them as both are drought tolerant and can produce large crops with a minimum of water.

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Steve Peek wrote:

Cowpeas are used in pastures for those reasons but we don't have the custom of eating them. Okra may be drought tolerant but if you want good fruit for the table you had better water it. I looove okra.
D
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Derald wrote:

thanks for the note Derald, next time save me a bounce and put a real e-mail addr on there. no, i don't mind the e-mail at all, but consider it kinda strange to get an invalid one in return. ;)

i always thought it was blackeyed peas and collard greens for good luck? :)

ok, so i'm getting educated here as i had no idea there were more than one kind of cowpeas. :)
i've eaten plenty of blackeyed peas and i don't consider them bland. they have a pretty distinctive flavor.
but it also sounds like you're saying i could eat them at the green pod stage too (not just the other kind of cowpeas you've mentioned)?

ok, thanks, i'll have to check 'em out sometime when i'm back on-line.
songbird
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Derald wrote:

...all is cool, thanks for the note...

ok, good to know we weren't talking about different things and meaning the same or the same things and meaning different, if you get my drift. haha.

ok, i'll give them a shot again next year and see if i like them enough. or the cowpeas too. depends if i can find them again.

all sounds wonderfully great, to be out in the gardens. other than picking dry beans here or there and a little odd weeding yesterday morning after burying the raccoon i've not gotten out in the gardens enough the past few weeks.
i finally finished staining the house so i'm taking Saturday off. the weather being so nice i'll be outside doing something, but won't promise what or when.
picked a few more pounds of pintos and other mixed beans yesterday in between rounds of staining. needed to give my neck and back a break from looking up. very therapeutic. :) must get out and get those peas picked now as there should be some ready. they're blooming like crazy now. everbearing strawberries still blooming too, not ready to quit yet.
leaves are turning, the trees are getting nekid again. the white pines are shedding to get ready for the winter.
songbird
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