Since the peas quit blooming in our warmer weather, we pulled them up and let the tomatoes take over. I think green beans would have been a better follow up crop, like I did last year. I just wanted to try something different and this was a better location for these two crops in my rotation scheme.
Green peas, are another crop that can be planted and harvested fairly early in the season. They will withstand cold temperatures and frost, and prefer cooler to warmer weather. Peas can be canned or frozen, and are great straight off of the vine. I had also hoped to harvest enough this year to can a few, which we have not tried before. We think they are better frozen, but don't want to depend on the freezer if the power is out for any extended length of time.
So, what are the benefits of eating peas? Their nutrients include:
- Vitamins A, C & K
- Folate (folic acid, B complex vitamins)
Some of the health benefits associated with peas are:
- Low in calories; 112 per 1 cup serving; this may not be a desirable trait in a survival situation
- Contain phytosterols, which help lower cholesterol
- Good source of fiber
- Carbohydrates 21g per 1 cup serving
Even though we didn't get very many peas in our harvest this year, it is an easy, early crop that could add to our diets in the spring before many other crops are producing. I need to figure out how to increase the productivity of this crop for next year. There may come a time when we will be depending on early spring crops in our diets, and it may come sooner than we think. One of the things to consider is the caloric intake needed to continue producing food if everything has to be done by hand. This is one crop that has the benefit of producing early, but do the nutritional benefits make up for the lower caloric content? Is there another early producing crop that would provide equivalent nutritional value, with more energy producing content? Like potatoes? Would this ground be better utilized in growing another crop? Keep in mind that not all crops need to be high in calories. Part of the goal is to produce a well balanced store of food for the year, not just in the spring. The game changer here could be if this first crop was needed to stave off starvation. We're always looking for new food crops. We tried peas this year which tasted great, they just didn't produce enough. Food for thought.
Until next time - Fern