Freeze the Peas

I've written about the process of freezing peas before, but it's worth a look back to compare the volume of peas from last fall to the amount we have now. Our pea vines got off to a very slow start this spring, and even though they still aren't all that tall, all of their energy seems to be going into pods. Last night we went out and picked a giant basket and shelled them (which took two adults and one child about an hour to do). Today I blanched and froze them.

A small refinement to our process: instead of just dumping the peas directly into the bag, we added the step of freezing them on a cookie sheet.

This helps keep them separated instead of freezing into one big ball. You do have to use a spatula to pry them off the cookie sheet, but it's worth the extra iota of effort.

Here's a day's worth of harvesting this time around:

Now that's from 54 row feet of peas, which is a lot more than the 13 we had last fall, but even so, the plants are also more productive — that gallon bag is about 3/4 full. There are lots more out there to be had, and our major challenge will be to stay on top of harvesting and freezing them regularly to make the most of our crop.

Of course, we also have our share of them as a snack, raw in salads, or lightly steamed as a side dish with some fresh mint. They are so good fresh, but they also freeze better than just about any other veggie, so they are a big part of our winter vegetable plan as well — especially as we plan to see just how far we can go in the no buying veggies challenge! 


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