What To Do About Green Pea Glut

Back in April, I planted 30 Green Arrow Pea seedlings in my crisis garden. So what does that mean is occurring now? I have quite a large crop of peas. One may call it a plethora of peas, perhaps.

I’ve been fortunate this year to have such a successful pea crop. The vines are standing a good 2 feet tall, and the majority of the pods have contained 10-11 small, bright green peas. Green Arrow Peas are pretty well known for producing a large and reliable crop, so I suppose I should have expected such an outstanding outcome when I decided to plant such a great number of seedlings.

Now I would never intentionally plant more of any one crop than my family can consume, freeze, and can, because that would just be wasteful. It is a very bad idea to plant more than you can reasonably harvest because vegetables that are left to rot on the vine will attract insects and mold. But as any experienced gardener knows, sometimes planting a vegetable or fruit just doesn’t turn out exactly as you expect it to. Certain plants are more likely to produce a glut than others. Zucchini, for example, is a plant that tends to bear more fruit than one even knows how to handle. This is because it is a prolific plant, can thrive in many climates, and just one plant can produce quite a few zucchini. Obviously, this is drastically different from planting, say, a carrot, where you know that one seedling will produce just one carrot.

A quick internet search will show you that gardeners have many different ways for dealing with garden glut. Some have become quite creative with recipes, such as this creative one for Chard Tzatziki to use a chard glut. Others get busy making refrigerator pickles to use a cucumber glut. This year, with my green pea glut, I am employing a variety of methods to best use my harvest:

  • Canning- Visit the Pick Your Own website for easy, step-by-step instructions on how to can your peas. You do need to own some basic canning supplies such as jars, lids, a jar grabber, and a funnel in order to do this. If you do not own these supplies already, then definitely go ahead and invest in them now. They are worth much more than the purchase cost, and in the long run you can preserve pretty much anything in your garden by using the canning method.
  • Freezing- It is quite easy to shell, blanch, store, and freeze green peas. You can follow these directions from Home School Helper to do it yourself. Make sure to write the name of the veggie and the date on the plastic storage bag before you put it in the freezer.
  • Mashing- Try mashing peas instead of potatoes. Yes, it looks a little funky because it is bright green. But it is really, really good.
  • Stewing- This recipe for stewed green peas also uses parsley, onions, and cabbage fresh from your garden.
  • Appetizer-ing- Steam or blanch some peas until they are just tender, then mix them together with a scoop of sour cream, some salt and pepper, a few chopped green onions, and some fresh mint from your herb garden. A scoop of this makes a great side dish or appetizer. Throw in a couple slices of crumbled bacon if you wish to fatten it up a bit.
  • Main dish-ing- In American cuisine, green peas are not often the star. However, they are often a main ingredient in Indian and Asian cuisine. Here is a delicious Indian recipe for Green Peas Masala.

If you have never planted peas before, then I would encourage you to try it for your next planting season. Green peas are frost-hardy, and can be planted throughout most of the United States. If you are preparing to enjoy your own wonderful Green Arrow Peas, then hap-pea harvesting!

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