Today I began harvesting my Sugar Pod Snow Peas. These dudes are SERIOUS: they were the first of my plants to sprout, the first to flower, and the first to produce food for me to put in my belly.
Snow Peas just picked from the garden.
(Yes, my dinner plates are heart shaped. The 4-year olds love me)
Snow Peas like cold weather, so they should be planted outdoors in early spring as soon as the soil is thawed enough to put seeds into. Within 3 days I had baby pea sprouts, and now, less than 2 months later, I already have full grown pea pods on the vines.
Once I harvest all of the pea pods, I'll cut down the spent plant and put in more seeds for a second harvest. You can do this too! If you think it's too late to start a garden, think again: just wait until August and plant Snow Peas as the weather starts to cool down. You'll have pods before Halloween!
The plant will grow as a leafy vine with long curly arms that reach out to grab onto supports. Once the vine is big and sturdy, it produces small white flowers. The flowers turn into pea pods, and the pods of the Snow Peas are edible so you don't need to spend time shelling out the little dudes.
You'll know it's time to harvest the peas by a few indicators. First, the leaves at the base of the plant will begin to wilt and die. The plant is on it's way out because it's already completed it's life's purpose, producing peas.
Also, you can tell the peas are ready when you have 3-4 inch long flat pods with small peas visible inside. You want to pick the pods before the peas inside become plump. They begin to lose their sugar immediately after being picked, so pick your peas right before you plan to cook them.
So, want to plant some Snow Peas for a late harvest? You can buy organic, sustainable seeds from Seeds of Change. Plant half of them at the end of the summer and save the other half in your refrigerator to plant next spring!