More Peas on the Table

My son, a full time burbian, suggested that my palmettos were out of control. He didn’t volunteer to do anything about it and it just so happens that I had come to the same conclusion a few weeks back so I decided to start a thinning project. The weather is just fine, mid 70’s between 9AM and noon, so now’s the time. We also have Easter creeping up on us and we’re having the party plus the Yearta’s in just a few weeks. My calculation is that if I spend 2 hours a day for about a week and assuming everything in my body holds together, it should look good for the party. My timing estimate didn’t include getting the power cord crossways with the chain saw. Klutz. When alls said and done, the property won’t make full “burb” but then again, this ain’t the burbs and our HOA will be more than agreeable to the new look. It’s in poor taste to put too much pressure on your neighbors by sprucing up but I’ll be well within the limits.

The word is that we should expect an explosion of Stink Bugs this year. For your information, there were a fairly good number last year and they play hell with certain crops – tomatoes and squash in particular. I read that planting sunflowers attracts them, luring them to a location for disposal. I mentioned it to my neighbor and he brought over a cup full of sunflower seed he was using for bird feed. I agreed to try growing them but really didn’t expect the seeds to germinate because I thought the seed had probably been processed with heat and chemicals. They started popping up within 2 days of planting them. That’s unbelievably fast. I’ll soon have to decide where to plant them – adjacent to the garden so that the bugs will congregate on the sunflowers instead of tomatoes or away from the garden to lure them from the tomatoes. In either event, the prescription is to keep a bucket of soapy water nearby and just pull infested leaves off the plant and drop them in the bucket.

This variety of sugar snap peas deserves a picture. It’s a variety called Cascadia and is starting to produce really tasty peas and loads of blossoms. Peas come on slowly at first-I pick about a pocketful every day. We save these until there’s enough for a meal. By mid season, each day’s harvest is more than a meal so we start the multiple use regime – peas in soup; peas in salad; peas and pasta, peas as a main course veggie; you name it, we try it. As the season tails off, I’m back to the pocketful a day. When it gets down to one meal a week, I yank the plants out and add them to the compost pile. This will be the third and final tranche of peas and concludes the best season we’ve ever had. To calibrate you, this is a ten foot row.

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