Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Eat healthy: Eat Peas, Plan Now

Spring begins in just about a month on March 20th. It seems like all the snow will never melt but it will. That's the signal to get peas, an early and healthy spring vegetable, planted. My best luck is with a pole variety, called Alaska. The plants, which can climb 8 to ten feet, produce a bumper crop and are usually ready to pick by Memorial Day. The photo above, taken last week, shows part of the fence used for the peas which will need some repairs before planting.
The seed company's claim 50 to 55 days from planting to maturity, and in this case, it's pretty accurate, despite normal bad weather, including late snows and cold, which peas don't seem to mind. Peas can also be planted in late summer for a fall harvest. They don't mind early fall cold and snow.
Do you have a comment on those dates found on the seed packages?
On the subject of dates, March 8th begins daylight savings time. Care to comment on that change?
As February winds down though, there is still plenty of time to think about a vegetable garden. This year having a food plot will be important for many as the economy continues to worsen. Garden fresh peas, and other homegrown organic veggies, are also healthier (think health care) and just plain good.
Planting your own vegetables or buying them from local organic farmers helps the environment and the neighborhood. When more and more people plant or purchase locally, it means one or more less shipments in refrigerated trucks from hundreds, if not thousands of miles away. It is a small step in controlling energy consumption, but a lot of small steps add up. The local community benefits because the money stays local and is recycled back into the region.
Small farm operations often employ young people from the community. Okay, so the wages might be low but there's a wealth of knowledge and experience for workers on the farm to be gained which will last a lifetime.
What's your opinion?
Fresh produce obtained from local stores can be less expensive than the supermarket and can be purchased in quantity to stock up for the offseason months by canning, freezing or drying. During the winters months, check out the Meadville Market House or the Erie Whole Foods Co-op for organic and natural foods and products.

Click on the title for more information on how to grow peas, highlighted words in the posts for related information.