Who doesn’t love to eat fresh garden peas? There’s nothing like a handful of peas scooped right out of the pod and into the mouth. Just make sure you don’t eat them all fresh! Save some for eating at any other time of the year.
Blanching and then freezing bags of garden peas to enjoy during the winter is a great idea. The peas will have that freshly picked flavour even in the dead of winter. Here’s another great idea – saving your own pea seed. Here’s how to never buy pea seed again!
How to Save Your Own Pea Seed
First, be sure you use heirloom seed! After your pods fill with peas, leave some pods on the vines so you can use these peas next year for your pea seed.
The ideal thing would be to just let the peas dry naturally on the vine in your garden. Once they are dry and brown, pick off the pods.
Sometimes that just doesn’t work. Maybe another vegetable needs to go in right where the peas were growing. Peas are such a nice early season veggie that you CAN easily plant something after the pea harvest.
When we aren’t able to just leave the vines on the pea fencing, here’s how we save our seed.
I pick all the pods that look fairly dry and also pick some that are still green but starting to dry out.
I bring them in the house and spread them out on cookie sheets. Then I give them a stir with my fingers when I walk by. Instead of cookie sheets, you could just use a shallow bowl or even a basket. Find something to use where you can spread the pea pods out without them piling on top of each other.
This will keep the peas from drying – and that means moisture! And….moisture will equal mold. So spread those pods out!
Days later, here is what those pea pods look like. You can see how dry the pods are getting. Just keep letting them dry until the pods are completely dry.
Then, shell the pods.
I just do this by hand, but if you had a lot to shell, why not thresh them instead? Just put the pods in a pillow case and smack it against a wall.
This will help separate the peas from the pod. Remove the pods and save the seed.
Here are the peas after threshing. I will leave them here on the cookie sheet awhile longer and let them dry more.
Then they get put into a seed envelope, labelled with their name and the year the seed was gathered.
I keep my seeds downstairs in the cool basement. Next year, I bring them up and plant them in the garden!
Start saving your own pea seeds this year – This variety of shell pea is called Bounty and they taste wonderful, whether eaten fresh or frozen.
Never buy pea seed again – save your own pea seed instead!
The only thing to remember is to buy heirloom seed in order to start saving your own seeds.