Bought some fresh peas, can I save/dry them?

spaghetina(SF Bay Area)June 20, 2009

note: I also posted this over in the seed saving forum, but it doesn't seem to get very much action, so I thought I might ask here also. My apologies if that's frowned upon (and if it is, someone please let me know).

My favorite farm stand has the absolute best fresh English peas I've ever eaten. The pods are huge (about 6"), and the peas inside are almost always tender, crisp, large, and sweet.

Today, I went and picked up about 5 lbs. to eat raw (I'd rather sit with a bag of peas than a bag of chips), and a few were a bit old and beginning to split. I put them aside thinking maybe I could dry and save them to plant in the fall.

(Stupid sounding question, I know, but this is my first year gardening, so bear with me, lol.) Is is even possible to save the peas from something I bought and plant them later? Would I need younger peas than ones that are splitting, or is it ideal to have them be as old as they are? I did a search, and found a bit of info about drying beans, but I think that might be something different??

How would I go about saving these peas? I have about 30 of them sitting there with the pods cracked open right now.

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The odds are that fresh English peas or any other type of pea for that matter are not developed enough. Green shellies are used in the immature stage. For seed the pods need to dry on the vine. Your best bet is to ask the vendor the cultivar name and go from there.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2009 at 7:36AM
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iam3killerbs(7 NC Sandhills)

Peas that are in the right stage for eating as green peas are immature. That's why they have to be picked promptly before they get old and starchy.

For seed they need to mature on the vine until the peas themselves are rock hard and the pods are dry, papery, and crisp.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2009 at 8:20AM
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RuthieG__TX(z8 TX)

Why don't you ask the merchant what kind of pea it is.....

    Bookmark   June 20, 2009 at 9:02AM
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spaghetina(SF Bay Area)

Shoot, that's no good. The only employee at the stand is a girl who is solely paid to be a cashier and nothing more. I've seen the farm owner's daughter once before, but forgot to ask her.

The few peas I picked out of the bin were old and starchy and beginning to taste dry, but I imagine they're still not far enough along to be dried and saved. I might still give it a shot anyway, just for the sake of experimentation, since I'm not going to be eating them anyway, lol.

Thanks for the info though! Now I'll know better next time.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2009 at 1:32PM
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They might be far enough along. Pick out those more mature pods, let them dry down in a well ventilated place and then shell them out. Let the shelled out seed dry until it is really good and dry and then, if you really want to play it safe, seal it in an airtight container and store it in the freezer until next spring. This would conserve some vitality, if the seed is borderline. Next spring, you could start some in peat pots, just to coddle them, and set them out for seed.

That's what I would do, if I had to. Still, if might be a lot faster and more efficient, if you asked for the name and number of the stand owner. Surely he or she is planting a well known variety and would have no problem telling you the name.

Tahlequah, OK

    Bookmark   June 22, 2009 at 7:20AM
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