green peas with purple hulls?

fishymamas(z9, So. CA)August 10, 2007

I don't even know if they exist, but I'm sure this is the place to ask. What I'm looking for is a green "garden pea" (the kind eaten fresh, as little round peas) with a purple hull (to find them easier). Where exactly does a girl find these? We're just about to enter our fall season, and I've my heart set on a big sweet pea salad home grown.

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I assume that you looking for an English pea. I don't know of any with purple hulls, They are normally green.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2007 at 8:44AM
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fishymamas(z9, So. CA)

Yes I am, I think the vocabulary has me a little tripped up, out here if it's eaten fresh and green its a "pea" if it's not green or dried it's a "bean". I'm talking about the peas that are round, like frozen peas, except, you know, good.

I never thought I'd be up in the middle of the night researching peas..

    Bookmark   August 10, 2007 at 8:51AM
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zeedman Zone 5 Wisconsin

Fishymamas, is this what you are looking for?

This is "Purple Pod Parsley". It is supposedly a table pea, but mine are not yet mature, so I can't vouch for their quality. They are certainly interesting to grow... they have hundreds of tiny leaves where most peas would have tendrils, quite unusual. A true "bush pea".

It was developed by Dr. Alan Kapular of Peace Seeds, which is now semi-defunct. I have been unable to find a current commercial source for it. He still offers some of his varieties through the Seed Savers Exchange, which is where I obtained my seed. He did send me a catalog once with some seed I had requested from him, and if I can find it, I will post the contact info in this thread.

This is a seed crop for me, so I hope to offer seed for trading in the Fall. If you are unable to find purple peas through other sources, contact me then through my Member Page.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2007 at 5:55PM
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ruthieg__tx(z8 TX)

zeedman you are amazing...There are so many wonderful people here at GW like you, and several others who always have the info that people need and are so willing to share your knowledge with us without making anyone feel like they are imposing on your time...Thank you all so much for sharing so freely ...

    Bookmark   August 11, 2007 at 10:08AM
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zeedman Zone 5 Wisconsin

Thanks, Ruthie. Conversing with such pleasant people as I have met here on GW is no burden. :-)

Fishymamas, I found the address for Peace Seeds:

Peace Seeds
2385 SE Thompson St.
Corvallis, OR 97333

Alan does not offer "Purple Pod Parsley" on his list, but if you request it when you write for the catalog, he might be willing to send you some - especially if you intend to share seed with others.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2007 at 11:10AM
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ruthieg__tx(z8 TX)

Just telling the truth...there are more people on here that are so great than I can take time to name but you, Gardenlad, macmex etc etc etc all make coming here a real learning experience ...As I said...too many of you to name each and everyone but everyone here knows and appreciates all that you all do ...

    Bookmark   August 11, 2007 at 2:43PM
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fishymamas(z9, So. CA)

We can certainly save seed for sharing (I don't mind babying special plants), it is what I'm looking for. I'll draft up a letter for him tonight. Thank you so much dearie.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2007 at 6:14PM
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fishymamas(z9, So. CA)

Was wondering how your peas came out? I've not been able to locate any seed for this type yet.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2007 at 3:54PM
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zeedman Zone 5 Wisconsin

Fishymamas, I was growing those peas as a seed crop, with the intention of sharing them with others. Unfortunately, we had 10 days of torrential rains in my area, just as the peas were beginning to dry... they all rotted in the pods, or sprouted. It was a total loss.

Because much of the seed that I grow is rare, I seldom plant my entire supply, and this year (like most years) that proved to be a good philosophy. I still have enough left over for one more attempt. The seed was listed in the Seed Savers Exchange 2007 Yearbook by Dr. Kapular (who is a member). If it is listed again in 2008 (which is likely) I will try to obtain enough additional seed to do a larger planting, and I could share a few with you at that time.

I was able to sample the peas before they were destroyed; they were very large, and quite tasty. But in terms of their yield, they appear to be far behind other commercial cultivars, such as "Green Arrow", which is my standard for a shelling pea. They are probably best used as edible landscaping, or grown as a novelty... but until I try them on a larger scale, I can't be sure. I'll be "babysitting" them next year, even if I have to throw plastic over them when rain threatens.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2007 at 5:23PM
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Thanks for the update zeedman. I wish you better luck next year.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2007 at 7:41PM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

Purple podded peas are widely available in the UK. A quick Google produced a lot of hits including this one in the US.

Here is a link that might be useful: purple podded peas

    Bookmark   November 3, 2007 at 2:59PM
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fishymamas(z9, So. CA)

Oh dear, that would be so frustrating. Peas are our winter crop out here. I've got a community service project I'm starting up with the kids, so that will occupy much of my space the next few months. We do an "adopt a granny" program here at the preschool, where we partner up with senior housing, the ladies get an afternoon out and read stories, and do crafts here, and the kids learn about history and respecting elders. For one of our projects we do a "garden bucket" where we plant fruits/veggies that don't require cooking in 5 gal buckets, that are then given to our grannies for a source of fresh food (much of the food in the centers is canned). Needless to say 50-75 five gal buckets somewhat takes over my patio and seed starting space for a bit.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2007 at 3:37PM
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zeedman Zone 5 Wisconsin

While there are purple-podded peas available commercially in the U.S., most of them are capucijner types. They are peas best suited to dry use, as opposed to the green shell ("garden pea") usage mentioned by the original poster. I have grown a few capucijners, and did not find them to be pleasant harvested green unless very young... of course taste, like beauty, is in the eye (tongue?) of the beholder.

If the peas Fishymamas seeks are commercially available, they are exceedingly rare; I don't know of a source other than the one that sent them to me. This is not to say that purple-podded garden peas don't exist, but they are certainly hard to find. It may be that they have inherent weaknesses (such as low yield, or the susceptibility to moisture that I experienced) making them commercially unattractive.

Is there perhaps a variety being circulated within the British seed saving community? One intended for use as a fresh pea?

    Bookmark   November 3, 2007 at 4:04PM
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zeedman Zone 5 Wisconsin

Oh, I forgot to mention... Fishymamas, did you send a letter to Alan at Peace Seeds, with or without a catalog request? Any response? If not, I could send him an email, maybe I could arrange something. He may only trade "Purple Pod Parsley" through SSE.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2007 at 4:14PM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

Well - if you like adopting grannies, how about adopting a purple podded pea, if time is too scarce to grow them yourself. The link shows you how to adopt a neglected vegetable and there are several lonely peas with purple pods!

Here is a link that might be useful: adopt a pea

    Bookmark   November 3, 2007 at 5:21PM
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