September 28, 2011

Peas Be With You

Perfect peas in my patio container garden

When Buffy Sainte-Marie wrote, "God is alive, magic is afoot", she was probably thinking about a vegetable garden. If she was thinking about a particular vegetable, I am sure it was peas. No vegetable more exemplifies a garden for me than peas picked right off the plant, whether they are shelling, snap, sugar or snow peas. Pick them - eat them - magic.

This year we planted snap peas in our patio container garden. There was at least one good thing about our late summer - the long, cool, wet spring weather provided ideal conditions for growing peas.

After an early trimming by foraging Sitka deer, the peas flowered prolifically with economical, small white flowers. Soon mini-pods were poking out, and before long dangling green shells of perfection were hiding among the vines, each one a happy discovery of deliciousness.

After a couple of harvests, and with the promise of several more, I looked at the snap peas in the grocery store. They were in sad cellophane packages squished flat, and the pods looked lifeless. When I picked them up, instead of hard and crispy, they were rubbery and limp.

It looked like the long voyage from a field in China had taken its toll. Now the snap peas were nutrient-deficient, drained of magic, and expensive. "God is dead here", I thought as I put them down.

Growing a garden over the years, whether large or small, has provided some of the best evidence that "God is alive, and magic afoot". This year's crop of sweet, crunchy, nutritious (and darned near free) snap peas reconnected me with the miracle of growing my own food, and the satisfaction of picking peas off the vine instead of off the boat from the other side of the world.

Peas be with you.


  1. Peas are indeed THE best garden vegetable. Oh wait...what about new potatoes. OK, it's a tie.

  2. Hey Geneviève,

    Mmmm, new potatoes. I have one container of potatoes, and the tops have all died back now, so it is time to go in to see what we have got. I haven't done so yet, but look forward to yummy dirt discoveries soon. Can't wait to get my hands in that soil to see what we've got.

    Did you grow a garden this year?

  3. No, I don't garden these days. I will again some day when other priorities take the back seat (child rearing, busy/fun career, intense summer adventures, etc.). In the meantime, I enjoy the food other people grow. I especially love going to farmers markets. Our freezers are full already!

  4. A full freezer is a happy freezer.


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