Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Overwintered Kale and Spring Peas

The kale we planted last fall never grew very big, so we didn't end up harvesting any of it. We just left the scrawny little plants in the garden over winter, and we were surprised when they were still alive come spring. Now they've got beautiful yellow flowers and plenty of seed pods on them!

Since kale will cross with other Brassicas, including broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage, saving seed can be tricky. But considering that we don't have any of those growing nearby at the moment, we should be able to get a pretty nice seed harvest for planting next year!

Peas are also great to save for seed, and we plan to do just that with some of our fall crop. But our spring crop will be all for eating, and I was pleased to find these pea shoots coming up in the garden this morning.

Peas are one of my favorite garden vegetables. They're easy to grow. You just pop them in the soil, no indoor starting to fuss with, and they pretty much take care of themselves, making up for the extra effort involved in shelling! They're worth growing in the home garden for fresh eating because they're so much sweeter than anything you'll get from the market, but they also freeze beautifully for something green to eat all winter long. Also, we can't forget to mention how useful the pods can be. We planted about 100 pea seeds, and plan to plant the same number again in July as a fall crop. I'm hoping for a freezer full!

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