Snow Peas Anyone?

Oregon Giant Pea Harvest July 21, 2012For many years we’ve been growing Oregon Giant snow peas.  We started harvesting on June 9th from an April 2nd seeding, only a few days earlier than most years in spite of the warm start to spring.  They’ve always been very productive but this year, with the extreme heat and lack of moisture, we weren’t expecting much.  When the heat started to crank up and the rains dried up we only watered the bed enough to mature out the seed crop for next year’s planting.  Then the peas were cut off from our  irrigation priorities as the rainwater cistern tanks supply dwindled.  We figured that the planting had performed well enough and was done for the year.  With the 100 degree heat and only about .71″ of rain in the last month the plants soon looked like toast.  So given these conditions, we were pleasantly surprised to be picking snow peas this past week.  A double row of celeriac, receiving very limited amounts of doled-out water to them to keep them alive, is adjacent to the peas.  This may have contributed to the peas’ resurrection.  The seemingly dried up plants put forth fresh, green growth and flowers in their usual second flush of pods.   Just like other years, the Oregon Giant peas are giving us a replay of spring, maybe not lasting into August as has often been the case in the past, but still impressive in the desert-like conditions we’ve been enduring.  Admittedly, the pods are small and not as tender as their spring siblings, but WOW!  Oregon Giant may be a snow pea, but it doesn’t melt down in the heat!

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