From the garden last week, I harvested two perfect little patty pan squash, and a small bouquet of radishes. Just enough radishes to inspire a nice potato salad. Today, I plucked one slightly misshapen but lovely tomato from the vine, encouraged two pole bean runners on their way up the garden fence, and noticed the peas are in blossom. Some are even beginning to form pods! The smaller garden, and my weed-free tactics, are working well this year.
Though we’ve had several days of high heat and humidity, we’ve also had plenty of rain this summer. On top of that, nights have been cool. That combination may be just what is needed.
The radishes – even though it’s late in the season for radishes – have not yet become tough or woody. Their flavor is still perfect. They have not gone to seed.
Peas like cool weather and tend to dry up quickly when the summer gets hot. My Dad used to plant peas on Mother’s Day, and we had generally harvested them all before the end of July.
I love peas, but only when they’re raw. I can hardly tolerate cooked peas. They are bearable in Chinese food – especially if still in their pods – and okay (but just barely) in a chicken pot pie. I understand that Creamed Peas and Tuna Fish on Toast needs peas, if for nothing but to legitimize the name of the dish…but still. Raw is the way I love them, and the only way to get good, fresh raw peas is to grow them.
I was so late in getting my garden ready to plant, I asked Aunt Katie if I should just forget about peas this year. “What will it cost you? A few pea seeds! You’d might as well try,” was her good advice. Thanks to her, on the thirtieth day of July, I have a large bed of thriving pea plants, covered with blossoms and the beginnings of pods. I’m looking forward to that harvest!