Friday, December 20, 2013

Oregon Sugar Pods in NE Florida

The Oregon Sugar Pods are the most popular peas and highly productive even after several pickings.  These peas perform best in cool weather which to us northern Floridians is a temperature hovering around 60 to 75 degrees F during the winter months.  In Florida, there are the bigger pods available known as "Mammoth Melting Sugar" with 4 to 5 inches long pods.  I have not seen them and I don't know if they are edible when raw.

In my leaflet from the Standard Feed it states that peas in general will germinate in about 8 days and mature in 60 to 120 days, keeping in mind the four months of temperature below 75 degrees F.  I bought a bag of Oregon Sugar Pods from the very helpful gardener at the Standard Feed store down town in Jacksonville.

I planted the seeds a few inches apart and a few inches deep in well-drained soil with black gold from the compost pile added.  The location for the peas is in full sun for most of the day.  The peas have come up and doing nicely.  They don't grow very tall; however, I have provided four conduit poles with strings/cords running horizontally from pole to pole and up and down for climbing.  The poles measure three feet tall from the surface.  Letting the peas climb makes for easier harvesting.

The mature Oregon Sugar Pods retain their color after a quick blanching, dunking in cold water, put in bags and in the freezer, pods and all.  I may skip the blanching this year and put the peas directly into bags and into the freezer.  I feel that I loose the vitamins and other nutrients when blanching and pouring the water into the drain.

The peas do well stirred fried and cooked with other vegetables as in a medley.  They are also very attractive in salads.  In prior years, I have not found any powdery mildew on the pods or leaves nor have they been eaten by insects.  They are a hardy lot, delicious, and nutritious.

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