Spring for peas (if you can)

Peas. Open any cooking magazine between March and June and you’re subjecting yourself to a barrage of pea recipes. Pea soup. Pea and asparagus pasta. Peas, peas, asparagus, peas. Yet they’re a pain to grow and no one sells them at the market, ostensibly for that reason. The frozen varieties fail, with the adequate separated from the awful by no more than a matter of degree.

What’s a guy to do?

I decided to call up the restaurant where I’d last had great peas – Bluestem in Kansas City – and asked where they were getting theirs.

“Beau Soleil Farm,” said the voice on the phone. “They’re from Hughesville but he’s at the farmers market every Saturday.”

Great, I thought, but the farmers market in question is in Kansas City.

I’ll run this down and see if I can buy some peas from Beau Soleil, but anyone know of someone closer than Pettis County? I get to Sedalia even less often than KC.

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Author: Scott

I am a married father of two. I graduated from Rock Bridge High School and then Mizzou before spending six years in the Washington, D.C. area. We returned to Columbia, Missouri in 2006.

6 thoughts

  1. We’ll have peas, probably a few starting this Saturday. Snows, snaps, shellers are all coming on…and Jeff’s right, we have had pea shoots the last two weeks though we’re not sure if we’ll do it this week.

    Beau Soleil comes to CFM as well, though I don’t know if they’re bringing peas. They generally come with mushrooms. Look for a skinny guy with a pony tail and beard (no, not me), probably in his forties.

    We think peas are reasonably easy to grow, you’re just a slight bit early in expecting them. The long, wet, cool stretch of weather we’ve had until now slowed them down, but ours are all flowering now and will hopefully be bearing heavily soon. I’d be shocked if there weren’t several other vendors offering them within the next few weeks.

  2. Ahh, that’s why Beau Soleil sounds familiar. I know who you’re talking about Eric, but hadn’t noticed him at the market yet. I’ll check with him…and with you.

    As far as ease of growth, my peas always get about two feet tall, throw a few pods and then the heat just cooks them off. I don’t start them early enough is my guess. I like snow peas and snaps, but my particular interest here is the shelled peas.

    FYI, your pea shoots went into a nice stir-fry we made last night. Good stuff.

  3. I saw him walking around at market last week, but didn’t see what he had.

    You’re right that few people do shelling peas. We have some planted, but not as many as the other two. Partly, for us, it’s because there’s less food value because you don’t eat the pod. So either the customer pays the same as for snaps but for 1/2 the food, or we charge less but then don’t make as much as snaps per unit area.

    But we do have some coming on and will let you know when they’re ready.

  4. Grandma’s fresh cream peas from the garden. I never appreciated how great that was when I was a kid, but man do I miss them looking back today. Peas and fresh strawberries were the sure sign it was summer on our farm.

    I’ll try and block out being forced to set inside to shuck all those peas and snap all those green beans.

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