"The tragic reality is that very few sustainable systems are designed or applied by those who hold power, and the reason for this is obvious and simple: to let people arrange their own food, energy and shelter is to lose economic and political control over them. We should cease to look to power structures, hierarchical systems, or governments to help us, and devise ways to help ourselves." - Bill Mollison

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Pea Dance

Time spent in our food gardens during the next 40-50 days will, for the most part, be spent working towards the harvest of numerous crops. Some of the food we grow has already been processed and stored away for the winter months: kale for soup, basil and other herbs, many of our berries, garlic, shallots, and so on. The rest of our winter fare is, or will soon be in some stage of being processed. The end goal being to have our freezers, root cellar, and dried items at capacity in order to be secure in the knowledge that we will have more then enough food to last us through until the next growing season.

One of the items we are working on finishing up are our dry soup peas. A few gallons of peas are frozen but the majority are dried on the vine for easier storage. Nothing beats a big bowl of pea soup and cornbread for dinner, especially when it's cold out. We always save 2-3 years worth of the best peas for the following years crop. This is done so that if next years peas need to be replanted, or fail to produce viable seeds due to bad weather or other issues we will have enough. The rest are stored in gallon jars until needed for food purposes.

These boxes contain a few of our carefully separated seed peas.


Normally we process these legumes a little at a time as they dry on the vine, but sometimes we end up with a large amount at once. One of the ways we remove the shells from the peas not being used for seed is called the "pea dance." Our pea dance involves stomping on the dry seed pods in order to break them up and release the peas. This year we used our grandson, clad in sterile cowboy boots, and a small clean children's wading pool for the procedure. One bucket of peas at a time is dumped in and tromped on by him until the majority are released from their confines. We then separate the chaff by hand or thresh it through a screen. This has been a great way to incorporate our grandson into this end of season activity. The biggest issue was teaching him to tromp carefully so the peas stay in the pool...such a good lad.


video

18 comments:

el said...

Love it!

I use my girl with cowboy boots with beans or peas between the top and bottom half of a sheet. Seems to work pretty well, then her dad and I toss the beans in the air with the sheet, hopefully when it's windy. Some of these projects can be quite fun if done as a team...

Mr. H. said...

I remember your post on that. We will have to try it with a sheet, that would be much less messy. Perhaps we will do our beans that way this fall. I don't think I will let him toss the beans though.:)

WeekendFarmer said...

lol : ) How cute!

It's me ...Mavis said...

That....is a lot of peas...I think I will use this method when it's time to separate the dried beans....What a great idea!

Ruralrose said...

Once again this post should be in a magazine, perfection for sure! Peace for all

Mr. H. said...

WeekendFarmer,

Yeah he's cute all right, cute like Tom Sawyer.:)

Mr. H. said...

Mavis,

Iv'e never done this with beans, but El has...and it works great. The trick with peas and beans is to get a small child to do all the hard work.:)

Mr. H. said...

Ruralrose,

You're too kind. Thanks!

WeekendFarmer said...

I just realized your initials are Mr. H.

Mrs. Weekendfarmer left a comment for me on my blog addressing me as Mr. H (my initial as well) ...hope it didnt create any confusion : ). Sorry about that. She was trying to avoid responsibility behind the demise of the Sakura tree : ).

Roasted Garlicious said...

child labour laws come into effect?? must have treat after stomping peas!!
almost made my mouth water at the words of 'bowl of pea soup and cornbread... i could almost love winter with that!

Stefaneener said...

So freaking cute. I was thinking about growing some dry peas, but I don't know that I like soup -- I just don't want to get in the big patch to harvest! What variety do you use for the dry ones?

LynnS said...

William's boot stompin' boogie stole this post!

(Does he know that he's got an internet base of fans now?)

Mr. H. said...

WeekendFarmer,

Don't worry I never did read that comment and would have realized that it was you she was talking to if I had. Kind of funny though.:)

Mr. H. said...

Roasted Garlicious,

I'm not sure that child labor laws apply to the back woods of Idaho.:) Don't worry we did bribe him with a rare bowl of ice cream...if he ate his salad first of course.

I grew up eating pea soup and have always been most fond of it. One of my favorites.

Mr. H. said...

Stefaneener,

Don't like soup? The peas are a variety of Blue Podded Pole, Afila, Alaskan, Alderman, and a few others. Any pea can be left on the vine and dried. You have to like soup.:)

Mr. H. said...

Lynn,

The kid has a big enough ego, let's not make him as narcissistic as his dear old grandpa.:)

Malay-Kadazan girl said...

Enjoyed the video very much. I did not save some home-saved peas last season because it was not enough for my first son Ilhan. Have to plant more peas so I can save some seeds. After reading your post about using the sunflower stalk as trellis, we might set up some trellis at the back of our fence and grow some peas.

Mr. H. said...

Malay-Kadazan girl - The sunflower trellis worked really good and is such a natural solution.:)

Related Posts with Thumbnails