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.