Pease porridge hot, Pease porridge cold. Pease porridge in the pot…9 days old!
For many this rhyme might not make a lot of sense. It does have a nice sing-song rhythm tho. And…I do remember singing it to myself as a child…
BUT… if you were a young peasant child growing up in 16th century England, your frequent meals of pease porridge may have given you unpleasant memories and a possible belly ache!
Image if you will…a large kettle containing a thick porridge made of peas hanging over the fire in many English & Scottish homes during the Middle Ages as was customary. Because few could afford meat, they based their meals on pease porridge with an abundance of whatever vegetables they had on hand. When the fire died down at night, the morning porridge was quite cold. Each day the fire was re-lit & more peas & vegetables were added to the kettle. Indeed, the original ingredients in the kettle could very well have been more than 9 days old!
Pease porridge actually evolved from Pease Pottage, a very thick porridge made of dried peas that was served with highly salted bacon. The original porridge cooked without salt, relying on the bacon for flavor. (c/o…Vegetarians in Paradise)
Well…our pea history is also quite surprising. Evidence of wild peas consumed by humans, discovered by archaeologists exploring the “Spirit Cave” on the border between Burma and Thailand….in 9750 BC!
The color range of heirloom pea seeds is quite extensive…starting from pale beige to deep green to the darkest deep brown. Then the fun begins: seeds that are smooth, dented, wrinkled, spotted, tri-colored and multi-toned! You have to see them to believe it! Check out a whole bunch of “Pea Seed” photos on Flickr…
Discovered and grew quite a lot of “new”…OLD varieties this summer. Many thanks for various garden enthusiasts for their sharing! Am very excited for following the various habits and traits many had. Have only a few, where I can share a few seeds, but hopefully more can be grown out successfully.
Will remain online for educational purposes. Operating on a “Hobby” basis.
Occasionally we may have “extra” seed. Pkts. marked below. If nothing marked…then it is “N/A”.
- Alaska – a very early snap or soup variety (from Foxfire Farm…1881) that produces white flowers and then uniform pods, filled with smooth pea seeds. Was originally bred as a field pea and later used as table pea. Very recommended for soups (dried peas are round, smooth & lite green…), early canning & freezing. Wilt disease resistant. 58 days
- Amish Snap – Grown in Amish communities long before present day snap peas. Vines grow to 5-6ft. Heavy producers of 2” curved sickle-shaped pods with 4-7 peas per pod. Bears for over a long 6 week period, if kept well picked. Delicate and sweet, superb flavor…even when the seeds develop. A crisp “eat-it-all” pea variety. Earliest producer from all trialed in 2011, alto I struggled to keep ‘damp-off” at bay. Looked like my recipe worked just in time for a heavy production final. Pods were medium- sized, heavy, tough & wrinkled with 5 to 6 seeds in most. Sweetness dissipated with age. Plant seeds 1” apart in 3” spaced double rows to ensure better pollination. 60 days
- Amplissimo Viktoria Ukrainskaya – Back for 2023! This heirloom they say comes from the Ukraine. (Can you see it? But I am afraid an Italian countryman got in there somehow! ) Known as the “Garbanzo of the North“. Plants grow to to 5 feet tall, offering medium-sized (2 1/2″ to 3″ long x 1/2” wide) chubby pods, bearing about 6 peas each. That’s more than the conventional “Chick Pea” can offer! Dry shells resist shattering, yet are very easy to shell. Flowers are white. Seeds are very round, light beige in color. Excellent production this past summer! 90 days Limited …Pkt…$3.50
- Argenteum – (aka Silver Leaf) SSEx Heritage farm. The first early variety to show off in that spring. Very unique, offering the deepest silvery grey/blue tinted foliage on some very short <20″ plants. Flowers are exquisit!…2 toned deep purple dusty rose with cream pink alternates. Most appeared to form at the top as opposed to other varieties having flowers all along the stems as they grew upwards. Pods are 2 1/2″ x 1/2″, having a more flattish shape, garden shelling or dry soup pea. Seeds are olive green with fine purple/blue speckling, heavily dimpled. Will grow again! Rare!
- Asparagus – (aka Winged Red Pea) A variety with the most intense scarlet red flowers ever seen on a wee plant like this one. Native to the Mediterranean region and the Near East. This legume is not related to either asparagus or peas! Mentioned as early as 1734 by Philip Miller, one of the earliest garden writers. It has been in cultivation for more than 400 years and is now considered a gourmet vegetable in Europe. The raw seeds of this pea are perfectly round and light green with red mottling. Has been trialed here. Most unusual type of all peas! The pods have fins (or wings) x 4, running down the length of the pod. The plants are much smaller (about 12-18″…as a runner) than other variety. Seeing is believing! Thrives in poor soil. Harvest the pods before they are 1” long and steam them. Tastes like asparagus! 65-75 days Pkt…$3.00
- Australian Soup – Obtained original seed from Dan Jason of SSS, this variety is a spectacular climber of about 4 to 5 feet. Plants offer small leaves, combined with vigorous growth and prolific yields. Flowers are gorgeous: deep plum centers with dark pinkish plum tops. Pods are about 2″ long and 1/3″ wide, with 4 to 6 seeds per. Small roundish, bumpy seeds are quite beautiful…heavily speckled golden brown on a light green base. Easy to shell. These soup peas have excellent flavor and good texture that won’t break down once cooked.
- Austrian Winter – Plants are quite tall, at 4 feet. Flowers have plum/red centers with lite pink frills that bear darker plum veins. Very pretty! Close relative to our common garden peas var., with one exception! This one is grown as a cover crop! Hardy as Hairy Vetch…a known nitrogen fixer. Very adaptable to drier and alkaline soils. Perhaps an early summer planting can be considered for plowing under just before winter. However most recommend that it be spring planted on the Prairies. Late producer and pods are not too sweet. Very attractive to deer…so could be used as an attractant to save garden goodies! (Ok! So does someone out there have a attractant crop for “Chippies”????)
- Blondie – Originally obtained from Bill Minsky & Cynthia Clark. One of the earliest of all my varieties! A low “bush” type, maybe 12-16″ tall with tons of tentrils +++. Mod. producer, bearing wax lined (…a shelling pea?) medium sized pods of the lightest green I have ever seen. The entire plants are also very light coloured. Pods start out flat and then promptly fill out fully round. Seeds dry to light beige and wrinkled. Flowers are white…
- Blue Podded – (aka Bla Orta, aka Blauwschokkers)…means “Blue Pod” in Dutch. A type of very productive field pea variety from Holland. Seeds are characterized by buff, gray or speckled seed coats & pigmented red/purple blossoms, the chemicals which convey the color, also have “anti-freeze” properties, so such peas are typically very hardy & quick to emerge in cold soils.(c/o Seed Savers Yearbook 2009 ) A winter staple in Europe for centuries, known as soup peas or “pease porridge”. Spectacular plants, pretty enough for the flower bed. Vigorous 5’-6’ tall. Soak dry seeds overnight before cooking. A late producer at 80-85 days It will not disappoint!
- Bouchard Soup – A dwarf variety, producing wax filled pods of modest production. Seeds, once dried have the typical roundish, beige with fine dimples…showing it is indeed another soup pea variety.
- Capucijner’s Purple Pod – (aka Blue Pod, aka Dutch Grey) Developed by the Capuchin Monks in Flanders Europe in the 1500’s! (May have originated from the “Blue Podded” varieties of the Netherlands or vise versa… ) Strong 5-6ft tall vines produce an abundance of beautiful rare purple/blue pods (that start out rose/wine…). Can be used as soup peas when dry and snow peas when young! Flattened seeds are large…olive green/gray/golden brown. Flowers are deep pink or sometimes pink/purple. 80 days
- Capucijners “Raisin” – I believed originally these to be the same as those mentioned above, but was surprised to see quite a difference when grown out. Plants grow only to 36″ and their flowers are purple and cream! Leaf is moderate to heavy and production is fairly heavy. Pods were shorter (but wider) than I expected with 4 to 5 seeds each. Seeds are larger, darker and more dimpled, too. Obtained from my friend in Sask. Originating from a SSE collection. Rare!
- Carlin – According to one source…Carlin Sunday is or was an English holiday, also called “Pease Sunday”! …When everyone traditionally ate peas! Well, what can I say! These seeds are buff, smooth and round. Quite unusual and rare.
- Carouby de Mausanne – (aka Roi de Carouby ) A very old French heirloom originating near Avignon, France in the village of Mausanne. A very delicious large snow pea variety, with beautiful pink/purple flowers and mottled brownish rotund seeds when ripe. The vines are productive, growing to a mere 6 feet! Long season producer. Very sweet & tender peas. Best picked when the pods begin to swell. 65 days
- Carter’s Daisy (1880’s) – Pike’s Seed catalog of 1947 from Edmonton, Alberta, listed it as “the most famous dwarf pea, second early marrow fat and the largest podded dwarf pea in cultivation”. This highly productive wrinkled pea seed was also found listed in seed catalogs prior to 1950…HHS
- Champion of England – a variety said to come into its own in England in 1843. Then it hopped over to the Americas in 1846 and was grown by Thomas Jefferson at Monticello. (The more I read about this magnificent 3rd US President…the more I like him!) (According to H.H. Seeds…was developed as a sport of Knight’s Dwarf White Marrow and aka “Fairbeard’s Champion of England”…) Pods are fairly long, each containing easily up to 10 peas. Dry seeds are weird…oblong, green and only slightly wrinkled. 75 days
- Chick Pea – (aka Garbanzo Bean, aka Cepi Principe, aka Blond) Plants produce very frail ferny compounded leaves and grow to a mere 16” to 24” tall. Productive plants produce small (inflated balloon-like) pods with each pod containing about…3 pea seeds. They look just like the ones you see in salad bars! Excellent in drought conditions and hot summers. Does not like the cold! Could be started indoors in pots, as it transplants well. Plant out after all danger of frost has passed and the soil has warmed up. 90-110 days
- Chinese Giant – (aka ? Chinese Snow, aka Chinese Giant Snow ) I am kind’a confused here. Not sure if this is the same variety, but by the descriptions, I would venture to think they are.The pods are larger than the “Oregon Giant Snow” pea and are picked when they are STILL FLAT. Enormous pods which stay sweet and tender even when plants are quite overgrown. Seed is beautiful indeed…large, speckled, dimpled deep golden shades of brown and the flowers are a gorgeous purple. My vines were 4 ft., but others brag about theirs reaching over 6 ft.! One of 2 that I consider my favorites! 65 days
- Cremette – Obtained from SSEx Heritage Farm collection. Moderately tall 4ft. plants. Pods are medium sized, slender, sweet, easy shell but with wax lining. Dried seeds are round beige and very smooth. Pods bear 5-6 seeds per.
- Desiree Dwarf Blauwschokkers – A heirloom from Holland. Trialed these recently and indeed found them to be a dwarf version of the “Blue Podded” forms, being about 12” tall. Pods were shorter, yet deep purple and quite wide for this variety. When tasted, quite sweet and “wax-less” when young but as the pods matured the waxy lining was prominent. Definitely a “keeper” for our collection and I will continue to maintain the dwarf-ness and largest sized pods in the future.
- Dwarf Champion – until grown out again, a late season dwarf heritage variety, once connected to Red River settlements in Manitoba in 1885 (c/0 HHS)
- Dwarf Early Frame – This is not the same as “Tom Thumb”, as my seeds have shades of grey/lite green with some tan shading and loads of tiny black specks. Refers to a group of extreme dwarf plant habits from the 1800’s, having great value as pot culture. Perfect for indoor or outdoor table center pieces. Plants are able to withstand HARD frosts, reportedly down to 20F (-6C). Great for cold frame production. Shell at 50-55 days. Pkt…$3.50
- Dwarf Gray Sugar – Pre 1773 heirloom. Introduced in 1892 by D. M. Ferry & Co. An old snow pea variety, now cast into another light…for its red blossoms and subtly reddish-tinted stems and leaves are used as garnishes in salad mixes. (Others have indicated that theirs are confirmed bi-colors of pink/lavender/purple on 36″+ vines…Yet all agree that the seed is an earthy brown with various speckles of green or gray covering them) Broad pale-green 3-4” pods are string-less and fiber-free. Vines grow only to 24-30” long and therefore need no support. Plants are prolific producers of sweet light green pods. Similar to the flattish pea pod found in grocery stores, so suitable for stir-fry & steaming. Saving seed over the years show 2 versions that I’m separating: #1) Seeds are not as spotted and pods are really wrinkled. #2) Seeds are very speckled with purple spots and pods are smooth & straight. 57-75 days Pkt…$3.50
- Edna’s Russian – Back for 2023! ( aka Sugar Snap Climber, Penner Family’s Russian Sugar Snap) from Russia (with love…) Obtained from Edna Peters in 2010, she having grown it from 2005. She shares that it was brought from Russia, via the Penner Family in 1926! On first observation…most unusual type as pod shells (when dry) are airy, papery thin, and smooth…yet held the seed inside together well. Appears to have many seeds per pod, usually about 9. In trials was thrilled to see tri-colored flowers of the prettiest deep purple/violet, light pink & cream. Of course the darn chippies got into this one first…snapping off immature pods BEFORE they matured. Darn! What an excellent high producer that just happened to out-produce all of my “other” sugar snap var. in that year! Pods were juicy, about 4″ long and 1″ wide and very tasty for a fresh snap pod, with no strings (that I remember…) A favorite! Pkt…$3.50
- Ervilha Branca – Obtained from SSEx Heritage Farm exchange ’15. Another super tallish variety, growing over 6 ft. Flowers were pristine white, with greenish blending in the base. Pods were about 3 -4″ long, beige, smooth and straight. Seeds offered were large, smooth, round and beige. Limited Pkt…$4.00
- “Golden Sweet” Edible Podded – Discovered in a USDA collection and named by Robert Lobitz. History says, an excellent rare “wax” pea from India…found at a market there. Vines grow on from 3 to 5 ft. Soft 2-tone purple flowers produce small golden edible pea pods. A very attractive plant…pale green foliage with lemon-yellow snow peas. Pick pods when they are very flat. Best eaten when young, as stir-fry or in salads (or pop in the mouth!) Older pods develop too much fiber. Seeds, being pale green with brown dimples/spots when dried, are great in soups. 60-72 days
- Goldersbe – Some say this might be the 17th century “Danig Pea” spoken of in Fearing Burr’s book “Field and Garden Vegetables of America (1865) Definitely a soup pea extraordinaire…as seed is golden & perfectly round. Strong climber of 3 to 4 feet, bearing pods in pairs. Strong healthy pods usually carry 4 to 6 peas per. Pkt…$3.50
- Green Arrow – ( aka Green Shaft, aka Hurst Green Shaft, aka Hurst Green Arrow ) an English heirloom and their mainstream crop variety for homesteaders. Medium-sized vines grow up to 24” – 30”. Slim pointed pods are 4-5” long and are usually packed with 8-11 plump sweet green peas. A reliable heavy producer where pods are borne in doubles. Pods set heaviest near the top. Shell in 62- 70 days
- Harrison’s Glory – Nutting & Sons. It appears that this early green marrow fat pea was first offered in 1860 or earlier. A bushy (about 3 feet) robust growth habit. Pods, about 16 per stem, are quite straight & flattish, containing 7-8 peas each and of good eating quality. Dried pods remain straight, smooth and are easy shellies. Flowers are a waxy white. Dry seeds are a light olive green mixed with white and slightly dented. No disease seen in my trials. Some claim this is their best tasting variety. 50-60 days
- Homesteader – (aka Lincoln ) Popular in New England for generations. Without a doubt…as old as the hills and just as solid for the home gardener! Plants grow to 30” tall with pods reaching 3” long with 8-10 peas inside. It produces a heavy yield, consistently in all sorts of weather. For shelling & freezing…sow early. Staking and support will improve yields. 66 days
- Honey Snap II – first grown out this summer (’20). “A golden yellow snap variety from the works of Rod Lamborn (who teamed up with Johnny’s Selected Seeds…), son of Dr. Calvin Lamborn, who was the Father of numerous snap pea varieties & breeder of the classic “Sugar Snap”!) Finding pods (when dried down…) quite tough to shell and wrinkled. Seeds are large greenish/grey.
- King Tut “Blue Ornamental” – So here was a new experience, as I have never grown “flowering” OR “blue flowered” peas before! Shared with me by a great Pea variety grower, Louise. A slow grower. Grew eventually to 3 ft. Leaves were very slim/slender, neither like garden peas OR flowering peas! Had a “ferny” overall appearance to the plants. Flr’s were pristine sky blue and generally smaller than most others by about 20%. Smallish 2″ pods bearing 3-4 seeds per. Seeds are rare…triangular shaped with the deepest dark sage green ever seen, as are its stems! Additional info: I’m going to say, these are in fact maybe NOT an edible type but “just for its flowers… Sweet Pea” type, more for show, as it was pointed out to me! So you check it out further.
- King Tut “Purple Podded” – Reputation says these might have their origins from Pharaoh Tutankhamen’s tomb! Myth or historical promotion in the seed world??? My sources are saying that this var. came from the Zapotec peoples of Oaxaca, Mexico. Vines are robust climbers, growing from 6 to 8 feet tall! Fragrant flowers are pink & red/purple! Purple pods ( easy to find…) look like huge (3″ x 3/4″) flat snow type peas. With only 2 exceptions: offer a waxy lining and strings like regular garden peas, when more mature! Pods have 6 to 8 seeds within. The first “colored” variety to arrive. Large blocky, excellent “soup” pea with a delightful, light olive brown and orange tones. Extremely heavy and long season producer. 60-70 days
- Knight – strong & vigorous, this one is well named. Producing outstanding large pods filled with 9-10 bright green peas on productive vines. Plants, none-the-less, are compact and trellising is not required! Sow outdoors as soon as the soil can be worked for earliest peas yet.
- Large Manitoba – Originated right here in great old Manitoba, Canada! What an unusual outstanding pea! This one is more dwarf than Tom Thumb…a mere 9” tall, but the leaves and the pods of the plants are gigantic (4″ x 1″) compared to its height! A variety which has the largest pods of any bush pea grown in Saskatchewan , with 8-9 seeds per pod. Flowers are white and large. Leaves are also large, having rippled edges, unlike any others. Could very-well make a fine potted pea plant, as the prairie winds would cause it no fear! Dry pea seeds are large, wrinkled and green. Season for this one is much later (considering its size) than for all others. Grow it fairly out in the open or in a raised bed, as it needs a lot of moving air around it due to its lowness to the ground, where all the moisture is! A definite early dwarf bush variety. Rare. Limited Pkt…$3.50
- Little Marvel – (aka Improved American Wonder) Introduced by Sutton & Sons of Reading, England in 1900 and the first of its kind sold in the US through J. J. H. Gregory in 1908. Vigorous, dwarf, bushy plants are very productive. This variety fast became a household vegetable staple. Another excellent shelling pea with heavy yields and fine flavor. A great heirloom. 60 days to shell.
- Lollandske Rosiner – Back for 2023! (aka ? Lolland Raisin) Could this be the renowned “Danish gray soup pea from the 1800’s that was shipped to Copenhagen where it became the “working man’s” protein food and a delicacy for the rich” c/o Seed Saver Exchange Yearbook 2016. Part of the Danish Seed Saver’s heirloom rediscovery project. A super rare pea variety shared with me from an Pea grower extra-ordinaire, Louise Chevrefils Quebec 2015. Plants weren’t too tall (<3ft) with ++++ tendrils. Leaves are curly. Gorgeous soft pink/purple/white flrs. Pods produced modestly with no wax liners. Large brownish squarish seeds. Rare Limited Pkt…SOLD OUT!
- Magnolia Purple Sugar – Obtained thro the SSEx seed exchange from Julianna Griffin, Ontario. Plants reach 5ft. bearing gorgeous purple pods which are edible. Young pods are like sugar snap types, filling up to smooth sides… this time, purple immediately! HOWEVER…the wax liners appear much later, near to full maturity. (3″ x 1/2″) Pods are moderately sweet, bearing 5-7 seeds per. Some pods, when dry, appear wrinkled and some smooth, indicating maybe some re-selection needs to be done. Limited Pkt…$4.00
- Mammoth Melting Sugar – Here is the famous “mainstay” large 5-6″ long, flat edible podded snow pea variety, so many folks have come to love over the years. Vines grow from 5 to 6 feet and bear large white flowers. Have a few packets available.
- Manitoba Large – (aka Large Manitoba) Another Canadian! Originated with Prairie Garden Seeds. But adding: Short 9-15″ plants offering very large leaves and 4-5″x 3/4″ wide pods! Pods are smooth, easy shell and wax lined, bearing 5-8 seeds per. Seeds are large, dry green, semi-flat and wrinkled
- Margaret McKee’s Baking Pea – Nice to know that here is one we can proudly call Canadian! Last known history found it had been grown in central BC, since the 1920’s. Vines grow modestly tall, about 3 feet. Pods are stocky (chubby) and very sweet. The seeds themselves are a very colorful dark brown. Considered an early soup pea variety. Also known as a great substitute for baking dry beans.53 days
- Monk – Back for 2023! Obtained another from my friend Louise in 2013! Plants grew from 4-5 ft. Appeared to be a slow grower, thus late season producer? Pods are 2-3″ x 1/2″ long and beige when dried. Flowers are a lovely soft pink/purple type. Just love these huge brownish bronze semi-flattish seeds sprinkled with darker brown spots! Rare! Pkt…$4.00
- Mummy White – Back for 2023! (aka “Prew’s Pea“) History on this one maybe obscure, some say (…comes from Durweston, near Blandford Forum, Dorset. The local gentry, are the Portmans, who were friends of Lord Caernavon, who financed the Tutankhamun dig…Robert Brenchley, HSL Seed, 2010) What an unusual variety! Plants have no problem achieving 6 feet or more. Records say it is capable of 12 ft.! Unusual is its ability to offer a “crowning” look. Seems flowers do not show till many other varieties are almost done. Then suddenly, many different branches form, with numerous nodes, each offering as many as 2 or even 3 flowers (and later pods…) only at the top! Other growers attribute the strange growth to a recessed gene of a condition called “Fasciation”. Any “Fasciation” that I have seen exhibits a broadening (or rippled/multi-lined growth) of a stem with later, multiple flower stems resulting…such as lilies and pumpkins have shown to do. This condition will, when planted out again will disappear. My plant trials, did not show actual “Fasciation”…just multiple crowned branches all only at the top! AND it re-appeares every year that I’ve grown it! In my humble opinion…a true “crown pea” variety! Flowers were pure white. Pods were smaller than many, having 5 to 6 seeds, drying to a pale cream, smooth and lightly dimpled. Was very easy to shell, fresh or dry. Pods, once dry will flip open, losing you your precious seed, so gather just before they become too dry! Very Rare for N.A.! Obtained my precious seed from England via Liz Trows (…with humble thanks!) Pkt…$4.00
- Mystery Variety! – a) Found a very rare variety that has “FURRY/HAIRY” pods! Seeds are quite small but dark dark dusty burgundy brown! Here a chance to own something maybe no one else has! b) Another variety has roundish seeds bearing a green base and golden brown delightful spots and the c) other looks like its dotted with tons of wee purple spots! c) Available …Pkt…$3.50
- Norli – A fast growing heirloom with 4 to 5 ft. vines. Pods are 2.5″ long, edible and all when young. Excellent flavor and very productive. 60 days
- Oregon Giant Sugar Snow – Back for 2023! From Dr. James Baggert of Oregon State University. The first sweet-flavored large snow pea! (and my next favorite!) The vines grew tall and heavy, as were the pod production. AND the pods have outstanding taste…like melting sugar with juice! In my humble opinion, the flesh of these pods are a cross between a snow pea and sugar snap. From all the peas trialed 2009…this one had NO MILDEW! The large, fleshy, slightly rippled pods can be picked while they are flat OR allow them to develop to full-size and still be eaten later…shell and all. Pods were 5- 6″ long and 1 1/4″ wide, bearing about 6 to 7 large seeds per. Very useful raw or sauté in all aspects of cooking. A long summer producer, where heat caused it no fear! Has never failed me. 65-75 days Limited! Pkt…$3.50
- Prussian Blue – Am told this is a very old variety grown around the 1700’s by Colonial Americans & Thomas Jefferson. Yet having originated in “old Germany”…Prussia. Plants managed to grow only to 30”. Leaves & stems had a bluish cast on green. Flowers were pristine white. Pods had wax inside…medium sized, averaging from 4 – 7 seeds per. Easy for shelling. Once dried were perfectly round and more blue than green. A good producer. Took stress well. Limited
- Purple Blossom Sugar – Back for 2023! (aka Purple Sugar Blossom) Origin: SSEx Heirtage Farm seed exchange Feb.15 Grows about 4-5 ft tall. Purple-red flowers emerge. Bearing (4-5″ x 3/4″) large curved EDIBLE pods that hold well when dry, ending twisty and wrinkled. Most pods carry 5-7 seeds per. Seeds are sage green/grey, large, slightly wrinkled with purple spots and splashing. Mid-season producer. Rare! Pkt…$3.50
- Risser Snap – (aka Risser Sickle Pea, ? aka Risser Early Sugar) Known in England, centuries ago (1700’s) and mentioned by Mawe & Abercrombe in 1799. The sickle pea ( an old Amish variety…) was well known since colonial times and grown by the Penn. Germans for years. Grown by the Risser Family in Lancaster county, Pennsylvania for several generations. The name comes from the shape of the pod that curves like the blade of a sickle. The pods can be eaten as snap peas or shelled out. Seeds are round and white. Vines will grow to 4-5 FT. Unusual to find one like this. 68 days
- Russian Sugar snap – a Russian Mennonite heirloom that came to Saskatchewan, Canada several generations ago. Was well known, in this country as a sweet or sugar snow pea that grew a vigorous 6 feet tall. Vines offer beautiful mauve and purple flowers. Pods are not as large as conventional snow peas, but plants produce very early and are already over before other larger varieties have begun. Make sure these are kept hydrated, as water stress will put an end to their intentions. A bonus if you want snow pea pods over a longer time, as these will produce early and the others later. 50-55 days
- Salmon Flowered Crown – Back for 2023! Origin via Julianna Griffin ’15 through a SSEx Heirtage Farm seed X-change. According to thoughts shared via “Daughter of the Soil” “This tufted pea was once common in the 17th and 18th century and now could only be of interest for its genetics.” One of the prettiest heritage varieties I have ever had the honor of growing! Tallish 4 -5 ft “straight up” plants bearing huge glorious clusters/crowns of salmon & white flowers, mostly at the very top. How about ANOTHER Crown (fasciation) type!?! Heavy producer. Pods held from 5 -6 seeds per and these too offered salmon/orange shading on light dusty green. Some pods had even “purple” blushing along their top edges. Very rare and limited! Pkt…$4.00
- Schweizer Reisen – Native from Switzerland. Much to my dismay in 2014, I almost lost these…allowing my wee grandchildren to eat them ALL up! Well I fed them…not realizing the name below were NOT my “Oregon Giants”, which I knew I had lots of seed for! Pods were almost identical, but realized flowers were completely different, a gorgeous pink/purple combination! HUGE (5″x 1″) snow podded var. bearing from 6 -7 seeds per. Very early. Large seeds were also unusual, beige brown/pink/mauve & tan with lots of speckles of purple. Pods once dried, were very wavy & hard to shell. Excellent, heavy producer. Plants can easily grow to 7 feet! My next favorite pea variety…until I see another… Limited Pkt…$3.50
- Scimitar White – From Harold Steves (’15) Another unusual variety that bears almost white/green pods and very light beige white seeds when dry. Pods are long and slim, offering 9 seeds. Tall plants finish early (therefore not long season) Pods have no wax walls and are sweet, sugar snap type 31/2″ x 1/2″. Plants are 4-5 ft. tall. Would have thought this an obvious soup pea variety!!? Have to trial again!
- Shiraz Purple Snow – HERE we have a purple podded snow pea! Pods are 3″ long x 1/2″ wide, purple, and only wrinkled when dried. Plants are quite tall (5ft) Young pods are first green, semi-sweet with no wax!
- Spanish Sky Scraper – another unusual and very old variety that Ken Allen of Kingston, Ontario has been working on…to increase productivity for over 15 years. Best for its peas where the pods are short and the peas inside are large. The yield is heavy, but the vines (oh…help us!!!) can “walk” right over us at 6 to 7ft! Maybe allowing them to trellis over an arbor and then one could walk underneath and harvest the hanging pods! (well…it’s a thought!) Pods are 2 1/2 – 3 ” long, with 6 to 8 peas within. Flowers are white. Dried pods are super smooth, and moderately easy to shell. Seeds are semi-wrinkled. Disease resistant . 91 days
- Spring Blush – New for 2023! This variety was bred by Alan Kapular of Peace Seeds (now retired…) from Corvallis, Oregon. Year released unknown. Plants will grow over 5ft…some saying closer to ?8 ft??!. Snow type (Mange Tout) at first, filling out to snap pods, are green based with “inconsistent” shadings of soft Raspberry violet. Flowers are an interesting Lavender on top with a deep Rose/Pink on the bottom. Production is outstanding with tons of tendrils to hold fast to anything…so watch out where you plant them as you will have challenges to dis lodge the vines! Pkt…$4.00
- St. Hubert Soup – “The French presence on the territory of modern-day Saskatchewan goes back to the time when France exerted an influence on almost all of North America. Between 1752 and 1755, Louis de la Corne and his cohorts explored the Carrot Valley region, in what is now the Centre-East region of Saskatchewan. They built the Fort de la Corne on the eastern side of the fork where the North Saskatchewan River meets the South Saskatchewan River…” (c/o Profiles of Francophone & Acadian communities…) A Canadian heirloom pea variety brought by French speaking settlers in the mid 17th century to settlements in Saskatchewan.
- Sugar Ann – Its actual history eludes me. Here is the shortest (24″) sugar snap pea for small spaces and even smaller gardens or pots. Edible, crisp, snap pods also arrive the earliest of all at 52 days we are told. Production appears to be concentrated so these will fill that freezing/canning void for winter storage.
- Sugar Purple Magnolia – New for 2023! Obtained from Sandra Feldstein in 2014. Was wondering if it was identical to another listed above as “Magnolia Sugar Purple”…only to discover that the seeds were in fact quite different! Ok…so then I won’t mix them! And…we also know it is an edible podded type… More info. coming soon… Rare! Limited Pkt…$4.00
- Sugar Snap “Lace” – A semi-leafless snap pea with moderately long string-less pods, offering reliable resistance to any lurking mildew! “Frail” looking pea variety, tho not in the production department! Only 18″ tall ! Plants (with white flowers) produce tons of tendrils that fasten to anything in sight. Pods, once dried, become wrinkled and tough to shell, offering 4 to 5 seeds per. Best used as a fresh veggie.
- Sugar Snap Edible Pods – A sensational variety that can be eaten pod and all, as they are crisp, plump & delicious. Their green skin is thicker (and smooth), much like those found in the grocery store. Snapped like beans or shelled normally. They can also be used when mature too. Very recommended for freezing and quite nutritious. Plant as soon as the soil can be worked. Best to trellis them as they can grow quite tall and heavy. Make successive plantings in cool weather.Mildew resistant. 62 days
- Sugar Snap Snow – heavy producer of the typical flattish Chinese style of green pods. Excellent for stir fries. Nice to have a heirloom that performs in this area as well as this does!
- Sutton’s Harbinger – introduced in England in 1898.(another one!…no wonder their flowering peas are to die for!) It received an award of merit from the Royal Horticultural Society in 1901! It crossed the Atlantic (via one of our ancestors) in 1903. A very early, heavy cropping variety that is an excellent eating pea. Plants are not too tall, at 28-32” and the shelling season begins for them at 52 – 60 days.
- Swedish Red – New for 2023! Just received these ’21 and boy what a deep rusty red these seeds are! Comparable to the “Capuc Raisin“, only more dark red/brown tones and not just deep dark brown. Pods on the other hand being rather delicate in form and quite deceiving for hiding such huge red/burgundy seeds! Pkt…$4.00
- Tall Telephone – (aka Tall Alderman, aka Dark Podded Telephone, etc…) An English Heirloom. According to those who know…Orig. intro. in 1881 with much variability in color and size. Thomas Laxton of Bedford, England released it again in 1892 (under the name “Alderman”) with more uniformity and dark pod color. W. Atlee Burpee brought it to American gardens in 1901. 1930 saw further variations of its name, as some seen above. Said to be named in honor of Alexander Graham Bell’s invention. Vines if grown well, will reach 7 to 8 ft! Noted to be quite “top” production heavy and to be warned to support very well for this! Pods will reach from 4 to 4 1/2″ long. The standard against which ALL shelling peas are measured against! Performs well even in poor soils.
- Tom Thumb – (aka Thomb Thumb, aka Pois Nain Hatif ) Pre-1800’s from Europe. A frame-pea, grown in olden times in cold frames for extra early production. One of my favorite pea varieties…an adorable little dwarf, growing only to 10” tall. Production began from ground level right to the top. Perfect for small spaces and an excellent container grower. Pods contain 5-7 peas which are rather large compared to most other early frame varieties. Dried pods were super smooth, flattish and easy to shell. Seeds were green and quite wrinkled.
- Triple Treat – a regular shelling pea, until you take a second look. Every where you will see double and triple! This variety aptly named, being a “double-podded” variety…has 2-3 pods growing at each node. AND…It has been known to offer occasionally quadruple pod groupings!
- Victorian Purple Podded – Back for 2023! 5 ft. tall plants grew vigorous and were very productive. Pods were more slender than “King Tut“, starting out in dual tones of purple and green. Waxy and sweet, pods retained some of their purple shading on dark beige once dried. Seeds sat 6 to 8 deep, looking for all the world just like “King Tut’s”…orange with dusty green tones. Best not get these 2 mixed up! Easy to shell. Pkt…$4.00
- Yellow Sugar – New for 2023! Grown out for the first time summer ’20. Dam, if I didn’t have to defend these from chippies AND deer! Appears very little history on this one. Plants (by me…) reached only 24″, tho been told this one can aspire to 6ft! Fresh pods are a pretty lemon yellow, medium in length, slightly fleshy, tho said by some to be more of a flattish snow pea type. Will regrow again next summer, in the hopes of getting a truer picture. Once again (when dried) pods are tough and wrinkled (…maybe from all the stress of being eaten alive…LoL!) Seeds are clean, greenish with beige/brown spots. (Update: ’22 Wow Indeed, this one can reach 6 ft! Loaded with tons of wonderful sugar snow type medium sized pods. so yummy! And yes a nice medium yellow) Rare! Pkt…$4.00