Wind, white fly, chickens and time have started to get the best of my peas, so I did a big harvest today before we go away for the weekend in case these sweet parcels of goodness go bad. I plan to make a pea and beetroot salad out of them for a Melbourne Cup party we’re going to on Tuesday. If it looks pretty and tastes yummy I’ll no doubt blog about it.
I better elaborate about the chickens getting the best of my peas because it’s a good excuse to write about my darling girls again. FYI, they’ve gone to their new home and have apparently settled in nicely. They’ll have an amazing chicken life as long as the surprisingly stupid but incredibly lovely labrador doesn’t accidentally eat them. They have a huge home made coop with a perch and a bed of straw up high where it’s safe. Then they have an area outside that is fully secured with chicken wire to keep the badies out. During the day (under supervision for the moment at least) they are free to roam around the large backyard as they and the overly excited labrador try to get to know each other. This requires frequent human intervention but I believe they are slowly getting the hang of it.
Back to the peas (but still on the topic of chickens). The girls loved the peas when they were living here! Luckily for me they just loved eating the leaves, but they did do a bit of damage, inadvertently tugging some pea plants out. They also just loved hanging out in there where it’s cool and safe and fun. Ah, I miss them.
Well, close enough. Carrots are too much effort to get straight! So peas and tomatoes it is 🙂
My sugar snap peas, skillfully grown from seed.
Moroccan Chicken with Cous Cous, Mint Yoghurt, Asparagus and Homegrown Sugar Snap Peas
500g chicken breast, diced into 2cm cubes
1/3 cup plain flour
2 brown onions, sliced
1 cup chicken stock
Juice of one lemon
Sugar snap peas
Place flour and spices in a large bowl. (Add as much of each spice as you like. I tend to have a heavy hand with the spice shakers). Add diced chicken and coat with flour mixture. Fry chicken until golden. Remove chicken and place to one side. Fry onion until soft. Return chicken to pan along with chicken stock and lemon juice. Heat for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, boil 2 cups of water or chicken stock. Remove from heat and add 2 cups of cous cous. Cover as set aside for a couple of minutes. Steam asparagus until tender. Add one cup of natural yoghurt and mint to blender. Blend until smooth. Fork through cous cous until fluffy. Serve chicken on bed of cous cous (or next to cous cous as I prefer). Top with minted yoghurt. Serve chicken and cous cous with steamed asparagus and sugar snap peas. I kept my sugar snaps raw but feel free to cook them.
So, we had some rain yesterday and this morning, and my peas have doubled in height! I can’t keep up with the training at this rate! A good number of them managed to reach the second rung without any help. Such clever little guys, just shooting out feelers until they find something to cling to, then holding on tight! Feeling like a bit of a proud mum.
Oh no! I did not think this through! When my brother gave me pea seeds I just popped them in the ground in nice little rows. Now, of course, they’re looking for something to hang on to! Silly me, I didn’t think this far ahead. I was just shocked that I actually grew something from seed.
So my poor little peas started clinging to each other for support.
‘Whatever shall we do?’ I wondered, and the Macgyver in me came out.
I used some decorative sticks my neighbour gave me for firewood and wound wire around them to fashion a climbing structure for my little peas to cling to. Each day I’ve been training my peas to cling to the wire, and not each other.
It may look a bit ugly, but it’s working just fine and they’re nearly up to their second layer of wire.
My first veg grown from seed.
My brother has just finished building his house and one of the first things he did once the house was built was build a vegie box out of left over corrugated iron and sleepers. It looks great! He decided he wanted to grow from seed and bought some dwarf sugar snap peas and greenfeast peas from the Diggers Club and planted them straight into his vegie box. I’ve always grown from seedlings because I always thought you had to grow seeds indoors under controlled conditions before planting out the seedlings, and we don’t really have the space in our house to do that. But when my brother had leftover seeds I thought I might as well give them a go and chuck em (with love) straight into the vegie box. Within a few days I had little pea sprouts! Very exciting! Nearly every seed has sprouted now and they’re looking happy and healthy. Could this be the start of a new era? I’m guessing not every type of veg will be successfully grown from seed planted straight into the garden but I’m more open minded to growing from seed now.