The term “pea” could refer to any of the two: it could be the seed-pod or it could be the small, spherical yellow or green seed found inside the seed-pod. The term pea can also refer to edible seeds belonging to the Fabaceae family, like pigeon peas and cowpeas. Here, we will explore the pea of the Pisum sativum.
This annual plant is a cool-season crop, and as such, the summer heat of warmer temperate and lowland tropical climates is not suitable for growing peas. Pea is commonly green, although there are peas that are yellow and even purple.
Species: P. sativum
Binomial name: Pisum sativum
- No bees? No problem. Pea plants can self-pollinate.
- According to a 3rd-century account by Theophrastus, Greeks sow peas in late winter.
- According to Charles the Good, a supply of field peas made sure they didn’t succumb to famine during the Middle Ages.
- Thomas Jefferson grew 30 different cultivars of peas on his estate.
- Drink pea! That does not sound inviting or delicious but the truth is, pea milk is an alternative to cow’s milk in North America.
Pea Buying Guide
Some garden pea varieties have some degree of powdery mildew resistance; there are also dwarf varieties and tall varieties. Sugar peas have two main types: snow peas and snap peas. Field peas have cultivars that are of a different color other than green, like blue, brown, maple, and white. Field peas are often confused with cowpeas.
Buying peas to cook and eat – Make sure you know how you want your peas. I guess this depends on what you plan to cook or eat. If you go to the grocery or market, you will see fresh peas, frozen peas, and canned peas.
Buying peas to plant – When buying seed for planting, consider which between a low-growing cultivar or a vining cultivar (which can climb up to 1–2 m high) you prefer based on the resources available to you.
Pea Production & Farming in Texas
Location influences the time when planting should begin. It could in the winter or early. The ideal soil temperature for planting seed should be 10 °C (50 °F). Plant them in cool, high-altitude, tropical areas. As the plant grows, they require 13 to 18 °C (55 to 64 °F) temperatures for optimal growth. Peas typically reach maturity after 60 days. Use fertile, sandy loam that drains well with a pH level of 6.0-7.5 and avoid heavy, impermeable clay when planting peas. Peas require six to eight hours of sunlight, at least.
Peas can grow in Texas since peas can grow in zones 2 through 9 in the US Hardiness Zone.
Peas are targeted by specific pests like pea leaf weevil and pea moth.
- Pea leaf weevil – Control methods against weevils include using parasitic nematodes or predatory beetles. Weevils are non-flying insects, and using sticky traps could help with the problem. Another non-toxic solution is using Diatomaceous Earth (DA). An effective biological insecticide to use is something that has Beauveria bassiana. This entomopathogenic fungus is effective even against resistant weevils. Finally, use botanical insecticides if all else fails or if an infestation is severe.
- Pea moth – To deal with moths, disking the soil twice is recommended. Another way to minimize the risk of moth infestation is by destroying nearby wild vetches and weeds. Netting also helps keep away moths.
The wild pea, considered as the ancestor of the modern pea, was found in the Mediterranean basin and the Near East. There were archeological findings of peas in Greece, Syria, Turkey, and Jordan that date to as far back as the Neolithic era. There are also archeological findings of peas in Egypt (4800-4400 BC in Nile delta and 3800-3600 BC in Upper Egypt). There is also evidence that pea is present in Georgia as early as the 5th millennium BC, in Afghanistan during 2000 BC, and in Pakistan and India.
Today, Pisum sativum is grown in many parts of the world.
Peas are sold in plastic packaging. Some manufacturers use polystyrene trays and then wrap them in plastic wrappers or packaging. Peas are also sold in a can. Pea packaging contains important information for consumers, including expiration or best before date, nutrition data, details about the manufacturer, etc.
In Medieval Europe, cooks use peas to make their staple food at the time – peas porridge and pea soup. Eating immature peas began during the 17th and 18th centuries. In modern times, peas are usually eaten after they were steamed or boiled. This is needed for two reasons: to make nutrients bioavailable, and to make the peas taste sweeter.
It is important to check for pea allergies. If you are allergic, do not eat peas. Favism is also a serious medical condition that can be avoided by not eating peas and beans that trigger the onset of hemolytic anemia resulting in acute kidney injury.
Storage requirements for peas vary. There is a required temperature for the storage of peas to be processed for retail sale, to make sure that the peas are in optimal condition to sustain a long shelf life quality. The storage of peas brought from the market to be stored at home is different. Canned peas can be stored at room temperature so long as it is not exposed to direct sunlight. Peas in plastic packaging brought from the supermarket should be stored in the freezer.
Peas are used to make pot pies, salads, casseroles, stir-fry dishes, even rice noodle dishes (Philippines). Lamb stew with potatoes includes peas. This is the practice in Greece, Tunisia, Turkey, and Cyprus. Peas play a central role in two popular Indian dishes – the aloo matar (curried potatoes and peas) and matar paneer (paneer cheese with peas). Fresh peas are ideal but frozen peas can be used as well. In many Asian countries like Thailand, the Philippines, and Malaysia, you will find roasted and salted peas sold as snacks. Dumplings, paprika, and peas go together for Serbians and Hungarians. Mushy peas are popular in the UK. In 2005, the pea was voted as Britain’s seventh favorite vegetable.
Eating peas help boost your body’s supply of vitamins A, B, C, and E, and zinc. Peas provide antioxidants that help strengthen the body’s immune system. Eating peas can also help with inflammation. It also helps in lowering the risk of diabetes, heart disease, and arthritis.
When Are Peas in Season in Texas?
To find out when Peas are in season in Texas, please check the seasonal chart below. Why is this important? We are rarely encouraged to think about the physical lengths our food travels before arriving on the market shelves. And all of this travel comes with a hefty environmental cost that is concealed from the consumer’s eye. One of the most salient benefits to eating seasonally is that you are effectively reducing your carbon footprint and supporting a more geographically sustainable food economy. Check other fruit and veg that’s in season in Texas now.