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Pea Seeds

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Originating in Middle Asia, peas are part of the Fabaceae legume family, and we know they date back at least 3,000, as archeologists found a pea in Thailand dating back that long ago. Peas spread to Rome, where at least 37 different varieties were developed, although peas were not very sweet tasting at first, until the Italians cultivated the tiny ‘new ‘pea, while an amateur gardener cultivated the world’s first sweet tasting pea in 18th century England. Some popular varieties today are snow peas, cowpeas, Snap peas and shelling peas. Snap and snow peas grow on a bushy vine, and the entire pod is eaten, while shelling peas and cowpeas look similar, but only the peas are consumed, as the pod is inedible.

The nutrients in peas vary with each kind; however, generally peas are loaded with vitamins A, B-Complex, C, K, thiamin, folate, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, fiber, lutein, and zeaxanthin, protein and potassium, although snap peas are higher in vitamins C, B and K than other varieties. Rich in antioxidants, peas help stabilize blood sugar and prevent diabetes, reduce heart disease and eye problems, lower risk of cancer, aid digestion and relieve ulcers..

Peas add a tasty and colorful touch to almost any meal, including shepherd’s pie, stew, soups, casseroles, smoothies or curries, or as a side dish served alone or with carrots or other vegetables. Steaming, instead of boiling will help peas retain nutrients. For a delicious hearty meal on a cold winter night, throw in a ham bone with split peas, onions and carrots and let simmer for a few hours.

A cool weather plant, place your St. Clare Heirloom pea seeds in the ground early in the spring, but be sure to check the individual instructions since there are so many varieties of peas.

St. Clare Heirloom Seeds are proud signers of The Safe Seed Pledge: “Agriculture and seeds provide the basis upon which our lives depend. We must protect this foundation as a safe and genetically stable source for future generations. For the benefit of all farmers, gardeners and consumers who want an alternative, We pledge that we do not knowingly buy or sell genetically engineered seeds or plants. The mechanical transfer of genetic material outside of natural reproductive methods and between genera, families or kingdoms, poses great biological risks as well as economic, political, and cultural threats. We feel that genetically engineered varieties have been insufficiently tested prior to public release. More research and testing is necessary to further assess the potential risks of genetically engineered seeds. Further, we wish to support agricultural progress that leads to healthier soils, genetically diverse agricultural ecosystems and ultimately healthy people and communities.” ×

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