Peas are the harbinger of two seasons: the Spring comes when peas are pushed into the cold, untenable earth and then Summer arrives with the first fresh snap pea so sweet, so succulent and so long awaited. The sweetness of peas is so much more than sugar on your tongue!
Have you noticed how commonly the peas growing in your garden are mixed company? You’ll often find snows in snaps and snaps in snow, shell peas with whomever (but rarely by themselves)!
As gardeners, we love finding the huge, luscious snow pea among the sea of snap peas. As seed savers, we smile and get to work.
To ensure the next generation of pea seed is more true to type, we simply remove the plants we don’t want to save seed of. It’s a simple as that!
Removing (‘roguing ‘) the unwanted plants is easy, fun and delicious: we do most of our roguing when the pods are still tender and sweet. If it’s snap peas we’ve planted and there are a few snows, we pull the entire snow pea plant, eating as we go. If it’s snow peas we want and we see shells, we pull the entire shell pea plant and enjoy every pod.
We prefer to rogue when the pods are in their edible prime, but we also rogue when the pods are brown and dry. Shell pea pods will be straight and smooth while snap pea pods are curved and tend to tuck in around each seed, snow pea pods are wide and flat comparatively and bulge around each seed quite dramatically.
As seed has become commodity, the international industry currently surrounding agriculture has focused ultimately on economic profit rather than seed quality. This results in two key factors mixing up our peas: seed cleaning equipment not being fully clean and little, if any roguing to then maintain varietal purity.
With all their nooks and crannies, seed cleaning equipment is challenging to clean. To get every single seed is almost impossible! Also, the roguing has become increasingly difficult to manage and economically justify when farmers grow acres upon acres of a single seed crop .
At Fruition Seeds, we revel in the process of providing high quality, regionally-adapted seed that is certified organic and non-GMO. Every time each of us eat, plant or save a seed we are selecting seeds for all generations to come: eat well, rogue often and sow your seeds wide!