On Sugar Snap Peas
As you may have noticed, we care a lot about quality. At a farmers’ market last week, Maryellen just didn’t have the heart to sell the salad mix that was harvested for that day. It just wasn’t looking as good as it should. Now salad mix is a popular item at our markets, and farmers’ markets are an important means for supporting our farm, but, to us, that’s all the more reason not to sell something that doesn’t meet our standards.
So it felt a bit strange this week, packing up sugar snap peas for the CSA shares knowing that, because the pea plants were at the end of their life cycle, some of the peas were showing their age, with less-than-smooth shells and some with “rust”—little dark spots you’ll sometimes see on mature green beans too. In this situation, however, we urge you to look beyond any cosmetic imperfections and taste. These peas are delightfully sweet and snappy and meant to be enjoyed just as they are, fresh and whole. It would be a shame to let them go past in the field.
Of course, we gave you a heaping pile, so if you would rather, they can be shelled. Some children prefer to eat them this way, including our food-fussy toddler. It requires some effort, of course. We peel open the pod, “ooh” and “ahh” over what’s inside--how many peas there are, how big and plump they look, …. and he pops them into his mouth while we eat the sweet leftover pods. Our 4-year-old daughter, who likes to go out to the sugar snap pea crop after dinner for “dessert,” gets in on the game too and inevitably adds an element of sibling rivalry—who can find the most peas in a pod.
With all this remarkably cool, wet weather we’ve had this summer, many of our plants simply aren’t progressing as usual. Usually we’ve heaps of green beans and the beginning of our tomato crop coming in at this point in the season. The plants are standing, they’re just in need of some sun and heat to progress. Hopefully they’ll both be part of your share soon.
In this week’s share:
1 bunch of leeks
1 bunch of purple carrots
1 big head of broccoli
1 large bag of mesclun mix
1 head of garlic (okay to leave out and cure on countertop at this stage)
1 bunch of radish
Mixture of patty pan squash, zucchini, and yellow summer squash
Heaping quart of sugar snap peas
1 bunch of green onions (store in the refrigerator)