Posts Tagged ‘sugar snap peas’

Snow Peas A’Plenty

Thursday, July 7th, 2016

This has been a great year for peas and we didn’t even have to share any with the roaming neighborhood deer.  (Noel will tell you about his new electronic deer detractors in another post.)  We have been eating snow peas and a couple varieties of sugar snap peas (edible pods) every day for the past 3 weeks.

We have served them plain right out of the garden, as an appetizer with a dollop of  soft feta/cream mix or hummus on one end, and with various stir fries, fried rice and salads.

Here’s a picture of my latest fried rice:

Snow Pea Fried Rice

Snow Pea Fried Rice

Here’s a picture of a sugar snap pea pod salad taken to a pot luck, followed by the recipe.

Sugar Pea Pod Salad

Sugar Pea Pod Salad

Recipe:

Sugar Snap Pea Pod Salad

4 cups sugar snap peas, cleaned and stringed

1 shallot, finely minced

1/4 cup feta cheese, finely chopped or crumbled

2-4 cups garden lettuce

vinaigrette salad dressing

Blanch sugar snap peas (edible pods and all) for 1 minute in boiling water.  Drain and immediately chill in cold water to stop the cooking and keep the peas crunchy.  Gently dry with a towel.

Toss peas and shallots with 2 T. vinaigrette or Italian style dressing.  (May chill in refrigerator at this point.)  Arrange on a bed of lettuce and sprinkle with feta cheese.  Serve with freshly ground pepper and extra dressing on the side.

Garlic Mustard Vinaigrette

1 clove garlic, squeezed or mashed with 1/8 tsp. salt

1 tsp. stone ground or Dijon mustard

2 T. white wine vinegar

4 T. extra virgin olive oil (evoo)

Mix mustard into the garlic mash.  Stir in vinegar and beat in olive oil with a small fork.  May double the recipe for a larger serving.

Have a pea pickin’ good day!

Stopping Leaf Cutting Ants

Monday, March 11th, 2013

Last month I noticed that a two foot section of sugar snap peas had been cut down almost to the ground.  I inspected the damage expecting to see evidence of squirrels or some other mammal, but instead discovered that my arch-nemesis, the leaf cutting ant, had returned.  I saw them methodically carrying away pieces of pea leaves, bigger than their own bodies.

I have a leaf cutting ant nest somewhere on my property, probably underneath my front porch.  I can’t determine the exact location of the nest because their tunnels can extend a hundred feet or more.  I’ve written about the ants before here, and have mostly learned to live with them.  They remain dormant most of the time, but make appearances several times a year.   Each time that they emerge they choose one type of plant to eat, ignoring the other vegetation.  This time it was peas.

Pea stalks chewed off about four inches high.

Peas plants damaged by leaf cutting ants.

Because the ants don’t actually eat the leaves, but instead use them to grow fungus, most insect controls don’t work on them.  For example, both Noel and I have had excellent results spraying neem oil on our plants to control leaf eating insects.  But for the neem to be effective, the insects must ingest it.  This doesn’t happen with the ants.

Luckily this time I noticed the ant outbreak before they had destroyed all of the peas.  I found that they had only tunneled into the pea bed in one location.  I poured orange oil into the hole.  I returned to the bed two days later and did not see any further damage.  I did, however, find about a dozen ants wandering around the bed still carrying now shriveled pieces of leaf.  Apparently I had severed their only connection with the mother colony.

Small hole in soil.

Leaf cutting ant tunnel entrance.

I won one round in my struggle with the ants.  But I know that they will be back.  And from past experience, I also know that they usually get what they want.