Peas in the pod leave us no choice. It’s time to sit on the porch, bowl in lap, for the highly inefficient process of shelling. Inefficient because an armload of peas harvested this afternoon, once shelled, will result in a tiny bowl of fresh peas. It’s a lot easier to buy a bag of frozen peas. Even the organic ones aren’t very expensive. But buying them would cancel the many joys of home grown peas.
First is the early planting when it seems spring will never stay in northern Ohio.
Then there’s carefree growth as peas sprout with eager abandon, climbing anything they can find and blooming for weeks with shy seashell-like flowers.
And then harvest. We get two plantings if we’re conscientious about it, so that means months of peas.
But the excuse to sit on the porch listening to birdsong and shelling peas is my favorite reason. Each pod cracked open releases a fresh scent. Each row of peas lined up is a reminder that our lives hinge on nature’s miracles, the kind we too often forget. Shelling peas keeps my hands busy and my mind unencumbered. That’s time for contemplation. In our too often rushed and media-narrated lives, more time to shell peas on a porch might be just the peaceful interlude we all need.
Tonight we’re eating fresh peas, raw and still brimming with the nutrients that sun and soil have given them.
Wishing you peas and joy.