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First Harvest: Pea Shoot Salad

Today, we enjoyed our first harvest from the garden! Five and a half weeks after planting Golden Sweet snow peas, they were growing strong and in need of a thinning, so we mixed them with some radishes, spicy greens, and a sweet white balsamic vinaigrette. We ate outside, enjoying the strong afternoon light and our new cast aluminum patio furniture (a great Craigslist find - look there before you get something cheap from Ikea, for sure).

Pea shoots with spicy greens and radishes. In only a few weeks, we'll be eating our own radishes too.

It's amazing to see how much genetic variation you'll find in crops grown from open-pollinated seed. Some of these snow peas are genuine dwarfs. They're nearly identical to the bigger plants, except that they're a quarter of the size. All the dwarf shoots got thinned out, of course. The pea shoots with the biggest leaves will, presumably, have the biggest pods.

Genetic variation in "Golden Sweet" snow peas

I have to say, I'm proud of these peas. They are exactly the same size as the shoots we saw in the Carroll Gardens farmer's market this morning, which means I timed the planting correctly and (miraculously) they're getting enough light.

When you thin out your peas, be sure cut them from the base of the plant. Leave the roots in the ground, especially if you inoculated the seed before planting. All legumes make great compost because of their nitrogen-fixing abilities.

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We are looking forward to a long season of vegetables and pollinators (and Brood II cicadas) here at Flutter By 8th. If you haven't made your vegetable garden plans yet, remember that it's not to late to start!