after the first few weeks of life there was a noticeable difference between the success of the varieties of peas. six weeks later the difference is baffling.
on the right are blue peas and on the left are tall telephone. the other varieties are doing ok but the these two are the definitely the extreme.
the blue pea plants are beautiful. there are flourishes of purpley color all over.
its interesting to see how different varieties of the same species are growing under the same conditions. theres not much variation among the fava plants (they are all doing pretty well) but the blue peas i got from baker creek exploded out of the ground with 95%+ germination and are continuing to grow at an astonishing rate. the other varieties of peas – not so much. a variety of pea called lincoln that i got from baker creek had about 50% germination and those that did germinate don’t seem to want to grow. for the peas that are doing well i needed to get a trellis in before the plants got too big. i picked up some fence-like material from home depot and cut it down to fit each bed which i think will do the trick nicely.
some of the peas started to grab on to the trellis within an hour of putting it in. amazing.
a few weeks ago was my one year anniversary of farm agricole. what i have learned in the past year has been invaluable. i’m excitedly looking forward to the coming year. i’m hoping to do a few things differently. my main priority is to farm smarter and work less. i’ve decided to grow fewer types of vegetables at a time to cut down on labor and to have larger individual harvests that will be of more value to the restaurant. this means two distinct plantings: one in fall and one in spring. i also plan to source my seeds from smaller companies so that i can grow some unique varities that are not available from our current suppliers.
the changes start now! i took a trip to petaluma, had a lovely lunch at the della fattoria cafe, and then bought some seed from the baker creek seed store (called the petaluma seed bank). baker creek is an all heirloom seed company started in 1998 by then 17 year old Jere Gettle. they incredibly have 1400 varieties available online and at a few brick and mortar stores in mannsfield missouri, petaluma california, and most recently wethersfield connecticut. i got some really interesting stuff – purple fava beans and blue peas to name a few. i’m looking forward to seeing how they do.
in the middle of october i started my fall/winter veggies. i stripped everything out of the garden, prepped the beds, and planted two different varieties of fava beans in five beds and four different varieties of peas in four beds. it was a lot of work. i wish i’d had a helper.
it looks so tidy. come springtime 2012 i should have an abundance of legumes to supply the restaurant. i then plan to plant all my summer crops. let the selecting begin…