Monday, May 31, 2010

Tropical Peas Please

Opal Creek Yellow Snap Vine Pea "has been long standing and productive in tropical ecologies" brags the Peace seed catalog. What an extraordinary claim! I contacted the breeder, Alan Kapuler, to find out more.

"two young women took some Opal Creek Peas to Mexico, they told us that they were 'semi-perennialized' in that they grew for a long time, produced prodigiously in the heat and were unlike any other peas they had grown in the tropics...
then in our greenhouse, they outlasted all of our other varieties, seeming to thrive in the heat like no other peas..
so these are our observations about the tropical success with Opal addition the pea leaves are sweeter than any other we have found, so far."

i planted some peas in March. The vines are about 3 feet tall so far and began flowering a two or three weeks ago.

Here are the first sweet, golden pods.

This is usually the end of Sugar Snap pea season for us but the Opal Creek vines do indeed look very happy and robust.

The peas are stringless with a nice crunch. They are not as sweet as Super Sugar Snaps but taste better straight off the vine.  If any make it back to the house they will be great in salads. The pods tend to twist a little bit as they get older, i think because they do not have very much fiber in the pods. The yellow pods are translucent so they appear greener as the peas inside swell.

Disease is rampant in my tropical garden.  So far i have lost one vine to Fusarium and powdery mildew is in the house. Fingers and toes crossed that Opal Creek steps up....


A Kitchen Garden in Kihei Maui said...

Wow! I didn't know there were any peas that would grow here except in the winter. These are so beautiful! Where did you buy the seeds?

I have powdery mildew always - it never goes away. I've tried baking soda, KaliGreen (so expensive) and Mildew Cure. Today I bought some sulfur and a spreading agent for organic gardening. If it works on my cucumber and melon vines I'll let you know.

Julie said...

Hi Jane!

i ordered the seeds from the Peace catalog. Clicking on the words Opal Creek at the start of the post should take you there if i've done everything right. It's a catalog i feel good about supporting.

The peas in this planting have shown a suprising degree of variability considering their self pollinating nature. i'm too new at this to know for sure but i hope it's an indicator for adaptability.

Yield is a little lower than some other peas i've grown, who knows how they would have produced during cooler weather. i'm looking forward to seeing how things go in the months to come.

i picked some Serenade up a few weeks ago, mostly because i really want my tree to give me more than 8 mangos this year. Can't really tell if it's working yet. Maybe the sulfur will be the ticket for you!

A Kitchen Garden in Kihei Maui said...

Duh...I didn't think of clicking the words! Wow they have some cool seeds!

If the sulfur doesn't work I'll try Serenade - I'm burnt out with this powdery mildew already! Although the winter squash is affected too, the leaves and vines are normally hardier than the cucumber and melon.