Peas, please - as long as they are grown in Washington! Did you know Washington grows three types of peas? We grow fresh peas, dry peas, and pea seed on both sides of the state. Find lots of cool facts about Washington's peas - like the fact that some peas are flash frozen while flying through the air!
Green, Snow, and Sugar Peas
Green peas are the peas that most people think of when they think about peas. They often grace our dinner tables and we enjoy eating them fresh from the pod, too! We also enjoy eating peas IN the pod - including snow and sugar peas.
While some of the peas may be used fresh, most of the peas are processed - frozen at the peak of taste and freshness to be available all year round. Peas for processing are one of Washington's top 40 commodities, coming in at number 25 in 2012! Washington is one of the largest producers of peas for processing in the country - producing about 23% of the nation's supply.
Check out this video about growing and processing peas in our state.
Have you ever wondered how scientists and plant breeders develop new pea varieties? Check out this video!
In 2013, Washington planted almost 190,000 acres of peas for processing!
Among the vegetables in Thomas Jefferson's garden was the English pea, considered to be his favorite. He grew fifteen types of the English pea, and his frequent jottings on the vegetable in his Garden Book suggest that he paid particular attention to it, happily noting when "peas come to table." By staggering the planting of peas, Jefferson was able to eat them fresh from the garden from the middle of May to the middle of July.
Picking Fresh Peas
Ever wonder how all of those peas are harvested? It certainly isn't by hand! Pea combines move slowly through the fields, separating the peas from their shells and the vines! Here is a video that shows a pea combine in action!
Think you've never heard of dry peas? Dry peas are what make your split-pea soup!
Dry peas are a short-season crop planted in mid-April and harvested in mid-July. The peas dry on the plant in the field prior to being harvested with a combine. If you've ever wondered what it is like to harvest dry peas in a combine, check out this "farmer's view" video of harvesting them!