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Updated: Jan 11

Are you planting garden peas this year in your garden?

Do you have a plan for your harvest?


What about after your harvest?


Then you are in the right spot!

Today in this blog post I am going to share with you the 5 steps I follow to plan beyond the harvest with garden peas! Don’t worry it is very easy but beware it might make you a little hungry looking at all of the scrumptious recipes.

One of our greatest mistakes as gardeners is not to plan for the harvest. You know how many garden pea plants you are going to plant and you might know your estimated date to when you will need to harvest. But do you know exactly what you are going to do with all of those peas? Eat It? Freeze It? Cook It? Or do you know exactly when to pick that garden peas at its peak?

The Five Steps to Planning Beyond the Harvest

  1. Learn to pick your harvest at its peak

  2. How to harvest your produce

  3. Research ways to Preserve your harvest

  4. Find Recipes to get your harvest from your garden to your table

  5. Add Recipes to Your Meal Planner

To learn more about why each of these steps in my 5 step process of Planning Beyond the Harvest be sure to check out this post and grab the Free Planning Beyond the Harvest Handbook designed to walk you through each step.

Let’s get to it!

Benefits of Growing Peas

Peas are tiny but they are a beast when it comes to eating healthy. Peas are also high in protein and fiber, which makes them more filling and helps food move through the digestive system. They can help regulate blood sugar because they have a relatively low glycemic index.

They also are packed with vitamins like, vitamin A, B, C, and E! Peas also can reduce inflammation that can lead to heart disease, diabetes, and arthritis.

When Do I Harvest Your Peas

Picking your peas at their peak is your goal and that comes with knowing the perfect time to pick. Here is how:

  • Peas will be ready to harvest in approximately 55 to 70 days after sowing. You can find the exact days to maturity on the back of your seed packet.

  • If you know your planting date you can easily find your estimated harvest date. For example: if you sowed your peas on April 15th then your estimated harvest date, with 55 days to harvest, would be June 9th.

  • This is when you should begin observing your peas for signs of harvest.

  • Pea pods should be swollen and firm - peas should be developed in the pods.

  • Harvest them every other day to keep pods from becoming large and starchy.

  • Your pea’s sweet taste will tell you when they are ready (I love eating them as an in the garden snack)

  • Peas are best grown in the late spring and/or Autumn when temps are around 60° to 70°. Peas do not take the heat!

How To Harvest Your Peas

Once your peas are ready to harvest they are going to need to be picked in just the right way. Here is how:

  • Harvest peas with two hands. One hand holds the vine and the other pinches the stem just above the seed pod and gives a slight tug. I like to use my thumb fingernail to slightly cut the stem when I pinch it.

  • It is important you don't pull too vigorously as you may break the thin tendrils the plant uses for support.

  • Peas are best picked in the morning when they will be crisp & crunchy for fresh eating. (You caught me! I love eating peas as I pick them!)

  • They should be cooled quickly to preserve their freshness and sweet taste. The sugar in peas quickly turns to bland starch after harvest unless cooled.

  • Keep plants picked to increase your harvest.

  • Also keep them well watered through your harvest period.

How To Prepare Fresh Peas

After your pea pods are picked and cooled it is time to shell them. Shelling peas is easy!

  • Wash the peas pods

  • Using a knife remove the stem and remove any string fibers that seals the pod together

  • Once the pod is opened, use your thumb to gentle break the peas from the pod sides

  • The peas will gently roll out of the pod so have a bowl ready

Once out of the shell the peas are ready for eating, cooking, or preserving. The pod can be discarded as it is going to be starchy and tough. But great for your chickens! Below is one of my favorite recipes for eating peas raw!

Creamy Pea Salad

This salad is flavored with cheddar cheese and bacon. I told you I love bacon so I could not help adding it to this simple spring recipe!

½ Cup Mayonnaise

2 TBSP Sour Cream

Splash Apple Cider Vinegar

½ tsp black pepper

4 cups fresh garden peas

½ cup shredded Cheddar Cheese

4 slices bacon, cooked and diced

In a bowl mix together the mayonnaise, sour cream, vinegar, and pepper. Add the peas, cheese, and mix. Add salt to your taste. Sprinkle bacon over the top and serve. Can be stored in the fridge for a couple hours if you would like to make it ahead of time. (Serves 8)

How to Cook Fresh Peas

Cooking garden peas is just as easy as shelling them.

  • Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil ( use enough water to cover the amount of peas you are cooking)

  • While waiting for water to boil, shell peas as stated above

  • Once water is boiling pour your garden peas in the pot and set a for about a minute. Peas are done once they all rise to the top of the water. Will not take long.

  • Remove the stove and drain.

  • You can season with salt and butter to taste

But if you are looking for a unique way to eat peas is as mashed peas. I personally like them on toast with a fried egg on top!

Mashed Peas on Toast

1 egg fried or poached

1 slice of freshly toasted bread

½ cup peas, cooked

Cream Cheese


Olive Oil

Salt and Pepper

Mash the peas, a small amount of cream cheese, cilantro and olive oil together in a bowl with a potato masher or fork. Cook the egg as you desire. Toast the bread. Once everything is done assemble by spreading the mash on the toast and top with your egg. Season as desired with salt and pepper. (serves 1)

How To Preserve Your Peas

Freezing is the most common way to preserve your garden peas. I personally don’t blanch them. Here is how to best use peas:

  • eat or store shortly after picking to preserve that sweet taste.

  • shell peas just before cooking and freezing. (remove the peas from the pea shell, I explain above)

  • Store peas in the fridge if you plan to use them that evening. They will last about 5 to 7 Days in a sealed plastic bag

  • to preserve for the winter: wash the shelled peas, blanch for 2 minute, and place in a sealable freezer bag. Remove as much air as possible and seal. Label with name, date and place directly in the freezer. (Fill bags with however much your recipes on your menu plan need. I usually store 1 cup in each bag.)

Peas can also be pressure canned and dehydrated to learn more look in preserving books or grab the Planning Beyond the Harvest eBook in my book shop!

How To Cook Frozen Peas

To cook a bag of frozen peas for a tasty side dish:

  • bring a few cups of water to a boil. Enough to cover the amount of peas you will be cooking.

  • Once water is at a rolling boil, carefully pour peas from the bag into the water.

  • Stir them gently and let boil, uncovered, for about 2 to 5 minutes.

  • Peas are done when they are warmed through and just slightly crunchy

  • Drain water and enjoy!

Peas and Carrots Recipe

Frozen Peas

2 Small Carrots, diced

1 Large Potato, diced

2 Green Onions, diced

2 Tbsp Butter

Salt and Pepper

½ cup broth

In a medium saucepan, melt butter and saute the green onion. Add the broth, carrots, and potato. Cover the pan with a lid to steam the veggies for 15 minutes. Add the peas and cook until peas are heated through. Season with salt and pepper and serve. (serves 6)

For recipes and instructions for cooking canned or dehydrated peas grab my Planning Beyond the Harvest eBook in my book shop!

Planning for your harvest and beyond does not need to be hard. You just need a plan. The next two steps to making a plan for beyond the harvest is to find more recipes and place those recipes in your menu plan. I know making a meal plan sounds daunting but it doesn’t have to be complicated. If you want help with this step check out the Planning Beyond the Harvest Planner in my book store.

And if you have any questions comment below or contact me! I am here to help you grow!

Have a blessed day,


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