Saturday, 15 November 2008

Pea Harvest and Other Garden Things

Last weekend, we harvested quite a few peas - both shelling and snow peas. Here is a photo of the harvest.

Clockwise from top left, they are:

Yakumo Giant Snowpeas (tender, juicy and sweet even when 12cm long)
Greenfeast peas (shelling)
Red Flowering Pea (these turned out to have the purplish bi-coloured flowers common to snow peas, but they are a dwarf variety rather than a climbing pea)

I'm not sure that the photo shows off the quantity that well, but there were enough to eat fresh as well as plenty to freeze. I've never frozen snow peas before, but they seem OK so far. The snow peas and red flowering peas are both still producing and I've left the last few pods on the shelling peas go so we'll get some seed for next year.

Now to foam boxes - last weekend on Gardening Australia they showed ways to re-use common items in the garden. One of these was styrofoam boxes, which you can usually pick up for free from your local markets or greengrocer as they can only be used once before being thrown away. So, I went to the markets and picked up some boxes, figuring I could use them to raise seedlings, etc.

After planting up the boxes, a discussion with the Crone revealed that we shouldn't really be using these in our gardens because of the fumes they emit. Looking on the web, I found a site called Non-Toxic Life, which had this to say about polystyrene:

NEVER use Styrofoam cups, especially for hot drinks. Polystyrene, #6 PS, is usually found in foam containers and cups may leach styrene. Styrene, considered a possible human carcinogen, may also disrupt hormones or affect reproduction.

*SIGH* I thought I might be doing something to help the environment by re-using a product which is otherwise disposed of after a single use. Now it turns out it may not be such a good idea. But what I'm thinking is this - the boxes are not getting really hot like they would if filled with boiling water and if I take the seedlings out when they are large enough and plant them out into open ground, the likelihood of them having loaded up with much toxin is pretty low. After they grow on and produce food, the amount of toxin should be extremely low and the food will still be heaps safer and less toxic than the commonly available fruit and veges. Then the boxes go!

Sometimes I have to agree with Kermit the Frog - it's not easy being green! But all things considered, I'd rather be green than not.

love and light


Kel said...

yup. i'd use the boxes. if ya gonna worry about the styro leaching into your food that way then you'd be better off to worry more about the formaldahyde leaching from most furniture and building materials when they warm up in a nice cosy room! its sure aint easy being green

Kel said...

oh, forgot to say those big bowls of peas are very enviable. our plants are only just beginning to flower!

naturewitch said...

Thanks, Kel

Sometimes it's hard to know what to be super-concerned about and what to be just concerned about ;)

As for the peas - I planted the seed back in May so we'd get a spring crop. xx