Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Balcony Garden: Havest Monday #2

Often I pick things from my balcony garden as I suddenly realise that if I don't harvest my veggies they'll just rot on the plant.  Things seem to just appear so quickly and everything fruits all at once and I get all overwhelmed about what to cook with my bounty. The growing is the easy/fun part...the cooking it all is a bit more stressful for me.

My peas started off SO promising.  I loved the way the little tendrils grabbed onto the trellis.  I couldn't have been more excited than if my own child (if I had one that is) had just learned walk.

Upon reflection I think it's pretty obvious that I over-planted the peas in this pot. In fact now that take a long hard look at myself I pretty much overcrowd everything I plant...not a good trait in a balcony gardener. That all said and done, despite there being FIVE pants in this pot (there were more but I did pull some out) the flowers kept flowering and then PEAS arrived...so exciting.

Not long after the arrival of the peas however I noticed that the bottom leaves start to turn brown and become sort of crunchy...like the plant was dying from the bottom up. I ignored it and it got worse (funny about that).

I finally sought help from twitter.  People thought I might be over-watering the plant (who me?) and perhaps the pot was also sitting in a pool of water in the run-off tray causing a kind of rot.  Hmm, nope.  Someone else suggested it could be "white mould" and that a spray of milk/water might kill the bacteria. I did try the spray but it just made my balcony stink of sour milk - blerch! I was also told that peas just "do this" once they've fruited...but that my peas were also sick so it was dying quicker than normal. When it comes to peas I guess I have a brown thumb.

Whatever the problem was I knew that I had to get the peas off the bush before they started to go slimy and rotten too.  I needed to give peas a chance (ha ha, get it - give "peas" a chance. Peas = Peace...anyway...).  I probably only had 20 pea pods but shelling them was fun, especially as I got to sample a few peas straight from the pod - they were like sweet, fresh little dots.

Once again - sorry about the terrible photography/styling - I swear that this dish is DELICIOUS although my photographic abilities may lead you to think otherwise. This recipe for Spanish Rice Chorizo from The Stone Soup is a staple in my house. Sometimes I add baby spinach from my garden and this seemed like the perfect dish to chuck my handful of peas into.

Bye bye peas - you were wonderful, though short lived.

You can see more Harvest Monday at Daphne's Dandelions. 


  1. I remember when I was little, my mum who has a green thum, planted snow peas. One day, at their peak, we harvested 300 snow peas! Great, except we were eating snow peas every night for about a month, and they aren't as versatile as normal peas. That said, your Spanish rice looks delicious, and good luck with the rest of your garden.

  2. Mmmm that Spanish Rice Chorizo looks divine! Wish I had some fresh peas growing in my garden :)

  3. You are rocking your little garden & your kitchen! I always over crowd too.

  4. They look great! Shame they died though :( If I'm going to add my two cents worth I'd say they got too hot and burnt. Although don't take my word for it as all my basil has died twice this season and it normally does so well in my garden!

  5. You are doing a great job with your garden. Sometimes things go really well and sometime not so well, for an endless number of reasons. Just use the space to plant something else :) *Change the soil before replanting.

  6. I am so impressed with your green thumb. I'm inspired to grow some greens myself!

  7. I've seen a Charmaine Solomon recipe for curried pea pods, you can eat the fresh pods after you've picked out the goodies as well. No waste at all! Love your rail hooks, I want some.

  8. Yum, that spanish rice looks delicious and fresh with your home-grown greenery on top!

  9. Am very impressed with the status of your balcony garden. Nothing can beat home grown fresh produce :)

  10. I only plant a few peas in my tiny garden every year -- just for the pleasure of picking and nibbling while I'm watering, and serving as a pre-dinner snack with toothpicks. They don't seem to mind cold and wet weather, so they might work as a winter crop where you are.


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