Tuesday, September 6, 2016

The Gift The Keeps On

Field peas. I grew up eating them mostly at my grandmother's house. She always seemed to have a pot on the stove, day and night. Say you were hungry, her response, "Fix yourself a bowl of peas." It worked, staving off hunger for hours. I plant Celie's Peas. A gift from a neighbor who learned of my gardening adventures. Heirloom, I have saved the seeds, like her family for years now. They are amazingly generous plants. They are vining peas growing over 9 feet tall in a circle around on old wooden ladder for support they yield pods with up to fourteen peas per pod.  Reminiscing
with my Aunt Nina who died at 89 a few years back, she declared that there were winters when they might surely have starved if it had not been for field peas. Aunt Nina did not joke about hunger. She also informed me that when the hens stopped laying in the darkest days of winter, it was very hard, in the saddest voice.
When I first began gardening and it wasn't so easy, I remember thinking about my grandmother and how she and my grandfather together grew and raised almost everything they ate. If they could do it, so could I, because...well, so could I.
Today I picked a mess o' peas, have a full pot cooked in the fridge and will have some for lunch. With cornbread, there is no finer meatless meal.

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