Plan to freeze spring garden peas if you crave them fresh after the season is long over.
Freeze spring garden peas to keep peas flavorful and nutrition. Blanching and freezing is a very effective and safe way to preserve fresh sweet peas.
It’s also very easy. Just a few simple steps and you will have bags of delicious peas you can enjoy months later.
Fresh garden peas are my favorite vegetable to eat. I can tell the difference between fresh garden peas and canned or frozen peas from the grocery store. But, frozen garden peas I grew myself just have that sustained freshness that stands out to me as the most delicious and wonderful taste.
I grow quite a lot of peas in my garden. It’s rewarding to me to be able to grow my own food. As my favorite vegetable in the whole wide world, I grow many more pea plants than my family and I can actually eat. This is so we can enjoy our fresh garden peas way past the growing season. My favorite way to preserve peas is to blanch and freeze fresh garden peas.
Here’s the process I use to grow, harvest, and freeze spring garden peas.
Peas are a cool season crop. Here in Kansas, I plant my peas in March for an early June harvest. Peas love soils that are at least 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
Over the first week after planting, the peas require water and cool weather to germinate. Then, they will start to come up. If you have a climbing pea variety, you’ll need to install a trellis for the peas to climb.
You can use anything that will help the peas climb. You could use a bought trellis. You could use chicken wire or hog panels. Or, you could go the cheap-o way like me and install a trellis made of baling twine.
Trellises help keep the peas growing tall and from falling over. Healthy free-standing pea plants are essential for a better, more yielding harvest season.
In the video “How to Choose and Harvest Fresh Garden Peas,” I show you how to choose the perfectly full pea. I also show you how to pick it by squeezing the bud and pulling gently.
Pea harvest is generally a very short season. The peas are ready at different stages over a two-week’s time. I generally go out to the garden each morning to make sure I don’t miss any that are perfect to pick. Testing the peas is done by gently feeling the firmness of the pod. You can also open up a pod and taste the pea inside.
When the peas are picked, it’s time to remove the peas from the pod. This process is affectionately known as “podding.”
Podding & Preserving Peas
There’s a very distinct method to podding peas. In my video “How to Pod Fresh Sweet Peas“, I demonstrate a simple way to pod peas.
The pea podding process is simple. Pull the stem down all the way and open the seam with your fingers. When the seeds are exposed, use your fingers to slide the peas into the large bowl. Repeat until all the peas are podded.
Once the peas are podded, it’s time to blanch them. Blanching is the process of cooking in boiling water for a small amount of time and then plunging into ice cold water to cool.
I usually start a large saucepan of water first. When it is boiling, I add the peas and wait for them to boil again. I let the peas cook in boiling water for a couple of minutes. Then, I empty the peas into the sink of cold water to cool. The cooling process takes several minutes. Please don’t burn yourself!
After the peas are cooled completely, pack them into labeled Ziplock bags. Label the bags with a permanent marker before you put the peas in there. I write the date and what’s in the bag (peas) to properly label them.
Finally, pack the labeled Ziplock bags as full as possible with the cooled peas, but give about an inch head space. Be sure to squeeze the air out as best you can. Zip the seal tightly and securely. Freeze spring garden peas immediately. And you’re done!
After you’ve spend long hours podding, blanching and packing, it’s time to clean up the mess. Getting rid of the empty pea pods is actually fun for the whole family. Keep reading.
What To Do With The Empty Pods
You’ll have a ton of empty pods once the peas are podded and frozen. Hopefully, you’ve contained them in your large bowl or bag during the podding process. What do you do with all of them?
Don’t trash them! Share them! If you have animals on the farm they will love you forever. Sweet pea pods make healthy and yummy treats to animals. Pigs, chickens, cows, and goats are all animals who enjoy eating the empty pods.
Or you could throw them into your compost to decay as organic matter. It’s like recycling the pods to be reused in the garden again.
Freezing Prevents Waste
If you have more peas than you and your family can freshly eat, preserve it. There’s nothing wrong with preserving fresh produce to enjoy later. Blanching and freezing is just one of the ways you can.
It’s my favorite way to preserve fresh spring garden peas. It’s super easy to freeze spring garden peas. You don’t need any special supplies, so it’s universal.
The best reason to freeze spring garden peas is to be able to enjoy the goodness of your pea harvest well after the growing season has commenced.
~ Much Love ~