Saving Rare Heirloom Peas

In today’s fast-paced world, the concept of “garden-to-table” has become increasingly popular. People are looking for ways to connect with their food and support local, sustainable agriculture. One way to do this is by growing your own food, and heirloom peas are a great place to start. Many unique and rare varieties of peas not only offer a delicious addition to your garden-to-table meals, but they also help preserve genetic diversity in our food system. In this article, we will discuss the importance of saving rare heirloom peas and how you can get involved.

The Importance of Heirloom Peas

Heirloom peas are varieties that have been passed down through generations, often for hundreds of years. These peas have not been genetically modified or altered in any way, making them a pure and natural option for gardeners and consumers. They also offer a wide range of flavors, textures, and colors, making them a unique addition to any garden-to-table meal. However, many of these heirloom pea varieties are at risk of disappearing due to the rise of industrial agriculture and the focus on mass-produced, uniform crops.

Preserving Genetic Diversity

One of the main reasons for saving rare heirloom peas is to preserve genetic diversity in our food system. Industrial agriculture often relies on a small number of genetically modified crops, which can lead to a loss of genetic diversity. This can make our food system more vulnerable to diseases and pests, as well as limit the variety of flavors and nutrients available to consumers. By growing and saving heirloom peas, we can help maintain a diverse and resilient food system.

How to Get Involved

There are several ways to get involved in saving  heirloom pea varieties. The first step is to start growing them in your own garden. You can purchase rare and endangered heirloom pea seeds from local seed companies or online retailers. Make sure to save some of the seeds from your harvest to plant the following year, as this is an important part of preserving these rare varieties. You can also join a seed-saving group or community garden to learn more about heirloom peas and other rare plant varieties. 


Heirloom peas are not only a delicious addition to your healthy diet, but they also play an important role in preserving the biodiversity in our food system. By growing and saving these rare varieties, we can help maintain a diverse and resilient food system for future generations. It is time to start  planning your garden for next spring, why not consider adding some heirloom peas to your list. You can save the variety easily and have enough seeds for a few years to come and some to share or offer in a Seed Exchange. Your taste buds and the future of our food system will thank you.


A Step-by-Step Guide to Saving Pea Seeds

Peas are a popular and versatile vegetable that can be enjoyed in a variety of dishes. But did you know that you can also save the seeds from your pea plants to grow more in the future? Saving pea seeds is a simple and cost-effective way to ensure a continuous supply of fresh peas in your garden. In this step-by-step guide, we will walk you through the process of saving pea seeds.

Step 1: Choose the Right Pea Variety

When it comes to saving pea seeds, it is important to choose the right variety. Some peas, such as snow peas and snap peas, are not suitable for seed saving as they are harvested before the seeds fully develop. The best varieties for seed saving are shelling peas, also known as garden peas, and sugar snap peas. These varieties produce large, plump seeds that are perfect for saving.

Step 2: Allow Peas to Fully Mature on the Vine

In order to save pea seeds, you must allow the pods to fully mature on the vine. This means leaving them on the plant until the pods turn brown and dry out. This process can take anywhere from 2-4 weeks after the peas are ready to be harvested for eating. It is important to keep an eye on the pods and harvest them before they split open and scatter the seeds.

Step 3: Harvest the Pods

Once the pods have fully matured, it is time to harvest them. Carefully remove the pods from the plant and place them in a paper bag or envelope. Be sure to label the bag or envelope with the variety of pea and the date it was harvested.

Step 4: Dry the Pods

Place the paper bag or envelope in a cool, dry place and allow the pods to dry for 1-2 weeks. This will ensure that the seeds are fully dry and will not mold during storage.

Step 5: Remove the Seeds from the Pods

After the pods have dried, it is time to remove the seeds. Simply open the pods and remove the seeds. You may need to break open the pods if they are not fully dry. Be sure to discard any damaged or discolored seeds.

Step 6: Store the Seeds

To ensure the longevity of your saved pea seeds, it is important to store them properly. Place the seeds in an airtight container, such as a glass jar or plastic bag, and store them in a cool, dry place. Be sure to label the container with the variety and date of harvest.

Step 7: Plant Your Saved Seeds

When you are ready to plant your saved pea seeds, simply follow the same process as you would with store-bought seeds. Plant them in well-draining soil and keep them watered. Your saved seeds should germinate and grow just like any other pea seeds.

By following these simple steps, you can save your own pea seeds and have a continuous supply of fresh peas in your garden. Not only is this a cost-effective way to grow peas, but it also allows you to preserve the characteristics of your favorite pea varieties. Have you ever saved pea seeds before? Let us know in the comments below!

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