sugar snap peas: Nature’s candy

This year, I planted my sugar snaps along a privacy fence with some homemade tomato cages I unhooked to create long latices for them to climb.  A teen girl and I sowed the seed a few weeks ago, and they’re already several inches high.  This weekend, I’ll be planting the second round of seeds–want to make sure we keep those sweet things coming for as long as we can!  Am reposting this one with some tips and ideas for sugar snaps. ~cameron

A few years ago, I started a batch of sugar snap peas on our deck and in front on the triangular trellis.  By late May, we had fat sugar snaps dangling from the vine.  I was so excited that I came running in and made my daughter come outside.  She humored me, but when she saw the green pods on the vine, she refused.  She reminded me that she didn’t like sugar snaps.  I encouraged her to try just one, and when she did,  her eyes lit up.  She looked at me and gushed, “These taste nothing like those things from the grocery store!”  She then proceeded to gobble up every pod that was ready for the picking.

sugar snaps 2

Sugar snap peas are a good choice for beginner gardeners.  They grow quickly so kids get fast results.  They prefer cooler weather so they give you something to look forward to as you wait for the tomatoes and squashes.  They’ll climb just about anything thin enough to wrap their tendrils around.  Most importantly, they are simply sweet and delicious!

So some tips for sugar snaps:

  • Plant in early-mid Spring–where I live, I can put them in the ground early-mid March.
  • They will need something to climb, but make sure it is thin, like wire, string, or twine.
  • They will be sweeter if you let them “puff up” rather than eat them when they are flatter.  Don’t let them go too long though, or they become dry instead of tender.
  • Since the seeds are hard, they will need water regularly at first or to be soaked to encourage sprouting.

How to eat sugar snap peas:

  • Straight off the vine
  • Sauteed in some sesame oil with garlic and a splash of tamari
  • With a summer dip–I like plain Greek yogurt, dill, salt, pepper, minced onion and garlic
  • Chopped in half and tossed in a spring salad with a light vinaigrette
  • Marinated in a citrus vinaigrette

Sugar snaps are so flavorful and sweet, they are ideal for kids.  My two godsons came over to tromp around my farm last summer, and in spite of a fort, an art project, and a homemade creek, their fondest memory of that day was eating my sugar snaps then planting their own.  Needless to say, those were the first seeds I checked on my order form this year.

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