The race has started. As the light hours gets longer, these little gems start to pierce through the soil and between each seedling there seems to be competition. We sow sweet peas in Autumn and Spring for successional sowing throughout the year. Personally, I like to sow in Spring as there is great excitement when the birds start to sing their song, attracting mates and letting us all know that, at last the season is changing, the evening light is getting longer, mornings are lighter and there is a real zing in the air. This has to be my favourite time of the year, new life is at last starting to unfurl. We start lambing in the middle of March, the children get so excited about the possibility of nurturing a lamb needing that little bit of extra help, when born. Everything, including our peas start to stretch, look to the light, and want to grow. The only thing not growing is ourselves, this is a time to shed those excess pounds laid down in Winter. This is so easily done, just get out with a spade and dig, take the dog for a long walk, go for a bike ride or discover a new walk with the family. As animals come out of hibernation we too take off our coats and feel the freedom of movement and motivation.
This year we are growing show varieties from Owls Acre Seeds and our usual favourites from Moles Seeds and Chiltern Seeds. The field is drying out at last, with the winds we have had lately, we can at last get in and start weeding, and preparing the beds.
Sweet peas seem to evoke childhood memories in all our customers. The colours, the delicate frill of each petal and of course the hypnotic scent. We sell our sweet peas at our local farm shop (Baldersby Shop) and to our ‘Delivery On Your Door’ customers. Sweet Peas are not available easily from florist shops or through supermarkets as they do not travel well. This is where the British grower can benefit. We cut our peas and condition in a cooling shed over night (this also gets rid of the little beetles who like to lodge in the peas!) and deliver the next day. If kept cool and the water changed regularly, peas can last for 5- 7 days.
Anyone can grow Sweet Peas, they are easy to grow. Why not try some in your garden or courtyard. We also invite you to come to the flower field and we can pick colours/varieties that you like. They are intoxicating.
By Wendy X