Sunday, 28 August 2011

Asparagus Peas

One of my new experimental crops I'm trying for the first time this year are Asparagus Peas.  They have these lovely deep red blossoms that result in a very interesting looking peapod.

Researching on the web, they are a sort of poor man's asparagus as they are said to have a similar flavour and consistency and don't require a trench or a 3 year wait for the first harvest.  Just cook in butter with a little salt.  I'm not sure they taste like asparagus, but an interesting pod nevertheless.

Their seeds are sown directly in their growing position late May.  I planted them at the base of my peas so that I had something new to take over when the peas died back.

I've had a reasonable yield from them if compared to the pea harvests, but I think they are more suited to a larger plot than grown in a container.

However, in their favour, they have continued to crop when other harvests have dwindled in our not particularly disappointing British summer.

A very interesting novelty crop to experiment with as the pods look so interesting and the flowers so pretty.  It's always fun having something new to experiment with in the kitchen.

Maybe a good one to try with children as they can be sown outdoors, are quick to germinate and have their curious looking pods.


  1. It's interesting that you quite like them, as most people who grow them once seem to think they're not worth growing again :)

  2. Hi Emma

    I think it all depends on what you are growing them for. I wouldn't necessarily grow them as a crop again, well certainly not in a small garden where space is limited. However, I think they would be great to grow with kids. You can plant them straight in the ground, they have a pleasant flower and grow very curious looking pods that can be eaten. They are quite pleasant to eat when very lightly fried with a little oil and some salt but I didn't take to them raw - you definitely have to do something with them!

  3. It's a shame that so many people have taken against this plant, due no doubt to some unrealistic promotion by seed companies. It is a pretty little plant and would benefit from selection for improved pod caharcteristics. As far as I'm aware, this is effectively a wild plant. If you've ever tried a wild carrot, you'll know that selection for desirable traits makes for a much better crop.