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News from the Good Food Project

Growing Peas for their Edible Shoots and Tendrils

The beauty of salads is that whether you’re looking for sweet, soft, subtle, or bitter flavors, there are many different tastes and textures which make a tasty meal on their own, or which can provide a wonderful base for a range of interesting ingredients. There are hundreds of different varieties of salad mixes, but the quickest, cheapest, and easiest-to-grow salad leaf is (oddly enough)...pea shoots! Pea shoots are simply the young leaves of a pea plant. Normal garden pea plants take months to grow and require much more space and effort than most people have. But pea shoots take just 2-4 weeks, and with minimal effort you are rewarded with delicate, juicy and tender leaves and tendrils.

Here's how:

Grab a container of choice and some potting soil/compost. You're only after the shoots here so you don't need it to be very deep – I use an inch or two. Now scatter over some dried peas, then lightly cover them with some more compost. Water them gently. Leave them outdoors or on a sunny window sill. Water them whenever the soil looks a bit dry. If the sun is blasting hot move them into a shadier spot so they don't wilt. Once they're an 2-6 inches high you just head outside with your scissors whenever you want a salad and snip off some leaves! They taste best when they're young and crisp. The flavor is delicate and fresh and faintly pea-some. After that the leaves start going a little flimsy.

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