On Thursday 27th January a group of volunteers planted peas out on the vegetable field. The peas had been sown back in December, and had germinated and been growing in the polytunnel in module-trays since then, and needed to get outside to stretch their roots.
Kent and Deb removing seedlings from the modules ready to plant.
The pea variety we used here was "Douce Provence" bought from the Organic Gardening Catalogue (www.OrganicCatalogue.com - Garden Organic is a charity once known as the Henry Doubleday Research Association, and they have an excellent website full of information and handy hints), a hardy winter round-seeded pea. The day was chilly, with a northeasterly blowing, but a great time was had by all, and the peas are coming on well out in the field. The next variety we will grow is "Meteor", a very similar pea, before we progress to sowing wrinkled-seed peas when the weather is warmer, such as sugar snap and mange-tout.
Jessica, Bob and Deb planting the pea seedlings.
As you may see in the photo, one of our "module trays" was a home-made version, consisting of an old plastic dog basket filled with the cardboard tubes from toilet rolls. The tubes were stood on end, filled with potting compost, and a pea sown into each. The beauty of this system is that the cardboard tube can also be planted in the field, where it will rot down to nourish the soil, act as a mini-windbreak, and is easier to handle than squeezing seedlings out of the plastic modules - as well as using something which we'd otherwise just throw away (or put in the recycling, hopefully!).