Archive for April, 2013

Pea Shoot Salad

Wednesday, April 24th, 2013

pea shoot salad

I wanted to keep my first experience with pea shoots simple, and went with a recipe that comes from the book, Grow Cook Eat: A Food Lover’s Guide to Vegetable Gardening.  As usual, I didn’t follow the recipe exactly, and left out the vinegar.  The recipe given serves 4.  I just threw a bunch of pea shoots on a plate, drizzled them with a little of the dressing, and shaved the parmesan with a veggie peeler right on top of the whole thing.  One word of caution — use the dressing very sparingly.  The flavor of the pea shoots is delicate, and easily overpowered by the lemon and garlic.  I found as little as 1/2 teaspoon to be plenty.  Any more than that, and you won’t be able to taste the greens.  I also found myself shaving additional parmesan into the salad, but I’m a pig when it comes to any kind of cheese.

1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 small clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon white balsamic or white wine vinegar
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
sea salt
4 to 6 cups lightly packed pea shoots
2-ounce piece parmesan
Freshly ground pepper

It’s official, I like pea shoots.  Because they are so simple to grow, and don’t take up a lot of space, I plan to make them a winter mainstay on my grow light setup.  I think I’m going to try this gorgeous Tofu Soup with Pea Shoots and Radishes next.

Growing Pea Shoots

Saturday, April 20th, 2013

I’ve been intrigued by recipes I’ve been seeing for pea shoots.   However, pea shoots are not something I’ve ever seen in any of my local markets, so I did a quick bit of searching online. It turns out growing pea shoots is a snap!  Yeah, I know that was a bad pun. This little project was satisfying on so many levels. I’ve been dying to get out and start planting my early spring garden, but the last two weeks of monsoon-like rains have prevented it.

Day 10

I’ve had a couple of these wide, shallow dollar store bowls lurking in my cupboard for years, and they’ve never really gotten much use.  It turns out they’re perfect for some quick indoor growing projects.  When I’m done writing this blog post, I’m going to go get the other bowl and get some radishes started.

I had a big bag of sugar snap pea seed I had saved from the garden a couple of years ago.  I put some of them in a glass of water and soaked them for 4 or 5 hours.  Then, I filled my bowl with some growing mix I had stored in a bucket in my basement.  I scattered the pea seeds across the surface, covered them with more of the soil, watered them in, and then put the bowl under my grow lights.

Day 1

Talk about instant gratification… this is what I had 4 days later.

Day 4

7 days later ……

Day 7

… and here we are 10 days later, ready to cut the top couple of inches of growth, easy peasy! Yes, another bad pun.  According to the reading I did, I should be able to cut them again in another week or so.  It will be interesting to see how many times I can cut them.  Now, I just have to decide which way I want to try eating them first.  I’ll let you know how it goes. Now, I’m off to locate that other bowl and some radish seed I know I’ve got left over from a couple of years ago.

Day 10

Chick Update

Sunday, April 7th, 2013

As promised, I’ve got a 2 week progress report on the chicks.  Around half of them are developing little, teeny, tiny combs, while the other half are not.  I do believe this little guy is a rooster … which means he’ll probably be on my dinner table some day.  Never, ever forget these guys are livestock, destined for the dinner table.  I’m getting ready to double their space, and I’ve also begun to lower the temperature in the brooder box.  By the time they’ve become acclimated to cooler temperatures, and night-time temperatures become a little more reasonable, I’ll be moving them to larger digs out in the chicken barn.


Here’s a side by side comparison to the picture I took two weeks ago.  They’ve easily doubled in size, and I’m also having to feed them twice as much.  They’re getting a 20% protein organic chick starter, and will eventually be switched over to 18% organic grower feed.


As you can see, chick fuzz is giving way to feathers, and they like to run through the brooder box trying to test out their new wing feathers.  They’re also starting to act as if they would like to perch, so when I get their space doubled I’m also going to give them a rod for roosting.