Peas shoot salads have become a signature activity for the Leicestershire Master Gardeners. These tasty pots of green goodness are incredibly quick and easy to grow on a windowsill, even in the depths of winter. The chunky marrowfat peas we use are easily handled by small children, people with impaired manual dexterity and those with visual impairments and they burst through their compost in little more than a week, giving very quick rewards for impatient gardeners. I have a succession of pots on my kitchen windowsill, which supply our many stalls at events around the county, where their bright green tendrils have even persuaded some very unimpressed teens to plant some of their own at college freshers’ fairs. the intense pea flavour has persuaded many children that it may be worth giving green salads a go.
This week I was told two wonderful stories about pea shoots grown by children, which demonstrate their value as food growing motivators:
In Great Dalby, local primary school children have been sowing pea shoots with Master Gardeners Bob and Sue Hobbs. Bob was stopped by a parent in the street recently and asked if he realised that these peas had become a focus for some Facebook based competition between the children and parents in the village as they compared their successes.
In Hinckley I visited St Mary’s Primary School with Master Gardener Judith Warner, who has just taken on support for their growing. The school’s ‘head gardener’, a year 6 girl, came in to report to her teacher that the pea shoots they had supplied to the school kitchen for a lunchtime treat had almost all gone. This first achievement came from a simple suggestion to the teacher leading their gardening before Judith had even volunteered to help, so we look forward to seeing what they can achieve with their own Master Gardener to guide them.
If you’d like to ‘Give Peas a Chance’ and try your own windowsill salad, click here for some instructions and have a look at our events section to see when our volunteers will be at an event near you, sending everyone home with their own little pot of peas.