• It is believed green peas originated in Asia and spread to Europe, making their way to America sometime after Columbus.
• The Chinese are credited as the first to consume pea pods without removing the seeds.
• Botanically, peapods are a fruit since they have internal seeds originating from a flower.
• Austrian Gregor Mendel (1822-1884), often considered the father of modern genetics, was the first to map out the genetic traits of peas.
• Clarence Birdseye was the first to commercially freeze peas for consumption.
TYPES, VARIETIES & CUTS
Daybreak, Dwarf Gray Sugar, Green Arrow, Little Marvel, Snowbird, Snowflake, Spring, Wando, and many others.
Green peas (often called garden or English peas) are the most common edible pea with a tough, discarded pod. In the United States, up to 95% of green pea crops are either frozen or sent to processing.
Snow peas (often called Asian peas) are flat and thin with the bulge of tiny seeds visible at prime eating stage, with bright green, crisp pods. Each pod contains five to seven seeds and averages a length of 3 to 3.5 inches.
Snap peas are a cross between green and snow peas with well-developed, fully rounded seeds and an edible pod averaging 2.5 to 3 inches in length.
PESTS & DISEASE
Aphids, bean flies, bollworms, midges, nematodes, pod borers, spider mites, thrips, and weevils can cause feeding and subsequent damage to stems, blossoms, and pods throughout the growing season, though most attack young plants.
Grey and white molds, blight, fusarium wilt, and mosaic viruses can wreak havoc with young peas, either killing the plants or causing extensive damage inside pods or on leaves and stems with white, yellow or brown patches or sunken spots.
Downy mildew can attack if night temperatures fall or there is excessive moisture in the air. Lower leaf surfaces can become covered with fluffy whitish-grey fungal patches, which can darken with age; upper leaves have symptoms similar to wilt with yellow or brown areas and/or sunken spots.
Several rot (bacterial soft, watery soft, and root) and spot (chocolate) fungi can spread quickly and decimate plants. Early symptoms include weakened, discolored stems and roots. Later stages stunt growth, affecting pods and seed size (irregular or shriveled), quantity (few to no seeds), and coloring (tan to yellowing).