Marta Pate

Big Ugly, West Virginia


The weather seems to be favoring the Big Ugly gardeners (none of whom are ugly!). Despite a late start getting things into the ground due to a cold spring, a June that has remained mostly cooler than normal with just the right amount of rain means that gardeners are now experiencing bumper crops of cool weather veggies like peas, lettuce, green onions, kale, celery, even broccoli. Several gardeners have harvested close to a bushel of peas so far, with more expected.

The weather looks to continue “not-too-hot, not-too-cold” with showers spread out over several days, meaning that our gardeners can expect to have really good harvests this year: corn is already knee-high in some gardens, squash and green beans are happily climbing poles, green tomatoes for frying are available, and at least in my container garden, herbs are exceedingly happy and taking over any available space.

For those trying to find a new way to fix all the spring peas you may have been blessed with, a simple recipe I use is to take freshly shelled peas and mix them with chopped green onions, a bit of fresh basil coarsely chopped, minced red bell pepper for color, and some good quality apple cider vinegar as the dressing.