The idea originated from the British Growers Association’s (BGA) ‘Yes Peas’ campaign and is timed to coincide with the start of the pea harvest that continues for six to eight weeks from the start of July.
This is when literally billions of peas conclude their time in the field and embark on their journey to the forks of families everywhere.
Key pea facts:
- The UK is the largest producer and consumer of frozen peas in Europe is the UK
- The average person in Britain eating nearly 9,000 peas per year
- This July, approximately 700 pea growers, who work within 16 different grower groups, will harvest 2 billion portions of peas to feed Britain for the entire year
- Figures show that the UK is 90% self-sufficient in pea production, according to ”Yes Peas’.
- Farmers work using viners to harvest, shell and transport the peas from field to frozen as quickly as possible – the majority in just 150 minutes.
Here are some reasons why we’re proud to support Great British Pea Week 2023 here at Pinstone.
They are just as good frozen as fresh
Although we love popping peas straight from the pod into our mouths in the summer, they don’t lose nutritional value when frozen, so you can benefit from them all year, making them a brilliant, healthy and convenient addition to your staple diet.
They are always frozen at their peak which helps preserve most of their nutrients – unless you overcook them in which case then they will lose their bite, sweetness and decrease their nutritional value!
This is a great recipe using frozen peas – just add any crumbly cheese and any fresh herbs you have to hand to top it off
“This is simple, delicious and looks great on the dinner table because it is just vibrantly and ridiculously green!”
Peas are good for us and good for the soil
As well as promoting great health benefits for us, peas do the same for soil health too.
Whether they are being grown in your garden at home or by farmers, peas capture nitrogen from the air as they grow and use this to flourish through the whole growing season, finally ‘fixing’ this into the soil.
Rebecca Beaumont from the Pinstone team farms locally and has used peas as a break crop:
“As legumes, peas are great for our soil productivity. We often grow peas as a break crop which allows us to control weeds and build nitrogen in the soil. The peas are harvested and sold on to be used as cattle feed.”
Britain’s peas could help reduce import of soya
Hot off the press – Defra believe that a portion of the demand in the UK for soya could be met by replacing them with peas. The UK imports approximately four million tonnes of soya every year, with half a million tonnes used for vegan and vegetarian foods, according to Innovate UK.
A £1million ’pea protein’ project led by the John Innes Centre and seed company Germinal is aiming to produce peas that are ‘tasteless’ and can replace soya in plant-based foods. Read more: https://www.jic.ac.uk/news/innovative-pea-protein-project-aims-to-break-soya-habit/
They are easy to grow at home
For anyone who hasn’t grown peas before at home, you don’t need a lot of space.
They can be easily grown from seed sown in spring and into early summer outdoor and can even be grown in pots so long as you have given them a structure to climb up.
If you’re tired of battling weeds in your garden, you can even consider using them as a cover crop which will smother them out of your growing space. An office favourite is the Terrain variety because it is super sweet and high yielding.
Because British produce is better!
We supported British Beef Week earlier in the year and like the beef industry, our British pea growers and producers are another brilliant source of low food miles food and nutrition as well as important employers.
Here is Laura Yates’ favourite meal.
“This plate makes me hap-pea – home reared beef with locally grown peas, potatoes and tomatoes.”
Find out more about Great British Pea Week here https://peas.org/great-british-pea-week/