Growing dry peas and dealing with Pea Weevils
We love growing dry peas! Dry peas are such a great staple food for the winter months, they're relatively easy to grow and clean, and many varieties- such a 'Wild Pea of Umbria' - don't require much in the way of fertilizer. Eat them split or whole, cooked in soups or stews.
One of the few difficulties with growing a successful dry pea crop is pea weevils. Adult pea weevils feed on pollen in the pea flowers. They mate and lay their eggs on the developing pea pod. Larva emerge from the eggs and bore into the pod and feed on the peas while they are in storage. Many a disappointed gardener has harvested and stored their abundance of dry peas- only to find when they go to cook the peas that they have all been eaten in storage!
Luckily, the solution to pea weevils is simple and effective. When growing the dry peas, let them fully dry down- on the plant is what we prefer- and then clean them and freeze them in the freezer for at least 72 hours. They need to be fully dry before you do this- just make sure you can't dent them with your finger. This freezing process will kill the egg or weevil that is inside. You can take them out at any time, just don't open the container they're in until it reaches room temperature. Otherwise, moisture will condense on the cold seeds and spoil them.