English Peas at the School Year’s Final Harvest of the Month

Posted by on May 26, 2017 | Comments Off on English Peas at the School Year’s Final Harvest of the Month

English Peas at the School Year’s Final Harvest of the Month

When you first think of peas, you might think of the mushy vegetable you get in a can or frozen in bags. The ones that you rolled around your plate and that you had to eat before you left the table when you were young. Today, for the final Harvest of the Month of the school year, we washed and distributed 400 pounds of raw English Peas to the students in the Charlottesville City Schools.  City Schoolyard Garden (CSG) teamed up with the Local Food Hub and Charlotte County’s Goldman Farms to serve over 2,800 youth samples of English Peas. Students at all nine Charlottesville City Schools, City of Promise, PB&J Fund, and the Lugo McGinness Academy.

This morning, students were given this clue about the Harvest of the Month: “This green vegetable is small, round and sweet tasting. Its pods grow on a vine in the garden, and inside each pod are 1,2,3,4 or sometimes 5 seeds. At the grocery store, this vegetable can be bought frozen, canned or fresh.” Some of the kids guessed correctly and knew as the volunteers were delivering snack, that the harvest this month was going to be peas.

The peas that we delivered to students were the same peas you often get in the can, but looked and tasted very different. These peas were fresh, uncooked peas and were still in their pods. The students had to crack open the shells before they could eat.

Going into a cafeteria of 5th and 6th graders and offering them “peas” made them kind of a hard sell. The initial reactions were not ones that screamed excitement. There were a lot of scrunched up noses. Kids even came up to the table and turned around and went back to their chairs. It took a little coaxing from friends but once they got the peas, we began to hear “They’re fun to open” and “They taste sweet.” Many came up to the table and asked for more, or taking a few for later.


It was also great to hear students start to recognize differences in taste between the large peas and the smaller peas, the dark green and the lighter green, the shriveled peas and the plump ones. They took the time to develop opinions on which peas they liked better.

Even the Associate Superintendent, Jim Henderson, eats his peas!

Although CSG was not able to convince everyone that peas were sweet and delicious, the students were given the chance to taste peas in a way that they may not have tasted before. As part of Harvest of the Month CSG is hard at work giving youth the opportunity to explore healthy foods that can grow right in their gardens. Through this program, CSG is increasing student (and maybe the Associate Superintendents) preferences towards fruits and vegetables.


Here are a bunch of pictures from the Harvest of the Month of our kids eating their vegetables!

Mary Anderson, CSG’s Development Coordinator, helping to clean and portion out the peas!

Walker Upper Elementary had student volunteers handing out peas during lunch.

There is no wrong way to eat your peas!

This work takes concentration!

That, my friends, is how you open English Peas!

A student at Clark opening her peas!

This is what one Venable Elementary class looks like when they’re asked “Who wants more peas?”