Peas and thank you

One little project I have been wanting to share is from my  vegetable garden. We are in the midst of a drought and I always tend to loose interest in my garden this time of year anyway. When I went out to clean up the spent pea vines, I noticed a bunch of partially dried pods. Having just read Seed to Seed I realized these contained next years (free!!) pea seeds. So, Eli and I moved the armfuls of dried vines to a tarp, rolled it up like a giant jelly roll, and stomped like crazy.
pea-vines.jpg
Do you see the little peas in and amongst the...other stuff, and are you thinking how in the world would you pick them out?! Well, let me tell ya' you just toss up the handfuls of this mess and the heavy little peas gravitate towards the bottom of the pile and the light chaff can be pulled off and tossed in the compost. Then you are left with this: 
peas.jpg
I tried to toss this from one basket to another hoping the wind would blow away that pesky chaff, but it was not windy enough. Apparently you can use a fan, but mine was in use. While fiddling with this, I figured out just by swirling this mess around the peas sunk to the bottom, and I could easily pick off the chaff. Final product:pea-seeds.jpg
Aren't they chalk-y and lovely? The final step was to test their driness by smashing one pea with a hammer. If it shattered, it was ready to store, mine need to dry a bit. This was super-fun, a very Laura Ingalls type activity, (or is it in Farmer Boy that they do threshing?) This whole project was spontaneous, getting something from my garden in an area where  I thought all I had going on was compost waiting to be collected. It is this kind of "behind the scenes" view of plants doing their thing that keeps me gardening.

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