|We were very excited to discover Abyssinian peas in the John Innes Centre's seed bank and are now running garden trials to find out more about these unusual and beautiful peas from Ethiopia.|
As the name suggests Abyssinian Peas (Pisum abyssinicum) are from Ethiopia, specifically the Highlands - one of the key global sites for crop domestication 10,000 or so years ago and still hugely significant for crop genetic diversity.
Once thought to be a sub-species of Pisum sativum (the cultivated varieties we know and eat), they're now better understood to be their own species, the product of a distinct and different domestication and more closely related to wild peas.
Mike Ambrose, keeper of John Innes Centre's amazing seed bank, gave us a few seeds of two different varieties - one black one green - to experiment with.
This year we'll be trying them on a garden scale, but who knows perhaps they might work at field scale too.
We planted the out in late May and look forward to seeing the results.
We're keen to learn more about the cultural significance and history of these beautiful peas; please do comment if you have any insights!
Comments will be approved before showing up.
A few years ago we were looking for a sweetner for some granola recipes, something UK produced and minimally processed. When our apple syrup order from Liberty Fields arrived we knew we were onto something special - we quickly added them to our short list of brilliant Guest Producers
We've launched ten pulses and grains from British farms as part of Holland & Barrett's transformation of their food range, available in their stores across the UK. It's a fantastic opportunity to make British-grown fava beans, carlin peas and quinoa, along with other pulses and cereals, available more widely and to support more diverse farming.
Down a warren of country lanes, not far from the Tamar Valley in Cornwall, is Julie Bailey's orchard Lower Trelabe, where she grows historic local varieties of apple and makes her delicious Apple Natural apple shreds, traditional fruit leathers that contain only the natural plant sugars.