Standing in the middle of a green pea field, I peeled back the skin of a freshly plucked pea pod and popped one pea after another into my mouth. Perfectly firm and sweet, with an earthy essence – that’s what I call farm to table.
As we munched on peas, we watched combines comb the field, stripping the pods from the vine and depositing the shelled peas in large trucks. Nathan Rea of the H.T. Rea Farming Corporation described the harvesting process and the history of green pea farming in the valley. Introduced as a rotation crop in the 1930s, green peas provided additional farm income, aided in weed control and reduced soil erosion. However, because of reduced consumer demand, green pea production has fallen dramatically. Nathan’s crop is one of the very few still grown in this valley.
After, we followed the peas from the field to Smith Frozen Foods in Weston, Oregon. From field to processing, we witnessed the entire production of one of the many crops of the valley.
I never imagined myself in a pea field during harvest, yet there I stood; and I’m so grateful for the opportunity. This is the goal of Learning on the Land: sharing with people the natural resources that make our valley thrive.
Hosted by a range of local experts and artists, conservation organizations, and agricultural businesses, Learning on the Land events connect local residents with our region’s natural resources and foster a sense of greater community among our guests.
Thankfully, this season is not over yet. We are just past the season’s midpoint and have 10 more great events through October. We can’t wait to share the rest of the season with you. Come join us!