Photo Essay

Lovely Leguminosae - Edible Peas

There are tens of thousands of species in the legume family, but they all form pods containing their seeds. Many of them also fix nitrogen in root nodules, which is of great benefit for improving soil conditions. Farmers and gardeners grow legumes such as peas, beans, lentils, and alfalfa for so many reasons - as green manure crops to work into the soil, as nutritious food crops, and as ornamental plants.

Who doesn't love the vibrant colours and the fragrance of sweet peas? What gardener doesn't revel in the flamboyant patterning and colouration of bean and pea blossoms, pods, and seeds? Legumes are a nutritious staple for civilizations all over the world - imagine life without peanut butter, or fresh shelled peas, or bean soups, or hummus, or tofu! I for one am dedicated to growing as many varieties of legumes in my garden as possible!

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