Sugar Snap Peas are June's Harvest of the Month 
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We are excited to wrap up the school year with this final Harvest of the Month crop. City Schoolyard Garden and Charlottesville City Schools will be working hard to raise funds to implement Harvest of the Month in the 2015/2016 school year. You can donate to this effort through our website or by clicking the apple at the bottom of the page. It has been such a pleasure to work on this project!
Sugar Snap Peas are a leguminous plant in the Fabaceae family along with many types of peas and beans. Legumes are known for their ability to convert nitrogen in the air to solid nitrogen in the ground, improving the soil's health.

The whole Sugar Snap Pea can be eaten at once - the outer pod and the inside pea seed. Even the tender stems or "pea shoots" from which the pea pods grow are edible!

There are many types of peas, including sweet English peas, Sugar Snap Peas, and Snow Peas.
Sugar Snap Peas are not only delicious, but also provide a good source of:

• Vitamin C
• Vitamin K
• Fiber

• Iron
• Potassium

In addition to the vitamins and minerals listed above, Sugar Snap Peas are rich in calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, thiamin. Combined, these compounds help support bone health and strengthen your immune system. Eat up, because these peas are full of good things!
The most delicious and perhaps healthiest way to eat Sugar Snap Peas is to just eat them alone and uncooked! You'll find that they're really tasty raw. However, they can also be chopped up in salads, lightly sautéed, or added to stir-fries.
Sugar Snap Peas with Healthy Yogurt Dipping Sauce

• Fresh sugar snap peas
• 1 cup yogurt
• 1 clove garlic (small, minced)
• 1 Tbs olive oil
• 1 Tbs fresh dill (chopped)
• 1 tsp lemon juice
• Salt and pepper, to taste
Combine ingredients for yogurt sauce into a bowl. Dip sugar snap peas - enjoy!

Peas are planted in early spring after the danger of frost. They form "tendrils," in order to climb a trellis. Pea plants can grow up to several inches per day when the conditions are just right, so a week of good weather can produce a beautiful harvest! This year, farmers are having a hard time with their sugar snap peas because of the wet spring. Peas don't like puddles and it rained a lot in April. Fortunately, students grew in their own school gardens across Charlottesville as part of the First Peas to the Table contest!

From top left clockwise: Class at Johnson excited about this month's Harvest of the Month snack; 1st grade class at Jackson-Via learning cool things about pea plants before they try the snack; student at Greenbrier with his sugar snap peas; parent volunteer at Greenbrier helping to distribute the snack.

Sugar Snap Peas - Trivia and Facts

Clark student enjoying Sugar snap peas.
TRIVIA OF THE MONTH: “This vegetable has edible shoots and pods. It can be eaten raw or cooked, shelled or unshelled, and when you bite into it, it's likely to snap."
  • Sugar Snap Peas are in the Fabaceae family, whose members associate with soil bacteria, converting atmospheric nitrogen from the air into solid nitrogen in the ground, which improves the soil's health.
  • To facilitate these bacterial associations, gardeners often use an "inoculant," which is a microbiologically active soil amendment, when sowing pea seeds.
  • Sugar Snap Peas form "tendrils," or modified stems, in order to climb up walls or trellises. These tendrils spiral around until they come into contact with a support structure.
  • In addition to the pea pods, the pea shoots are edible and packed with vitamins A, C, and folic acid.

Freshly picked Sugar Snap Peas sourced through the Local Food Hub! Yum!
Sugar Snap Peas - Heritage Information
Abigail Sandberg

Peas have been grown and eaten for thousands of years and are said to originate from Thailand and Burma, the Middle East, and Ethiopia.

While heirloom varieties of peas have been around for centuries, sugar snap peas were actually developed in the 60s by Calvin Lamborn. He crossed shelling peas with snow peas (also called sugar peas) in order to create a sweet pea with an edible pod. Read more about his work at

Thomas Jefferson planted more than 30 varieties of peas in his garden and reportedly competed in a friendly annual "pea competition" with his neighbors. In fact, "according to family accounts, every spring Jefferson competed with local gentleman gardeners to bring the first pea to the table; the winner then hosting a community dinner that included a feast on the winning dish of peas."

For the past three years, City Schoolyard Garden as recreated that competition in first grade classes accross Charlottesville with the "First Peas to the Table" competition. Congratulations, Greenbrier Elementary, for winning the friendly pea-growing competition this year!


To learn more about the heritage of sugar snap peas, go to Abigail Sandberg's blog as part of the Virginia Food Heritage Project. There is so much to learn!


Harvest of the Month is a program that highlights a locally available crop each month by providing a fresh, healthy snack in all six Charlottesville Elementary Schools. Students also learn about the crop in their schoolyard garden and classroom. Information on growing, nutrition, and preparation of the crop is shared with teachers and families. The goal of Harvest of the Month is to support healthy living skills that strengthen our youth and community. 

It takes a community to make Harvest of the Month happen! City Schoolyard Garden is grateful to work in collaboration with Charlottesville City SchoolsLocal Food Hub, and Charlottesville Move2Health. Supported with funds through the Thomas Jefferson Health District of the Virginia Department of Health and other generous donors.


    Donate to keep Harvest of the Month growing!

City Schoolyard Garden is an independent, non-profit organization and your tax deductible donation makes a difference. Join us investing in our children's future, and providing them with a foundation for learning about health, nutrition, sustainability, and community. Click on the apple to donate or send a donation to our address below. Thank you!
P.O. Box 5285, Charlottesville, VA 22905
Copyright © 2015 City Schoolyard Garden, All rights reserved.

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