Daniel O'Rourke Pea
Perfect round and delicious green peas in a pod! Daniel O’Rourke Pea is considered an Irish heirloom from the 1800s by Irish Seed Savers Association. They found this long lost variety preserved since 1921 at the Vavilov Institute for Plant Industry in Russia, and brought it back into cultivation and circulation in Ireland. It was named after a winning British thoroughbred racehorse, perhaps because it was known as the earliest pea cultivar at the time. The horse was named after a character in an Irish folktale who was carried to the moon by an eagle. Some report that this is the same pea as horticulturalist, breeder, and seedsman John Sangster’s “Sangster’s No. 1 Pea”, a very popular variety in the mid- and late-1800s on both sides of the Atlantic. It is used as a fresh shelling pea, and also as a dry pea for soups. Thanks to Irish Seed Savers for this seed, and to artist Christine Mackey for her research on this pea’s history.
Days to maturity: 65
Seeds per pack: 50
Planting / harvesting notes
Seed directly in the ground as soon as the soil can be worked in the early Spring. Sow about an inch apart in rows on either side of a trellis, or in bands of 2-3 feet, with the trellis in the middle. Keep soil constantly moist until germination. No need to thin.
Seed keeping notes
Peas are self-pollinating, though it is best to isolate different varieties of P. sativum by at least 25 feet (we do 75 feet to be sure) to avoid unwanted cross-pollination from flying insects. For seed saving, harvest the peas when their shells have become dried and crispy. Lay out the pods in a dry, sunny place to dry down further. Shell the peas and lay out the seeds in a well ventilated place away from direct sunlight for at least another few days to a week before storing for next year.