Przebędówska Oliwkowa (Polish Pea)
Small olive-colored peas from the village of Przebędów, Poland. Truelove Seeds apprentices each chose ancestral seed varieties to steward this past year, and Zoe Jeka, digging into her Polish heritage, chose this lovely, diminuative Polish pea. She asked her grandmother to pronounce it for her until she herself learned to say it (and sing it). We first had it listed under the name Przebowska Oliwkowa, since that is how Glenn Drowns of Iowa spelled it in the Seed Savers Exchange Yearbook. However, there is a similarly named pea with a couple extra letters in the USDA GRIN collection, that was collected in Warsawa in 1963 called Przebedowska Oliwkowa, which means Przebędów Olive. Przebędów happens to be a village a few hours west of Warsawa where there is a plant breeding station focused on legumes, including peas. It sits on land that was taken by the State from German land-owners after WWII, and transformed into an agricultural research and breeding program. The station is now a part of the Hodowla Roślin Smolice company, which continues to breed and sell plants and seeds, using the slogan: "Good, because Polish". There doesn't seem to be mention of this pea after its initial collection in 1963, so perhaps American seed savers are preserving a long lost Polish variety that is the great grandparent of modern Polish pea varieties. Either way, we recommend you sing in Polish to these peas as you sow them, even if you only sing their own name to them.
Our initial seed was eight years old, in a packet shared by William Woys Weaver while he was deaccessioning old seed from his Roughwood Seed Collection.
Days to maturity: 65
Seeds per pack: 20
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.
Finally, Zoe and Grandma Ruthie: