Monday, 27 June 2016

The Asparagus Pea

The Asparagus Pea

Often you'll hear "alternative" gardeners and Permaculture people either rave or put forward the idea that growing Asparagus Pea is a good way of adding diversity and sustainability to the food we eat. Another good food source that also looks pretty in the garden.

Utter tosh!

We have just grown, harvested, and tried to eat a modest crop.
This one, for the purpose of a photo is about twice the recommended size for eating. Pick them while they are about 1 inch in length I read.

I picked them big and small and tried them raw. A better test would be to cook them but within the same minute that they entered our mouths to try they then hit the bin!

I had known what to expect as I watched a Youtube video of a serious gardener showing a lovely looking crop in a raised bed. He then went on to explain that once grown the best thing to do with Asparagus pea is to rip it up and plant something else.

I concur. Texture similar to cardboard and no taste. What a waste as a food crop. They are quite pretty though. Been there done that, and have learnt by the mistake.


  1. I read someone somewhere describe them as being like a cluster of cardboard razorblades. I have to admit I didn't like them either. Supposedly there is a good time to pick them, but I never found it.

    Same thing for honeyberries. They're OK I suppose, but small and sharp. If you grow a blackberry you'll have 20 times as much fruit and it'll taste better.

    I think I've tried most obscure fruits and a smaller number of vegetables now and most of them are unfortunately obscure for a reason.

  2. I forgot to say. I do like the flowers of asparagus pea and it's quite a compact plant. Perhaps it has a future as an ornamental?

  3. The Asparagus Pea is a nice ornamental one, but so are many many others. For me, normal peas and Mange Tout are better ornamental ones than Asparagus, because you also get a crop.

    I wanted a Honey berry. You just put me off :)

    The video I watched about the Asparagus has the bloke saying that Asparagus Pea has been around for 5,000 years, there's a reason it hasn't caught on.

  4. Thanks for sharing your experience. Will cross that one off my list :).

    1. So far, for food, I've been disappointed with anything "different" I've tried. The traditional food plants, with taste, ease of growing and ease of harvesting always win for me because the "others" lack one or more of these basic requirements.