Pea – food facts

Peas are small, spherical fruit that grow in a pod that have been a staple for thousands of years.  Most peas are green, but some varieties are yellow. (Technically, peas are a fruit, since they develop from the ovary and contain the seeds.)

Related: Alfalfa, clover, beans, lentils, peanuts, & snow peas.

Harvest season in the LV: June

Growing conditions: Peas do well in full sun or partial shade, in soil that is high in organic matter, with a pH that is slightly alkaline. Soil nitrogen is not an issue because peas are legumes that fix nitrogen from the air and actually increase soil nitrogen.

Pollination: Peas benefit from insect pollination, but can also self-pollinate because plants contain both male & female flowers

Cooking/Preparation required: Usually eaten fresh or lightly steamed or boiled. Dried peas are often made into a hearty soup.

Fertilizers or pesticides: No fertilizers or pesticides are needed to grow peas. Domestic peas are usually low in pesticides, and they are on the EWG’s ‘Clean 15‘ list.
Note: some imported peas have dangerous levels of pesticides and are on the ‘Dirty Dozen+‘ list.

Nutrients: Peas are generally high in fiber, protein, vitamin A, B6, C, & K, plus important minerals.


Nutrient content can vary greatly depending on soil conditions, with organic methods and a soil rich in organic matter generally producing the best results.

‘Dirty Dozen’ or ‘Clean Fifteen’ ratings do not necessarily apply to produce grown on local farms — you need to check with the farmer to determine if and when any fertilizers or pesticides were applied.