When you say pea, it means quite different things to different people. I might think of the fresh pods to be shelled for those succulent green peas. You might think of an edible pod pea, mange tout, where you eat the whole thing. Another might think of a snow pea, also edible but more a flat vegetable in Asian cooking. But in most of the world pea means the dried pea that is an essential part of the peasant diet since at least 4000 BC. All peas have an immature, edible phase, but it has only been in the last 500 years that green peas and snap peas and edible pod peas have been developed as a separate crop. Dry peas like split peas are shelled from mature pods.
Peas are eaten raw, boiled, steamed, sauted, etc. Dried peas can be used in soups, stews, pureed, ground into flour, and fermented. Un-roasted pea flour can be used in sauces, pastes, and stews. Roasted seeds can be a substitute for coffee. Flowers can be eaten in salads. Young leaves and shoots can be used as a potherb. Peas can also be sprouted.
Plant in spring as soon as ground can be worked--seedlings will take frost--and again 2 months before fall frosts. Two or three sowings at 10-day intervals insure against weather, rot, or wildlife losses. (chicken wire or row covers will shield seeds and
sprouts from birds) Provide good drainage (especially in cold spring soils), plenty of lime, phosphorus and potash, adequate water, and innoculant in soils that have not grown garden legumes recently. All peas are vines: "bush" peas are short vines and will still benefit from some support. Pea plants can self-pollinate.
C/Matures 8-11/Harvest 12/Yield 25-106(shelled)/Spacing
Bush 3", Pole 4"