Peas didn't do well this year. The plants just fell over and died. I think their root systems must be sensitive to waterlogging. On the other hand my asparagus peas did well. Are they more flood resistant? Did I just happen to plant them in a well-drained spot? Who knows?
So what are asparagus peas anyway? They're one of those vegetables you never see in the shops. They're an exclusive privilege of vegetable growers, like cardoons and tomatillos. They must be closely related to peas as they look and behave much the same. But when the pretty flowers set, they form a long cylindrical pod with four weird-looking wings.
You steam them whole, a bit like mange-tout. The taste is delicious and delicate. Some people say it resembles asparagus, but I'm not sure about that. It's jolly nice, anyway. You have to pick them when they are only tiny, because otherwise they become inedibly tough and chewy. Sadly I learned that the hard way, after flinging a bunch of them into a mixed bean stew. The whole stew had to be composted. It tasted really good, too, apart from the woody asparagus peas.
I think I'll grow these again, if only as an insurance policy against floods wiping out my peas. But I'll remember to pick them more often.