Little Marvel Pea Plant: Tips For Growing Little Marvel Peas
The Little Marvel Pea plant is one of the most popular and common vegetables in the world. They grow well in almost any soil conditions.
They have a long history of cultivation, but it was not until the 20th century that they became widely cultivated. Today, they are grown commercially in many countries around the world.
Little Marvel Pea plants are native to tropical Asia and Africa. They were introduced into Europe during the 19th century when European immigrants brought them with them from their home countries.
These plants thrived in England where they had been bred for resistance to cold temperatures and pests such as scale insects, fleas, mites and other diseases. However, because they were so successful in England, these plants soon spread throughout Europe.
In the United States, the first commercial production of Little Marvel Peas took place at the New York Botanical Garden in 1875. By 1900 there were over 2 million pounds produced annually!
Today, Little Marvel Pea plants are grown worldwide and are very popular all over the world. They make wonderful additions to salads or soups. They can also be eaten right off the vine when they are very young. They are high in protein, fiber and many important nutrients. Little Marvel Pea plants are a good source of magnesium, manganese, copper, Vitamin A, B6 and C. There is even some evidence that they lower cholesterol levels!
Little Marvel Peas grow well in most types of soil as long as it is well drained. They do need plenty of sunlight and lots of water.
These plants prefer warmer temperatures and should not be grown in areas where the temperature gets below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. The vines of this plant can grow to over 20 feet long so you will need to provide vertical space for them to grow (such as a fence or trellis).
In order to get the best yields from your Little Marvel Peas there are some things you can do:
Choose a location in full sun where the soil is well drained and has access to water. If your soil is very sandy, dig a hole and add some clay to improve the soil’s texture
Prepare the soil by plowing it to at least a depth of 12 inches. Add some aged manure or organic material such as grass clippings or compost if you have it.
This will increase the nutrient content of your soil and help to keep the soil moist.
Plant your Little Marvel Peas as soon as you can after purchase. You can also start them indoors (about 4 to 6 weeks before the last frost).
Make shallow holes with your finger and spread the seeds about 1 inch deep. Keep the soil moist but not waterlogged. Keep the seedlings at around 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Transplant them into individual pots after they develop their first set of leaves.
Space your Little Marvel Peas plants about 5 feet apart. You can grow them up a trellis or other structure to save space.
Pinch off the tips of the vines to encourage branching and to promote fuller growth.
Keep your Little Marvel Peas well watered at all times. Add some fertilizer to the soil if you can.
This will help keep the plants healthy, especially if you are growing them over the summer months.
Harvest your peas as soon as they are big enough to eat. You can grow them bigger but they are not as tasty if they get too large.
Beans (Phaseolus vulgaris)
Beans are a very ancient crop; evidence suggests that they were domesticated in the Andes Mountains (modern day Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador and Colombia) around 6,000 years ago. They spread around South and Central America and were a popular snack for the ancient peoples of Mexico (the word “bean” comes from a word in the Nahuatl language of Mexico).
They are a good source of protein, dietary fiber and several important vitamins and minerals.
There are three main types of beans that we grow in the United States: Bush Beans (which are also called Snap Beans or Green Beans), Pole Beans and Soy Beans.
All types do best in soil that is rich in organic matter, has a pH between 5.5 and 7.0 and has full sun.
Beans are not particularly particular about their water but they do need it. Keep them well watered and they will grow straight and strong. Beans grow best at temperatures between 75 and 90 degrees but will tolerate much hotter days as long as the nights are still around 60 degrees.
All types of beans are easy to grow and are classified as a “short life cycle” plant. This means that they generally take about 45 to 60 days from planting to harvest.
Beans are not particularly particular about their soil, nor are they fussy about the amount of sunlight they receive. They can grow in just about any temperate environment as long as a few basic needs are met.
There are three main types of Beans: Bush Beans, Pole Beans and Soy Beans.
Most people are familiar with Bush Beans (also called Snap Beans or Green Beans). These are the types of beans that you typically find in grocery stores for cooking in stews or making into the ever-popular “Bean Bake” casserole.
They are short, dwarf plants that don’t grow much taller than your knee and have tasty pods full of succulent jelly-like flesh.
Pole Beans, also known as Runners or Italian Beans, are a different story altogether. These grow on vines that are much longer and require something to climb on (they will even climb up on some sorts of fences or other structures).
Pole Beans can reach a length of over six feet and have long, flat green pods with seeds inside.
Soy Beans are the last major type of bean. These grow as tall as the Pole Types but have a thicker stem and broader leaves.
Their pods are a little bit longer than the Pole types and are generally a bit tougher to digest.
All three types of beans can be eaten at different stages of development. For instance, younger bean pods are more tender and have better flavor than their older counterparts.
Younger beans are called “snap beans” due to the fact that they are crisp and easy to “snap” when bent.
Green Snap Beans are ready to pick 54 to 62 days after the seeds have sprouted. They should be picked every other day while they are still young and tender.
They can also be allowed to reach full maturity; this will cause them to become tough and fibrous, but they will keep for weeks in self-sealing containers.
When they are allowed to grow past their prime they make good soup beans or baked beans (a traditional breakfast with bacon and maple syrup). In some regions, they are allowed to dry fully and the seeds are stripped from the pods; these beans are then dried and eaten like nuts.
The seeds can also be allowed to grow even longer and made into bird seed.
The flowers of Pole Beans are actually edible as well. They can be boiled and eaten as a side dish or made into a delicious soup.
They can also be made into a type of sweet candy.
The Soy Bean is the least commonly eaten of the bean family. It has a high fat content and is very nutritious, but it has a peculiar flavor that only a few seem to acquire a taste for.
In China it is used in many different types of cooking and even in making beer!
Now that you know all about beans, how to prepare them and how to eat them, the next step is to plant some! Remember that different types of beans require different amounts of time to grow so be sure to choose the right ones for your environment and needs!
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Back to the beginning…
Beef is probably the most common meat that you will eat during the Survival Challenge. It’s pretty easy to raise yourself and there are many different ways of preparing it.
While you may not have much experience with butchering, you will learn fairly quickly…
The first thing that you need to do if you wish to eat good beef is to raise your own cattle. You may choose to purchase cattle or you may choose to steal some.
If you choose to purchase them, you will need to have money. If you choose to steal them, you will need to be fairly stealthy and possibly fend off guard dogs (or kill them if they’re threatening you or the cattle). It’s up to you.
Once you have your cattle you need to take care of them for at least a year. This means making sure they have proper sustenance (grains, hay, water, etc), medical attention if needed and shelter from extreme weather conditions.
You may also need to clear trees and shrubbery in order to give them room to roam.
After at least a year has passed you will finally be able to harvest some beef. Slaughtering the cattle is actually an easy process.
All you really need is a sharp knife. The most difficult part of the process is going to be dragging the dead carcasses back to your house (or somewhere else for storage/transport). If you have a large family or plan to sell some of the meat you may want to think about getting a horse and cart for transport.
Once you’ve butchered the cattle you’ll finally be knee deep in dead cow. It’s at this point that you can start taking the carcasses and begin cutting them up into pieces that you can then cook or preserve.
It’s one thing to raise cattle and butcher them, but it’s a whole other art form to actually cook the meat so that it tastes good. Lucky for you, we have included some popular recipes that you may choose to use.
Or, you can try to experiment on your own.
Note: The recipes below do not include instructions on how to properly butcher the cow or prepare the cuts of meat.
Steak – Probably the most well known dish on this list, steak is just a piece of beef that has been cooked by frying, grilling, or some other form of cooking that results in the outside being cooked while keeping the inside red (or dark red) and very juicy.
Boiled Beef – Another fairly simple recipe, boiled beef is just what it sounds like. Beef that has been boiled in water.
It can be served on its own or with other ingredients such as cabbage, carrots, potatoes, etc.
Stir Fried Beef – This recipe for beef is commonly found in Asian restaurants and usually consists of slices of beef that have been marinated in a mixture of soy sauce, wine, garlic and other spices.
Corned Beef – This is a recipe that usually comes about when you have an abundance of beef but not enough salt to preserve it. The meat is treated with large amounts of salt and often saltpeter (potassium nitrate) as well to help preserve it.
It’s usually soaked in the brine for weeks before cooking.
Sausage – Probably one of the oldest recipes on this list, sausage is simply ground pork or beef (or other meat) mixed with spices and stuffed into a casing (usually made from the animal’s intestines).
Burgers – Probably one of the newer entries on this list, burgers are just patties made from either ground beef or sometimes ground pork. They are usually fried on a grill but sometimes they can be baked or even grilled.
Condiments (ketchup, mustard, cheese, mushrooms, onions, etc) are served on the side so that each person can add as little or as much as they want.
Boned Beef – Boned beef is prepared from a cut of beef that has had the bone removed. This type of meat tends to be slow cooked and is often served in casserole dishes or in stews.
Grilled Beef – This is just beef that has been grilled or barbecued. It is often served as a sandwich or sometimes even on a bed of lettuce with some other ingredients.
Roast Beef – This is one of the most common beef recipes in which a boneless cut of beef is cooked by roasting it in an oven. It is often basted with oil and herbs before cooking.
Beef Stew – This beef recipe is self-explanatory. Large chunks of beef are cooked in a stewing liquid (usually water) for several hours until the meat is very tender and can be cut with a spoon.
Of course, these are just some of the many many recipes that can be made with beef. If you have your own recipe that you’d like to share, please feel free to send it in and we’ll give you credit for it.
Different Ways To Cook Beef
Now that you know how to pick out the right cuts of meat and even what some of your favorite beef recipes are, let’s take a look at some different ways to cook your meat.
We won’t go into too much detail here (you can always look up individual recipes for more detailed instructions), but we will cover some of the basics that apply to most cuts of meat.
Marinating – Marinating is a method of infusing your meat with flavor before cooking it. It is based on the same principal as soaking wood in water: the flavor of the liquid (in this case various spices and liquids) is drawn into the meat.
Marinating should be done in a sealed plastic bag or submerged in a glass container. It should only be marinated for a couple of hours at most or the flavor will overpower the meat.
Grilling – Grilling, unlike barbecuing, is a quick cook process. It requires the meat to be cooked quickly at a high temperature.
You can either cook it on a grill or, if you don’t have one, you can just use a heavy iron pan. A heavy iron pan will work just as well and will impart the same flavors into the meat but won’t give it that traditional grilled taste and look.
Warming Up – This isn’t really a cooking method so much as an important step before cooking. All meat, unless it’s frozen, should be taken out of the fridge a few hours before you plan on cooking it.
This is so that it reaches room temperature and thus won’t not be cooked evenly. For example, if you put a steak directly from the fridge on to a hot pan, the outside would cook before the inside resulting in a tough piece of meat. By taking it out of the fridge a few hours before cooking, the whole piece of meat will be more evenly cooked.
Cooking Methods – Different types of meat should be cooked differently for various reasons.
Chicken and Turkey – Both chicken and turkey are designed to be eaten while still very moist. They also have little fat content, so they can easily become burnt and dry when cooked incorrectly.
They should be cooked slowly at a lower temperature. This can be either in the oven or on the stove top.
Red Meat – Red meat, such as steak, is best cooked at a higher temperature for a shorter period of time. This helps to keep the meat tender and juicy.
Oven cooking is not recommended as the constant basting and opening of the oven can let out a lot of heat, causing your meal to take longer to cook and drier out.
Pork – Should be cooked slowly at a lower temperature.
Fish – There are many different types of fish and they all have different levels of fat content. Shellfish, such as shrimp and crabs, have the least fat and should always be cooked quickly, either in a very hot pan or in the oven.
White fish and salmon have slightly more fat and can be cooked at a medium temperature. Finally, fish with high fat content, such as tuna and mackerel, can be cooked at a lower temperature. Oven cooking is not recommended for fish due to its low fat content, as constant opening of the oven can cause it to dry out.
Mincing/ Chopping – Mincing is when you cut or chop up the meat into very small pieces. This is done when you want the flavor of the meat to be spread evenly throughout the meal.
For example, if you were making spaghetti sauce, you would want to mince the garlic and onion before cooking it for a long time. If you were making a chili or any other dish where whole pieces of vegetables are included, it is best not to mince. Instead, chop the ingredients into small pieces.
Searing – Searing is a cooking technique in which outside of the meat is browned by exposure to intense heat. This is usually done right before cooking the meat any other way.
Browning the outside of the meat adds flavor and appearance to the meal. A good example of this is a steak.
When you sear meat, you usually start off at a high temperature just until the outside of the meat has browned. Then you turn the temperature down to finish cooking the meat until it’s done.
Grilling – Grilling is a cooking technique in which food is cooked on a grill over a heat source. This can be over coals of wood or, in the case of a gas or electric grill, with the aid of electricity.
Grilling is popular for meat and vegetables.
Grilling can be done on either a backyard grill or on a stove top grill pan. Either way, the important thing to remember is to leave enough space between the food so that the heat can get in and cook the food from all sides.
Another popular grilling technique is barbecuing. Barbecuing is a very involved process of cooking in which meat is cooked slowly with the aid of wood and smoky flavor.
It usually involves more time than just grilling due to the low temperatures.
Grilling can be done using just about any heat source, but the most popular is over hardwood coals. To get the most out of your wood, you should soak it in water for at least an hour before putting it under the grill.
This keeps the fire going longer and adds a smoky flavor to the meat. It is important that you keep a spray bottle of water on hand while the meat is cooking. This is to put out any flames that come up from the wood. After 10-20 minutes, you can start grilling your meat.
Grilled chicken: This is done by cutting the chicken into pieces and marinating it in a mixture of oil, salt, pepper, rosemary, and any other spices you like for at least 1 hour. After marinating, the chicken is then put onto skewers (if you are using them) before being grilled.
Grilled vegetables: This is done by cutting up vegetables into pieces and marinating them in oil, salt, and pepper. After marinating for at least 1 hour, they are then put onto the grill and cooked.
– Meat that is boiled is basically just thrown into boiling water and cooked until it floats to the top. This is a very simple way of cooking meat and is especially good for tough meats that have a lot of bones in them.
Steaming – Steaming is a technique in which food is suspended over boiling water, but not in it. This keeps the food from really getting touched by the water and leaking out its flavor and moisture.
The steaming process takes less time than boiling, but more time than any other method of cooking.