Peas and beans – legumes- have been staple crops since farming started. Before the introduction of the potato, peas and beans were one of the very few crops that could be easily stored to provide food over winter. Drying the crop didn’t require any technology. Processing just consisted of shelling – considerably easier than the processing required of grains.
Nowadays much is made of the high-fibre content of peas and beans, but their real benefit was in their high protein content. There was general view that vegetable protein was inferior, second class, in comparison to meat protein. Completely wrong, of course.
They’re also high in vitamins and minerals.
Easy to grow and ideal for seed saving, the pea and bean family were obviously an important crop both for farmers and home growers, digging for victory.
This dig for victory leaflet, the fourth in the series, ran over four dense pages. I’ve expanded from the 4 pages to 5 pages and broken the information between the pages slightly differently to aid readers by keeping sections together.