Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Peas and shanties

(Peas make me think of sea shanties)
Every time I check on my peas, I get snippets of an old sea shanty called "Hogeye Man" running through my head. A hogeye is a kind of barge, so a hogeye man is one of its sailors. Apparently, this is one of the smuttier versions of the song in print and audio; various other versions were sadly deemed too blue for posterity.
And Sally's in the garden, pickin' peas,
Her long golden hair hangs down to her knee
(With a hogeye,
Railroad navvy, with a hogeye
Row ashore with a hogeye, oh
She wants a hogeye man.)
And Sally's in the garden, shellin' peas,
Her little hogeye a-sittin' on her knee
( )
And Sally's in the garden, makin' duff,
The cheeks of her arse go chuff, chuff, chuff
( )
I have always wondered about the "chuff, chuff, chuff" bit of the song. Awfully audio-visual, isn't it?
I think peas don't like me. Last year, I got about 6 pods, and bitter, miserable little things they were, too.
This year so far, I've counted only a few flowers. Soon enough, it will be too hot for peas, so this is not promising. I planted as I was told- even added sharp sand to the planter and dug it in for better drainage. Two years of trying and failing with peas may be the maximum failure rate for me. I'm going to erect shadecloth once it gets hot, and see if I can't extend their sad little lives.
Anybody have good luck with peas in pots? Maybe containers are not their scene. And it could be that I just can't plant enough for a reasonable pea harvest. At this rate, I'll never have enough peas to shell while sitting in my garden, wearing a blond wig, and chuffing. Oh, wait, that's with the duff. What the heck is duff, anyway?


Margo said...

I think your 'duff' *is* your arse. So if you're making chuff noises...I'm not going there.

:D that is really funny though.
Sorry no help on peas with containers: I just stuck mine in the container, watered, and they grew. Not vigorously, but fine & edible. It was on a 2nd story porch though, w/ all day sun. Maybe that's part of it? lots of wind/cooling?

Rabbits' Guy said...

Peas ... like it cool. Do NOT like nitrogen, they make it. But they are surely photogenic! You might try growing the snap or sugar peas, the kind where you eat the whole pod before the peas get very big.

Duff ... when you mow your lawn and the grass is tall, the stuff laying around gets brown and that is called duff.

Verde said...

Educational song, kind of sticks. Peas do well here but maybe they aren't container plants? Mine are just breaking the soil and got frosted last night. I don't expect it will hold them back.

My family consumes so many in the picking that no matter how many I plant they rairly make it to the dinner table, let alone the freezer. I should have included them in my post on breakfast foods.

The Barber Bunch said...

I have never heard that song.
I got no idea on chuff or duff.

Thanks for sharing.


Ian said...

A duff is also an old English steamed pudding made with flour and suet. Most notably, Plum Duff is made with currants and raisins. So she was probably just making a pudding!

ilex said...

Thanks very much for solving the mystery of the duff. I'm guessing the pudding is correct- because making pud is woman's work, and there were an awful lot of English sailors, what with the Empire and all.

This version of the song is from a great shanty group from Baltimore called The Boarding Party- the album is called "'Tis Our Sailing Time". Sadly, the group leader died in the mid 90's and the group disbanded. I heard them sing on several occasions when I lived back East. They were mesmerizing. None of the members were professional singers, so the shanties had an authentic presentation. Their research on the songs was impeccable- Boarding Party concerts were equal parts lecture and music. I have the above recording; I think they made three albums.

L.Bo Marie said...

guess what I got tonight??????

Rabbits' Guy said...

Let's see .. we have a big group, The Shifty Singers that do similar! They have the kids songs and then the adult songs!

Did you tell us about the Oprah article in April about the Urban Gardens in Detroit? I just happened to see it ... is Detroit really going back to green-fields and gardens as described? cool.