Tag Archives: pea

Taylor Mini Pea Sheller Review

 

Taylor "Mini" Pea Sheller

Taylor “Mini” Pea Sheller

 

The Mini Sheller is a residential-to-small farm pea sheller machine for sale on a limited number of websites.  I’ve been looking over and testing an early production model in my office.  It is essentially a more affordable version of the light-commercial pea sheller, “The Little Sheller“.

 4-Pea-Shellers-02Mini

The Mini Pea Sheller (pictured middle) is clearly larger than the Electric Mr. Pea Sheller (left) and about 2/3 the size of big brother, the Taylor Little Sheller (right). The hand crank Mr. Pea Sheller (in hand) is pictured just for completeness.   The Mini Sheller will fit in a closet or on a shelf in the garage with ease.

First impressions

The Mini Sheller is very well built.  The all aluminum frame will never rust.  The 1/10 HP motor provides plenty of power.  I was really glad to see the adjustable rollers. The most expensive part of this pea sheller is the motor, if it goes it may be time to consider getting a new machine.  Fortunately, Taylor uses a high quality-American made- 105 volt (standard three-prong household current) 1/10 hp motor that is fan-cooled with thermal protection. There is a lot in that last sentence, so let’s break it down:

  • Is 1/10 Horsepower enough?

1/10 horsepower is more than enough for a bean sheller machine of this size.  It will not bog down under the heaviest of loads, not even crowder peas or butter beans.

  • Fan Cooled

An internal fan pulls hot air away from the motor.  Since this pea sheller machine is expected to be worked outside in hot and humid temperatures, the internal fan should keep things humming along.  We tested it under a simulated moderate load for 16 hours straight without any trouble. For safety though, there is a thermal sensor that will temporarily shut off the motor to protect it from overheating.   I was unable to trip it in my test runs.  However, it should be noted that once the motor temperature drops to a safe level, the motor will restart automatically unless it is turned off or unplugged!   So, in the most unlikely event that it does shut off from overheating, please be sure to unplug it from the wall or turn it off! It is a 3 pronged plug. For those of who don’t know, the third prong is a ground to prevent a electrical shock or fire in case of a short-circuit.

  • Aluminum Frame

The frame is smaller than the Little Sheller which provides for a sturdier machine. The aluminum frame will not rust, so it will withstand humid temperatures. Below is a side by side comparison of the Mini (left) and Little (right) Pea Sheller.

mini pea sheller vs taylor

All About The Rollerslittlepeashellerrollers

Most pea sheller rollers are designed to push the peas out the back of the pea pod.  The rollers on the Mini Sheller are specially designed to rip the hull down the seam and roll the peas out of the zipper.  This dramatically reduces bruising and increases yield. A lot of time and attention, trial-and-error, went into the material and texture of the Mini Sheller rollers.  If the material is too hard the rollers won’t grab the hull to pull them through, but if it is too soft, then the peas get mashed.  Texture, like tire trends, have a great deal to do with performance as well.  The speed of the rollers have been scientifically calculated for optimal yield as well.  If the rollers turn too fast the peas get mashed before they can safely exit the pod.  If the rollers are too slow, then the hull does not tear open and the peas get mashed.  This is just another example of the great detail that went into making this pea sheller machine. Unlike the Electric Mr. Pea Sheller, these rollers are easily adjustable for cow peas to butter beans.  It is recommended to make adjustments in 1/2 to 3/4 turn increments.

 

Safety First!

mini-pea-sheller-0010medThis is about as idiot-proof as a 50 year-old design is going to get.  There are 10’s of thousands of Little Sheller Pea machines in use, I’ve not heard of one serious accident.  Taylor really does give safety a high priority.  As with the Little Sheller, the Mini Sheller has metal guards on both sides of the rollers.  The guards are easy to put on and easy to adjust. There is also a belt guard which really stands out in the black plastic.  I like it much better than the metal belt guard on the Little Sheller.  Once installed it is unlikely that anyone would need to take it off as the belt will last decades even under heavy use. These guards are put into place to prevent any accidents involving belts and rollers.

Usage:

Some people want an instruction book the size of a novel, but here is the breakdown of use in the simplest form:

  • Step 1. Set Mini Sheller on a sturdy table.
  • Step 2. Plug-in to 3-prong properly wired outlet.
  • Step 3. Turn on
  • Step 4. Push peas length-wise until rollers grab the pea hulls.
  • Step 5. Repeat step 4 until complete.
  • Step 6. Turn off Mini Sheller.
  • Step 7. Unplug Mini Sheller from outlet.
  • Step 8. Clean with damp rag.
  • Step 9. Store in a closet or sturdy shelf.
  • Step 10. Brag about it to everyone you meet and tell them to get their own Mini Sheller at PeaSheller.net.

 

Pea Heart

Specs:

  • Overall Size: 23.5″L X 14.5″W X 10.5″H
  • Shelling Bed Size: 16.5″l X 8.5″W
  • Weight: 17.5 lbs
  • Motor: 1/10 hp (USA Made)
  • Construction: Aluminum body (verified domestic metal only)
  • Country: U.S.A.

Head on over to PeaSheller.net and order your very own! They always go fast when pea season hits, so don’t wait and miss out.

 

~Kerry Clabaugh

Growing Your Pea Garden Upside Down

If you have limited garden space or just want to try something new, growing your pea garden upside down can be a fun thing to try. Upside down container gardens not only enhance the beauty of your home, they serve many practical purposes as well. By letting roots grow in a hanging bucket filled with dirt, your bean plants can remain completely undisturbed by pests and weeds. Many gardeners have found that plants grown upside down actually end up producing more fruit than the same varieties grown on the ground.

peaplant

Peas are cool-weather annuals meaning that they can be planted and grown throughout mild cold weather. When your plants are about 3″ tall, transplant into your upside down planter. Water as needed. Peas don’t like heat, so let your upside planter work double duty. Plant herbs or annual flowers that crave full sun in the soil on top of your planter. This will provide your peas with shade and reduce moisture loss. Also, plant your pea garden in lighter color planters. Dark planters will absorb the heat and could cause your pea plants to grow and produce poorly.Beans

Due to the increasing popularity of planting upside down, you can find affordable upside down planters for sale at most major supermarkets. If you’d rather get creative and make your own, they are very easy to construct. Depending on the size you prefer, you can use everything from five-gallon plastic buckets to soda bottles. In this article from the New York Times, you can read more about growing peas upside down as well as the benefits of upside down gardening.

How To Make a Five-Gallon Bucket Pea Planter

1. Cut a small hole in the bottom of the bucket.
2. Place a baby pea plant through the hole and secure it in place with strips of newspaper.
3. Fill the bucket with a healthy soil and compost blend.
4. Tie ropes to the top of your bucket planter and hang it from your porch.

When your peas are ready for harvest, I recommend the Mr. Pea Sheller.

Mr. Pea Sheller

Mr. Pea Sheller

Compact and easily fit to most counter tops, this hand crank bean sheller will save your time and thumbs. You can check out my review as well.

~ Kerry Clabaugh

Freezing Your Peas

 

There is nothing quite as good as the sweet flavor of fresh peas straight from the garden. You can enjoy that same fresh taste year round by freezing them after they have been harvested. To retain the fresh flavor and tenderness, peas should be processed as soon as possible after they have been picked. Generally, a fresh bean should pop from the pod by twisting. Peas that are slimy or limp are too old to freeze. They will be rubbery and tasteless. If it is not possible to process the peas immediately after picking them, shelled peas can be put into the refrigerator or kept on ice for a few days. Peas in the pod do not deteriorate as quickly and can be kept in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Choosing the right peas also plays an important part in successful preparation. Pick out and discard any peas that are hard, slimy, or discolored. I find that the smaller the pea, the more tender and flavorful they are after freezing. Peas that are picked after maturity grow larger and have a tendency to become hard and bitter. Being choosy will yield much better results and tastier food.peaplant

Once peas have been shelled, wash them to remove any dirt or debris on them. This can easily be accomplished by using a colander. Place the peas into the colander and run cold water over them, gently stirring with your hands until they are clean.

 

The Blanching Process

 

Because peas are very high in natural sugar, they must be blanched before freezing. Blanching will prevent enzymes from turning the sugar into starch and spoiling the taste. Blanching is the process of heating them up quickly, which kills bacteria and stops enzyme production. This process also allows the peas to retain their color and nutrients. Peas that have been blanched can be frozen for 9 to 12 months before eating. Although it is not recommended, it is possible to freeze peas without blanching but they must be used within 4 weeks after freezing.

 

1. Fill a large pot with 1 gallon of water and bring to a rapid boil.
2.Place 1 pound of washed peas in a wire basket with handle and immerse basket in the boiling water and wait for the water to return to a boil.
3. Boil peas for 2 minutes.
4. Remove wire basket from the boiling water and immerse basket into a large container of water and ice for about 5 minutes. This will stop the cooking process.
5. Drain peas to remove as much moisture as possible.
6. Pack peas tightly into thick freezer bags or plastic freezing container. Remove as much air as possible.
7. Label each bag with the “type of pea” and “date of preparation”.
8. Freeze quickly to retain flavor and nutrients.
9. Enjoy.

Pea HeartNutritional Value

Besides being delicious, peas are an excellent source of nutrition. Nutrients found in a serving of peas include iron, fiber, calcium, protein, vitamins A and C, and digestive aids such as riboflavin.

If processed correctly, your peas will be hard to tell from fresh picked ones and their tender flavor can be enjoyed all winter.

 

If you need a helping hand while shelling your peas, I highly recommend the Taylor Bean Sheller machine. The Taylor Little Sheller can shell 3-4 bushels an hour. The Taylor Mini Sheller machine is about ⅔ the size of the Little Sheller, but is perfect for beginners or home gardens. You can also check out my review of the Taylor Little Sheller.

~Kerry Clabaugh