Winter Field Peas
Hardy peas have found a new use as a winter salad ingredient, and renewed interest in their traditional role as a winter cover crop.
As a vegetable, they are grown for the tender tips. Very expensive at the grocery store, but easy and high-yielding at home. Just cut the last 4" or so of the growing vines, and use for salad and light cooking. Wonderful sweet pea flavor. Can be sown thickly in the garden, in pots or indoors on a window sill for repeated cuttings of tips
As a cover crop, sow thickly a month before frost. Often mixed with other cover crop seeds like oats or wheat (which helps keep them off the ground). In zones 7 and above, they will survive the winter. In colder zones, peas and oats or radishes are used to cover the soil and then freeze out, providing a protective mulch that doesn't have to be removed in spring.