I've been working on this project for 5 years. My original goal was to develop a red podded sugar snap pea. I may still get there. I may have to start over to get all the traits I want into a single plant. I've passed up lots of great snow peas, in shades of green, yellow, and purple. I've passed up great sugar snap peas in shades of green and purple. I passed up a snow pea that had pods that were absolutely huge (wishing I would have kept that one). I think that I collected something like 7 seeds from my manual crossing of the two pea varieties.
I planted those and got 291 seeds in the second generation. I planted about half of them, and gave the other half away. It was hard to do proper screening that year because the colors of the pods changed between the time they were fresh peas and the time they dried enough to harvest. So much of the seed got collected in bulk and I couldn't do a proper screening for red-podded.
I collected about a pint of seed. Planted 1/3 of it, gave away 1/3, and am storing the rest as a backup archive.
The next year I took surveyor tape into the garden, and flagged the red-podded peas. I took markers into the garden and wrote on the peas what type they were: soup peas, sugar snap peas, or snow peas... I collected only seed that I think was from red-podded plants, ignoring any that were green, yellow, or purple. That single cross could have provided a lifetime of work, and hundreds of new varieties of peas if someone had pursued them... I can't get rid of the nagging feeling that I misplaced my best seed during the winter. Whatever...
So this spring, I've planted what I think are the best of the best. The red-podded sugar snap trait is the most recessive of the possible offspring of this cross. I still haven't recovered that trait. Perhaps this will be the year it shows up. Perhaps I'll have to make another cross to recover it. Perhaps someone that I shared seed with will discover the holy grail of this project.
I call them a soup pea if they are not good for anything else: not sugar-snap, not snow-pea, not shelling pea. So they get dried and eaten in soups. They are currently a great soup pea, and a fantastic decorative pea. It would be nice to achieve the red-edible-podded trait this year in snow-peas and/or sugar/snap peas.