It’s pea-planting time in Maine, and Ronna Lugosch is busy doing her part in her studio and shop on Route 1 in Edgecomb. Lugosch is an artist, not a farmer, and her “peas” are colorful pearls or gemstones “planted” in sterling silver or 14K gold pods that she turns into pendants, bracelets and earrings.

To celebrate spring, Lugosch has transformed a jewelry case in her store into a miniature farm, made with real soil and planted with her dyed pearls.

Her most popular piece is the Mother’s Peapod, filled with brightly colored Birthpearls (she’s trademarked the name) or gemstones that match the color of children’s birthstones. Most pods contain from one to five “peas.” The pieces are made ahead and take just 10 minutes to personalize with the appropriately colored pearls. “Basically people choose what they want, and we finish it while they’re here,” Lugosch said.

Lugosch, who lives in Round Pond, started making the Mother’s Peapods in the 1980s and has since expanded into many other designs, including a dove that “brings peas on Earth” and several nautical pieces, such as lobster buoys, anchors, boats and lighthouses.

She recently made an oyster pod, and plans to design a scallop shell as well.

Prices vary widely depending upon the materials used and the design, but a sterling pendant with three pearls and a 16- or 18-inch chain costs $145. Sterling earrings with two pearls are $165. D. Cole Jewelers in Portland’s Old Port carries Lugosch’s designs or you can buy them at her Edgecomb store or on her website at

While Maine peas aren’t usually ready to be harvested until the Fourth of July, we’re willing to bet Rugosch’s crop will be “ripe” in plenty of time for Mother’s Day.

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