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Cowpeas

Posted by macmex 6b (My Page) on
Thu, Oct 19, 06 at 11:32

Hey folks,

This was our first year of gardening here in Oklahoma and a learning experience indeed. Our soil seems pretty fertile, though there is plenty of rock to remove in order to work it. Heat is both a challenge and a wonderful resource as I see it. We went through about 36 days of triple digit temps, which pretty much put some of my squash down for the count. But some things, like watermelon, okra and sweet potatoes went bananas, producing wonderfully. We had some drought this summer and both tomatoes and beans languished. That is, most beans languished. I planted three varieties of cowpea, all of which Ive grown, on and off, since at least 1995. One, Georgia Long, is a yard long bean. It struggled more than I expected. But perhaps this was due to marginal soil conditions and a late planting.

However, I was super impressed with the other two cowpeas, which are more conventional varieties, in that they are half runners and have pods about 8-9 inches long. I planted these in mid June. Real drought started in July. Yet both varieties flourished. They were so beautiful to see, as the didnt seem at all stressed by our conditions.

I planted Penny Rile, and heirloom I received from Harold R. Martin in Hopkinsville, KY, back in 1995. This was an heirloom from his family and I recall him telling me how his family depended heavily upon it during the depression, as it never let them down, producing abundant crops of seed. They would pull the vines and stash them in the barn, threshing them later for food. Ive grown it in Hidalgo, Mexico, where it did exceedingly well, and now, here in Oklahoma. I planted it alongside a row of corn, a week before it started to tassel. It started out like a bush bean, but later in the season, when the corn was dried down, I noticed that it began to climb (up to about 3 feet). It flowered and set a nice set of pods. I intend to grow this one in more quantity next year, as I can see it as a wonderful thing to plant between the rows of corn, shading the ground and crowding out weeds. On top of this, I tried the pods, for the first time, as snaps. They are good for snaps! So this variety will likely prove a useful, productive variety for snap, shell and dry beans.

Here are a couple of pictures of Penny Rile growing and its seed.
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The other variety is actually a landrace mix from a Totonac Indian village in the Mexican state of Puebla. My family and I have eaten these many times, in the form of bean tamales, given to us by friends from this village. They just called them Pintitos (spotted). I introduced the variety to the Seed Savers Exchange, dubbing it Zongozotla Pintitos. "Zongozotla" is the name of the village. They are "spotted" only when the seed mix is altogether in a bowl. Some seeds are white/tan and some are black. Unfortunately, since my seed was older, I harvested a disproportionately high percentage of white/tan seed. Next year Ill have to work on getting things more in balance. This variety, too, turned out to be suitable for snaps. It seems to sprawl more than Penny Rile. Ill have to be careful not to get any of these seeds mixed and also, to grow them with a good deal of isolation distance between them. Zongozotla Pintitos needs work before I can reoffer it. But Penny Rile can be purchased at Sandhill Preservation Center. I wonder how many other cowpeas can be used for snaps? Cowpeas have such potential for food, cover crops and soil improvement.

George
Tahlequah, OK


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Cowpeas

Thanks for the interesting report on the "cow peas" George.

Having been raised on a farm many years ago, I remember them as a staple of farm life, for eating fresh, canning, saving dried peas for seed and feed etc. Different parts of the country have different lingos as well as accents, but those in your last picture remind me of the ones that we called "cream" peas, which were slightly smaller and a little less round than the crowder peas.

My favorites were always Black eyed peas and purple hulled peas. All that we raised were very proflific in relatively poor ground, thrived in the heat and drought where many other plants threw in the towell and were valued as hay somewhat similar to the way peanut hay was.

I planted a row of blackeyed peas about 70 ft long in my garden this year and they produced well and were delicious. When I thought they were about through producing, I mowed most of the row down, leaving only about 30 or 35 feet where there were three and four pods on each stem (I thought a little unusual and very productive and wanted to save seed from those.) They surprised me somewhat by the fact that the portion of the row that I mowed kept trying to grow back, and the portion that I did not mow kept on producing several more flushes of peas.

Some of the information on those (and a few pictures, of course) in addition to a couple of pictures of the nitrogen nodules on the roots of legumes like peas and beans, (which gives them value as soil builders) can be found in the thread that I have linked below.
Bill P.

Here is a link that might be useful: Thread mentioned above


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RE: Cowpeas

  • Posted by peggy_g Melbourne,Fl Z9 (My Page) on
    Thu, Oct 19, 06 at 18:24

My favorite is Zipper Cream as their thick pod is resistant to curculio damage. I love all types; which varieties you find suffer the least from curculio damage. I often loose 50% of my crop when these weivel bugs lay eggs in the peas. I'd love to know specific varieties. Thanks for any information!


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RE: Cowpeas

Peggy, it seems to me that many insects and diseases are particular to certain areas. I just never have much problems at all with raising black eyed or purple hulled peas. Very few things bother them much at all, this past year there were some of those little black ants trying to get colonized on them till I disrupted their plans, and a new bug in our area that I had never seen before. It looked kinda like a big ant, but did very little dammage, mostly seemed to want to suck juices out of the stems. We had kind of a strange year weather wise but the only thing that I had to use for insect control was some dawn dishwashing liquid mixed with water in a little hand held spray bottle. I do believe that a flock of sparrows that hung out in the garden helped to control the insects also, until the very hot weather and leaf footed stink bugs hit. I guess that they do not like the taste of them.

I posted the picture of the bug described above a couple of times but never had any one reply that knew what it was. this is what it looked like.
Bill P.


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RE: Cowpeas

George, If I didn't know better I would have thought you copied my pictures. I started taking pictures of my veggies this year to keep a record of things like bloom color plant size pod color seed characteristics etc. The pictures I took of the peas were identical to yours. I used an old enamel ware plate with some shelled peas and some pods and a bloom. I would show them but I have problems showing pics. Can you tell me how you show a picture in the message vice showing a link which I can do . Rodger


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RE: Cowpeas

Rodger, I looked, hoping that I had saved the instructions that Gonefishing sent me earlier this year and unfortunately I don't have them anymore. Will write you offline, later, when I can compile some for you. Perhaps Bill P. still has a copy of what he sent me...?


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RE: Cowpeas

Sure thing. Just click on the link below then when the picture of the text comes up, roll the cursor over it and when you see the little magnifying glass with the + in it, click that to enlarge the text so that you can read it. You could probably print it out.

Photobucket has one new feature since I wrote those instructions relating to resizeing the pictures. They now have a little drop down menu after you click on EDIT and one of those choices in it is for "MESSAGEBOARD", which is the one that I now select.

I hope that helps and if you have further questions, don't hesitate to ask them.
Bill P.

Here is a link that might be useful: Posting pictures


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RE: Cowpeas

Okay heres my try at a picture. The top left is Black Crowder, Lower left Tennessee Crowder Left jar Civil war Clay pea Right jar piggott family pea, center Johnny's red Butter bean, lower right Black Butter bean
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RE: another question

The only other question is will the image stay on GW if it is deleted off photobucket?. And I have to add another picture. This shows Chicken and Dumpling crowder with the Black Crowder
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RE: Cowpeas

Nice pictures Rodger!

No, this is hot linking where the link provided takes a reader/viewer directly to your Photobucked account to see the picture. They are not stored on G.W.

If you even move a picture around on Photobucked, it breaks the link and the picture will no longer be visable on G.W.

I have three Photobucket accounts with 500 + or - pictures in each one, but the photos that I posted links to a couple of years back still show up like they should.
Bill P.


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RE: Cowpeas

Yeah, georgeous collection of peas and beans.

I guess I can't be considered a real southerner, despite my heritage, since I've yet to taste a fresh cowpea. Someday, when I get to do more than six weeks in a southern garden, I'll correct that lacking!


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RE: Cowpeas

Beautiful "peas" Rodger. More heirloom acquisitions from the AHSC?

This year was my first real success with cowpeas, growing "MN 157" (an early purple-podded) & "Fagiolino Dolico Venito" (a half-runner blackeye). I've had success before with peas started in pots, and I always start Yardlongs that way; but these were both direct-seeded, and matured fully with plenty of time to spare. Very encouraging... I've got photos of them on my cell phone (of all places), haven't figured out how to get them onto my computer yet.

Doesn't mean I'm going to get cocky, however... most of the peas & limas pictured here will probably never succeed in my short Wisconsin summers (several humbling experiences to prove it). I think that for the most part, cowpeas & limas (and peanuts) will remain a joy best experienced by those in warmer climes. Still, you can't blame a dyed-in-the-wool "bean freak" for trying! If it wasn't for my grandchildren, I'd move further south. ;-)


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RE: Cowpeas

I'm hooked on the posting pictures thing now. None of the seed in these pictures are from past AHSC swaps some are from John Coykendal thru SSE others local heirlooms or GW trades. Zeedman I know peas need heat to grow but most produce dry seed in less than 8weeks so I would think you shouldn't have trouble growing them the limas however need heat and alonger growing period. Here is a picture of a pinkeye lima
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This picture is another assortment of seeds mostly cowpeas in the back. I took this picture for a local magazine article I wrote on Heirloom gardening.
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RE: Cowpeas

Hey Rodger! Wonderful pictures! Here's a question for you, since you obviously grow a fair number of cowpeas: are very many of them suitable for snaps? I used to grow more when living in Mexico. I didn't keep record on this, but seem to recall that some are not good for snaps. I saved seed from a cross of Black Crowder and Georgia Long (which has the long vines of a yard long bean) because it made a good snap. But this year, with Penny Rile, I was taken by how the pods were tender for a good long while.

George


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RE: Cowpeas

"I'm hooked on the posting pictures thing now."

That's good. Keep 'em coming. You're an artist with that camera, Rodger.

Jim


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RE: Cowpeas

Rodger, do you know of any good ground for sale? I want cowpeas and dry-corn like that.

I gotta have the live-oaks, though.


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RE: Cowpeas

George, as you probably know peas ripen over night. If picked green it is impossible to shell no matter how full the pods are. Peas are picked when the pods turn from green to either purple cream or yellow. This seem to happen overnight. When the majority are ripe we pick all the peas maybe 10% are dry and 10% are green the remaining are perfect to shell. The dry I set aside for seed or for use as a dry pea the ripe peas are shelled and the green are used as snaps mixed in with the shelled. I have not come across a pea that we didn't mix in some snaps with the shelled peas. They are tenderest when the peas have not filled out ie showing bulges if when I snap them and they are not crisp and make a clean break I try to shell out the peas or just toss them to the chickens because they will be stringy and wont go through the sheller right. I have not keep any records of varieities better suited for this and I have also not eaten all the peas I have grown, mainly because some I had so few seed initially I let all go to seed. Hope this answers your question. And again I cann't resist, here is a pea which shows a good snap. I told you george you copied my idea for using a white plate.
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and one more for contrast these are a Butter Bean which was my Grandmas favorite. I don't have her original seed they were lost decades ago but I found another from the same area in northern Ala.
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RE: Cowpeas

I gather then that we may be able to assume that the information on posting pictures may have been of a slight benefit in enableing you to get started posting your pictures.

We have always just used a few of the immature peas to snap if snaps were desired in with the shelled peas. That normally works well and they are tender enough and usually without any strings.

The variety of cow peas that I am familliar with are pretty easily shelled when they are mature and fully filled out, and before they begin to dry, and even easier to shell or thresh out after drying.

P.N. I do not know what stores in your area carry, but here we can find "Bush Blackeyed peas with (or without) snaps" on the aisle with the majority of other vegetables. They are not quite as good as what you can grow in the garden, but generally pretty darned good. Let me know if you can not find any and/or want a couple of cans and I could probably ship them to you so you could try them. Or perhaps your grocer could request and stock some for you.
Just my early morning thoughts.
Bill P.

Hey Roger, how bout posting a picture of your pea sheller so we can see what it looks like and how it works ?
Bill P.


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RE: Cowpeas

Well, thanks for the offer, Bill. I'm not sure if they have canned black-eyd peas at the local groceries here - tell the truth, I've never looked. I doubt it, as cowpeas are not popular in the north. We have cooked them from dry a few times. I don't like them quite so well as cooked dry beans.

Anyhow, I've always wondered how they taste fresh at snap stage, like fresh english peas. The canned ones you mention are put up at that stage?


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RE: Cowpeas

I don't know what your talking about. Posting pictures is childs play. Who needs instructions. Bill I bought this pea sheller last year for around $48 with shipping. It works wonders. Not only Will it shell peas in the shelly stage and dry but dry beans which are a royal pain to shell and dry limas I have not tried fresh Limas but the instructions state that it will do them. A wonderful tool. Rodger
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting


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RE: Cowpeas

I found Sylvia's brand canned field peas (cow peas) both with and without snaps at Stop and Shop in Massachusetts.

Jim

Here is a link that might be useful: Sylvia's Soul Food


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RE: Cowpeas

Pnbrown, I can't described the taste, but it is nothing like English peas. I do not care for English peas, and when it comes to field peas(cowpeas) I have not come across a one that I didn't like best fresh shelled over dry it is two different tastes. Same as green beans I can take the same bean fix it fresh, fix it fresh frozen(Horrible), fix it canned, or fix them dried(leather Britches) and each will have a different taste. Many of the field peas I don't care for as a dry pea whipporwill is one. Excellent fresh but doesn't appeal to me dry. Also as in green beans taste varies from variety. Clay peas very earthy beany tastes Blackeyes very bland to me. I have a Holstien pea that taste like Boiled Peanuts( another delicacy of the south)I would check the grocery store for frozen peas or canned they are the best to me. Rodger


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RE: Cowpeas

Rodger says "I don't know what your talking about. Posting pictures is childs play. Who needs instructions."

Well Jeeze, please forgive the misunderstanding and intrusion. That is not the impression that I had when I read this in your first posting in this thread. "I used an old enamel ware plate with some shelled peas and some pods and a bloom. I would show them but I have problems showing pics. Can you tell me how you show a picture in the message vice showing a link which I can do . Rodger"

And a similar plea from you in a posting down near the bottom of the thread linked below.

A thousand pardons sir, I guess like the Warden told Paul Newman in Cool Hand Luke, "What we have heah, Is a fail ure to co muni cate! ":^)

Here is a link that might be useful: Thread mentioned above.


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RE: Cowpeas

Yes, that's kinda what I figured - after all, fresh-shelled butter beans don't taste much like dried, nor fresh english peas like dried split.


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RE: Cowpeas

I believe Rodger was writing "tongue in cheek."


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RE: Cowpeas and

I hope that you are right George, that would elevate him back up some in my opinion, but there was no indications of that, no emoticons or even a little (T.I.C.)
Bill P.


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RE: Cowpeas

Bill, I was just joking around. Thanks for showing me how to post pictures, I'm not at all familiar with the term emoticons and words do lack jestures that would be giving in real one on one conversation, sorry for any misunderstanding. I have to admit I was disappointed when I read your post.I guess I need to leave out the sarcastic remarks. I was like a kid with a new toy, showing it off Trying to poke alittle fun, but I guess I blew that. I had hoped you would have replied about the pea sheller. I really like it. It works best feeding one at a time no effort really needed to turn and can shell as fast as you can feed. It use to take me all winter to shell up the peas beans and limas working a little at a time. Know I can go through a bushel in around 20-30min. The picture shows some brown seeded half runner beans my wife shelled out while I was sleeping( I have been working nights these past couple of weeks). There is some Grey palapye peas in the dishpan to be shelled next and some rattle snake peas in the long pods on the table. I put those there for George. I remembered the lady I got those from at last years AHSC in Ky telling me they make great snaps and she used them solely as a snap. I only had three vines and they are long over 10ft but the Guineas ate the first round and I ended up with only that handful of pods. So it is one I will have to grow again next year to further increase the seed.I just got back from the state fair picking up an exhibit I had on home gardening, I didn't win first I came in 4th but still got a check for $175.00 Here is a picture Rodger
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RE: Cowpeas

I got the joke right away. That's because being facetious is my favorite form of humor. Trouble is, people take my most absurd remarks seriously (and laugh when I'm being serious). I end up looking foolish. That happens most often with strangers or with written comments. I've been trying to rein myself in.

In looking up the spelling of facetious, I found the definition is "joking or jesting often inappropriately". I quess it's the "inappropriately" part that gets us in trouble Rodger. ;-)

(The winking smiley face at the end is an emoticon.)

Jim


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RE: Cowpeas

The written word can be so tricky that way. I've received e-mails before that would hit me really hard and then, a week later I'd go back and read them again and think "What was the matter with that?!" Emoticons are a good idea just to alert folk to attempts at humor.

I feel like I've gotten to know most of those who have been posting regularly on this forum and I guess because of a level of trust, I tend to be more forgiving, trusting, if there is a misunderstanding, that it is just that. I know I never want to hurt someone's feelings. Hope I haven't. I know, especially when there are differences of opinion feelings can get hurt.

Rodger those are very impressive pictures! I'll have to see about getting one of those shellers too! I didn't know such a thing existed.

George


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Culture

Another thought: there are cultural differences that come into play when it comes to humor. On the East Coast, for instance, people use a lot of irony (saying the opposite of what they really mean). When we first came back from Mexico and lived in NJ I once mentioned a co-worker, to my son, who promptly turned red and started gritting his teeth, commenting something about how he really didn't like the fellow. I was amazed. But then, I had grown up there. The problem was that the fellow would tell me how much he liked me and my work by saying things like, "You just sit around all day, don't you?!" But by the tone of voice, I knew (and he knew) that he meant the opposite. My son, having grown up somewhere else was REALLY bothered until I explained it to him!


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RE: Cowpeas

O. K. I feel much better now that we have cleared the air! ":^) (I have no patent on this emoticon but have used it longer on quite a few different forums than anyone else that I know, and it should convey the message that I am smileing).

I know how to take many of the posters on most of the forums which I am active on, but were not that familliar with you Rodger, so did not quite know how to take your comment, as you could probably tell.

I too, am not at the best of my form, had to be back at the hospital at noon for X-rays for a 1:00 P.M. follow up with the heart surgeon that did the tipple by-bass, and could well have been a little edgy about that as well.

The good news is that he said that I am solid as a rock, everything is looking great and I am to see my regular Cardiologist day after tomorrow and then my family doctor within a few weeks. So, he is done with me unless I have problems, unforeseen at this time.

I have shelled many a pea Rodger, so I was sincere about the pea sheller, and wondered how they did work. I imagined that they were like a minature old fashioned clothes wringer with the crank on one end that you fed the wet clothes between two rollers and it squeezed the water out of them, except that it squeezed the peas out of the hulls, or shells.

Thanks for posting the picture and info. I may try to find one for my own use before next summer. I do love those peas and one of the time consuming things is shelling them.
Regards
Bill P.


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RE: Cowpeas

How does it not damage the peas or beans?


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RE: Cowpeas

I've been confused about this emoticon thing, so I asked here at work. Turns out I am not familiar with it because I've never seen it. Apparently the filters at work don't allow them to show. I guess my filters at home do the same because the previous post only shows a ^ and a . no smily faces.So anyone know how to make them work? Pnbrown. My first thoughts were the same as yours, how does it not crush the bean. Well as far as I can tell the nylon rollers just squeeze the pea out. I have found if the pea is green ie not in the yellow pod or purple pod stage it just mashes the pea so they must be ripe. On dry beans and peas it just chews up the hull sending it out the back and the seed drops down the front very little if any chaff (SP) I have attached a link where I bought mine. I have ordered from them before they ship same day. I ordered my sheller on a sunday evening at work came in tuesday priority mail. I am working with very little sleep tonight up till noon taking down the stuff from the fair then I had to move plants in the greenhouse forcasting light frost tonight and a freeze tomorrow. I still have three 25 ft rows of sweet potatoes I have to dig in the morning. Rodger

Here is a link that might be useful: pea sheller


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RE: Cowpeas

Thanks for the link to the pea sheller Rodger. Get some rest and get those sweet potatoes in the morning, the frost won't be good on them.

I have never heard of a filter that did not let emoticons, or symbols made up of characters from the key board be displayed. I guess that might be that some of those characters are used in programming code and might conflict in some instances, or something like that.

I agree that the written word does not reflect tone, inflection or other emotion adequately in some instances. One could always use the little (T.ounge I.n C.heek) if there was some question that you might be mistaken, while kidding around. Just a thought.
Bill P.


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RE: Cowpeas

Had a delicious mess of whippoorwill peas tonight. Inspired by that, I started surfing around on that topic, in anticipation of this year's gardening. Somewhere in this thread I came across a poor opinion of whippoorwills in the dry state, which left me with mixed emotions. It means that what I had were not so good, even though I thought they were. It also means I can look foreward to a super good treat next time I grow them, if I pick them as shellies.

I got a lot of helpful info about cowpeas from this thread. I hope to see more like it.

Then, there was that misunderstanding between Bill and Rodger which was amusing because, fortunately, it turned out OK in the end.

Whatever, this thread is a great one and I'm bumping it up for you to enjoy again.

Jim


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RE: Cowpeas

Some of those beans look almost (ALMOST!) too pretty to eat, like gemstones.

I grew a few yardlong beans last year but this will be my first year growing any v. unguiculata for shelling.


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RE: Cowpeas

Sorry folks for not being involved these past few months. I will admit I am more of a lurker than a poster. I have also been busy with my side hobby which is growing. I currently have around 15,000 Heirloom tomatoes, peppers and eggplants that will be going to the plant and flower shows in Florence Sc and in Columbia SC and whats left to be donated to the Southern Legacy Seeds 10th annual seed swap in Crawford Ga. on the 28th of April. I am also getting my garden 1+ acres ready to plant and low in the hole summer came early to the carolinas. It has been in the upper 80s.
And to top things off I am not just an heirloom vegetable fanatic. I have an extensive antique rose collection 100+and numerous flower beds that have been in need of attention. And as if I had nothing to do I help out and plant a period garden at one of the historical mansions here in SC. I am the President of the local Master Gardeners Club where I also teach vegetable gardening for two counties. So Spring is a very busy time for me and the most enjoyable time for me. I look forward to posting some pictures of this years garden and getting involved in the discussions as things begin to settle Down. And for those in SC. Please come to the Midlands Plant and flower show in Columbia SC on 19th -22nd April I would love to talk to you and sell you some plants or come to the Pee Dee plant and flower show the 12th -15th April in Florence Sc or make plans to attend the Seed swap in Crawford Ga. on Sat 28 April from 3-8pm This will be my first time to attend the seed swap even though I have been a part of this organization for the past five years. I am also hosting the 2nd annual Tomato tasting in Little Mountain SC on July 21 from 12noon till 2:00pm
Okay I'm done boosting now back to my reclusive self for awhile.Rodger


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RE: Cowpeas

What do you do with all your spare time Rodger?

I was thinking last night when I saw this thread again, that I had made a mental note to buy one of them pea shellers. I have Black Eyed peas up. Did not get a good stand, I think that it was too dry and I did not keep the ground moist enough, so I planted some more in the skips yesterday, but should have some peas to shell and eat before too long.
Best regards.
Bill P.


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RE: Cowpeas

It's nice to see you checking in, Rodger. You're a good contributor. You have lots of solid information and great pictures.

See you later on the Bean forum. The bean forum could benefit from a good general thread on cowpeas like this one. I'm not a stickler about those things though. If a good bean thread pops up on the Vegetable forum or elsewhere, so be it. Just so I don't miss it.

Jim


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RE: Cowpeas

I remember when I started this thread, that the beans and legumes had recently begun and it hadn't occurred to me to do it there :)

It's good to "see" you folks again! I'm probably going to order one of those pea shellers too! Will be planting a good many cowpeas this year, probably starting in the coming week. Besides Penny Rile, Zongozotla Pintitos and Georgia Long; I have minute quantities of Polecat and Black Crowder, which did well for me in Mexico, but are now almost ten years old. I'll probably plant in order to renew my seed. But I'm going to put in LOTS of Penny Rile and Georgia Long, so we get to EAT a lot of them! My wife complains when my seed plots are nearly as large as our "eating plots."

I'm amazed that cowpeas never caught on in my native NJ. They grow well there. Here in OK, they're a normal denizen of the garden. But their snaps are tasty and productive and my observation is that they are more pest resistant that the p. vulgaris beans.

George
Tahlequah, OK


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RE: Cowpeas

I've seen that pea sheller before and always wondered if it worked--good to know that it does. I've always enjoyed a good "pea shellin' party"--sitting on the porch for hours shelling peas by hand. Unfortunately, I'm the only one that seems to think so.


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RE: Cowpeas

"I've always enjoyed a good "pea shellin' party..."

That makes at least two of us. Shell beans & edamame soybeans ditto. My grown children often come over to help with the larger shelling jobs... which usually turns into dinner.

I got _lots_ of help with the edamame, once people realized that you could eat them as you shell.


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RE: Cowpeas

zeedman,

Let me know when you need help shelling the edamame.

Jim


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RE: Cowpeas

Shell edamame? I wouldn't waste my time... sucking the seeds directly out of the end of the salted pod is the best part! Especially with a cold beer.

Edamame never makes it to the freezer in my home!


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RE: Cowpeas

"... sucking the seeds directly out of the end of the salted pod is the best part!"

And what do you suppose I had in mind by offering to help George with his shelling?

*wink*

Jim


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RE: Cowpeas

After several failed attempts on other years, I've got a nice little crop of cowpeas going in this warm, dry summer. Queen Anne black-eyed peas, supposed to be good for the north. This time I got smart(er)and waited until late June to plant, remembering that we have a warm fall here and can usually count on warm weather into early Oct. Hope to be eating fresh shelly cowpeas for the first time ever. Knock-on-wood.


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RE: Cowpeas

High fives to you pnbrown. I am also having great success this year with a small crop of pink eye purple hulls after two failures. The plants are rampant and starting to bloom. I have grown other cow peas but was jinxed on the purple hulls until now. You are right about our climate being good for them and the soil is too.

Jim

Here is a link that might be useful: Another Cow Pea Thread


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RE: Cowpeas

"Shell edamame? I wouldn't waste my time... edamame never makes it to the freezer in my home!"

Then you don't grow enough of it! ;-)

Jimster & PnBrown, glad to hear that your peas are doing well. One of mine is just beginning to set pods, with perhaps another 6 weeks of warm weather left - plenty of time. But they are also part of my inoculant experiment... so no sampling. :-( Well, I'll probably sneak a few...

This has been a strange year for my cowpeas & yardlongs. They have spent much of the summer just sitting there - perhaps because the rain has been so scarce in my area, perhaps because of cooler July weather, perhaps... what? I'm mystified.

I normally begin to harvest yardlongs by August 1rst, and this year, they are only now beginning to climb & blossom. And that was _after_ being started early in pots! After many good years, I had begun to take success with yardlongs for granted... I guess Mother Nature didn't take kindly to that. Hopefully, she will relent for the second half of the season.


 o
RE: Cowpeas

Zeedman, from here I would guess it would be the cooler July weather. It has not been a stellar year here either, with a near record rain fall for two months. I planted my Black eyed peas too early and a late freeze nipped them quite a bit. I replanted in the skips ad finally got a good stand. They did later produce pretty well and I got several messes of themm and they were delicious. I usually eat the peas from a pod or two while picking them. ":^)

Congratulations to you P.N. and Jim. You are in for a treat, hope that you have a good crop of them. They may produce right up to frost for you if you keep them picked as they mature.
Bill P.


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RE: Cowpeas

I didn't get Zongozotla Pintitos in the ground this year. However I do have a good planting of Penny Rile. They are looking great. I tried an experiment, which seems to be working. I planted my corn (for corn flour & grits) and when it was high enough to hill I planted a couple of rows of Penny Rile, both on the outside of the planting and a few right down the middle. Now that the corn is starting to dry down I see my cowpeas climbing right up the stalks. Looks like it will be a good way to control weeds as the corn dries down. But it will be "interesting" to pick cowpeas, other than to wait and get them all dry.

By the way, I tried cooking dry "peas" just like we do our dry beans. They are out of this world! I just boil them in water with some salt. In one case I added one sausage link to the mix, for flavor. Boy is that good!

George


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RE: Cowpeas

Sounds great George. We have always used dried peas as well as beans as a staple. You are right about the way to cook them, but we also add about a spoonful of bacon grease for flavoring. Some use some salt pork or ham hock. Some cornbread and hominy also goes well with them. Black eyed peas for good luck on New Years day is a tradition.

My dad nearly always had us kids go though the corn field with bags or cans of peas, broadcasting them before he ran the plow down the middles to lay the corn by. That put dirt up around the stalk and covered the peas at the same time. The corn was well along the way by then and the peas grew up the stalks like you mentioned. It made them easy to pick and after the dried corn was gathered and the cows turned in on the field, it gave a lot of excellet forage for them, or sometimes we would cut quite a bit of it and put it into the loft of the barn for hay for later.
Bill P.


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RE: Cowpeas

Thanks Bill,

I love that kind of historical/cultural anecdote. Here I am re-discovering what your dad, and probably generations before him probably knew all along! Part of the reason for this is probably my New England roots and part of it is probably due to the day in which we live.

I've found that I REALLY like to cook those dry cowpeas with a hot pepper in them! Also, I've been accompanying them with corn tortillas. Can you tell where I spent a significant portion of my adult life?! Anyway, even if a person had to purchase them in the store, I'd say that cowpeas are wonderful! They are economical and healthy besides delicious.

Bill, what was the spacing your dad used for his corn? I'm still experimenting with that.


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RE: Cowpeas

George, we had no way to irrigate and little to use in the way of fertilizer. The barnyard manures went on the vegetable garden and water melon patch for the most part. Sometime we could find the funds for some nitrogen to side dress with but more often than not we probably could not. The corn was planted with a planter which spaced it out some, then when it was around half knee high we thinned it to a small step apart which was probably about 16 to 20 inches. A group of us walked along the rows with hoes and chopped the unlucky plants down. The rows were approximately 36 inches apart, which was pretty standard for the plows we had in those days.

Availability of water and fertilizer could alter that spacing. Our land was fairly good and I may have mentioned somewhere that we did have some excellent crops in good years.
Good luck with your endeavors George.
Bill P.


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