With Mary Jo's and Peggy's help I've completed my mini-obsession on this wonderful summer crop whose origins are tropical equatorial Africa. Turns out what Peggy and I grew and liked a LOT last summer was the Ferry Morse strain "Asparagus Bean" (Dow Gauk), which today I bought two packets of at Home Depot. While at Lowe's to help a neighbor I scored a pack of the oddly named variant that Mary Jo bought called "bean long Zi 28-2" that can bear 26 inch long pods! I'm now pulling up the seedlings of my old beloved Vigna "Clay" as they appear all over the back yard in the heat from seeds dropped last fall, and intend to colonize the back yard anti-chicken fences with these long podded forms of Vigna so the pollen from that short podded one can't boink these long podded ones. I also found in my seeds an older packet of "Chinese Red Noodle" that is maroon when raw, green when cooked....I will sow them in pots to see if they are viable.
Last summer I grew very fond of young Vigna leaves in summer salads, with up to 50% of the volume working for me...lots of protein in the leaves and nice mild flavor. I got some great bleu cheese dressings on sale to help me celebrate
I can share these, or you can look for both at Big Lots and Home Depot. There is an EXCELLENT selection of both Cow Peas and these long Asian variants at Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds www.rareseeds.com