Wednesday, July 31, 2013

In the 11 years I've been back in Tampa from Denver I've grown cowpea (Vigna unguiculata) varieties like Purple Crowder, Zipper, Black Eye Peas, Corrientes, Cream 40, White Acre Field Peas, Iron Clay, two mystery ones that evolved in people's gardens from Whippoorwill, plus a few types of Yard Long Beans bred from a subspecies whose name I can never remember...the Asian long beans are sweet, mild and tender even when quite long, but the vines themselves seem to be short lived, with just one good crop before they fail. Of the other cowpeas I've tried (there are MANY MANY varieties) only Iron Clay bears young pods that are mild, non-bitter, sweet and tender up to 6 inches in length. The others seem best shucked or cooked edamame style when green, or harvested as a dried bean. Funny that all these years later that Iron Clay is still my favorite! The tender young leaves of all the cowpeas are good raw or cooked and loaded with protein. If I was a vegan gardening in a hot humid climate I'd definitely grow cowpeas. Next summer I will try one called Turkey Craw that is supposed to make giant seeds and pods.

No comments:

Post a Comment