Black-Eyed Pea Harvest | In The Garden

As I was planning my first garden, and I say planning very loosely, I knew that the most important thing to me was learning as much as I could this first year.  So I made a list of all the “normal” garden vegetables I wanted to plant, the vegetables I knew my family would eat the most of.  Yet every time I looked at a seed catalog, walked past a seed display in a garden center, or visited a friends garden; I was intrigued by vegetables that I had no idea how they grew.  So some of those normal vegetables got tossed off the list as I found space for newer and more exciting ones.  It’s time for me to start harvesting from one of those vegetables now and it’s so interesting to me.

CowPeas1

Black-Eyed Peas.  Also known as Cow Peas because of the black spot on the mainly white bean.  I’m not even sure if my family has ever eaten this variety of bean before but I couldn’t wait to experiment.  The part that was most interesting to me was that I could leave this bean on the plant until completely dry, then harvest, and store for up to a year in an air tight container.

CowPeas2

This legume is best suited for hot and dry climates so it has flourished here in North Carolina.  It takes around 85-100 days from planting to harvest but you can harvest these beans when they are very young and tender to use in stir fry and other dishes.

Pods should be harvested as they dry on the plant.  Since I only planted a few of these, I’m currently only harvesting a couple pods here and there but can’t wait for a full bowl of these beans to try in a yummy recipe.

What did you plant this year that was new to you?

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