Hello everyone. I hope you are enjoying your holiday weekend. I received a few inquires recently about the cow peas I grew in my garden. In particular, I was asked “what exactly are cowpeas”?
Cow peas (also commonly known as southern peas, black-eyed peas, purple hull peas, crowder peas, lubia, niebe, coupe or frijoles) are annual legumes which originated from Africa and were introduced to North America via the slave trade (one of a very few main food staples). Currently, cow peas are being grown as main food crops in.Africa, Latin America, Southeast Asia and in the southern United States. Cow peas are drought tolerant and are warm weather lovers. They can grow in poor soil but thrive in sandy loam or sandy soil. They are often grown as fodder for cattle and cover crops.
I grow them here up north by planting the seeds in soil warmed by black plastic and only after the night-time temps stay above 65 degrees. I have yet to experience any pest problems or disease problems, but I was lucky. I truly adore cow peas; shelling peas with my grandmother was a favorite pastime of ours. So I grow them every year in honor of my grandmother and my southern heritage.
I have included several links for my favorite cow pea recipes:
Photo via Emeril.com