Pinkeye Purple Hull Cowpea
Cowpeas, or Southern peas as they have become known, originated in Africa and made their way to North, Central and South America, as well as Asia where they highly prized as both fodder and food. The cowpea is very nutritious and protein-rich with high fiber, niacin, riboflavin, thiamine, lysine and tryptophan. The essential amino acid contained within the cowpea supports our bodies' production of collagen and calcium absorption. Interesting that cowpeas are not actually a pea, but really are a bean!
Nitrogen fixing cowpeas are very easy to grow and are an excellent choice for beginner gardeners! The Pinkeye Purple Hull cowpeas have become a longstanding favorite of growers in Southern regions, who appreciate their semi-vining, productive traits. The cowpea does not need a trellis, but you must give it lots of space to ramble and run. The pods are situated at the top of the plant, where they are easy to see and easy to harvest! The white peas have a purple eye where they are attached to the vine.
Peas are used in both their fresh and dry stages. Very young, slender pods are eaten like snap peas or green beans, and can be steamed or sautéed. The mature peas are round and plump within the pods, which are shelled and can be used to make a delicious, traditional Southern meal. The dried seeds have excellent storage qualities and have proven to grow well in Hawai'i despite varying weather and soil conditions. The seed pods are easy to harvest and easy to save seed from.
Black eyed peas are an all around fabulous legume to grow in Hawaii's home gardens!
Planting: 1-2" deep, direct seed in garden beds, and protect from birds, slugs and snails
Sun: Full sun
Days to maturity: 60 - 75