How To Harvest Black Eyed Peas – Tips For Picking Black Eyed Peas:
Black eyed pea (Ipomoea batatas) are perennial herbs with small leaves and dark purple flowers. They grow wild throughout much of the world, but they’re most common in the tropics. They have long been used medicinally and ornamental, especially in tropical gardens.
The black eyed pea plant grows from sea level up to about 2,000 feet elevation. They prefer moist soil and are tolerant of poor soils. They require full sun or partial shade. The seeds germinate best when temperatures reach 80 degrees F (27 C).
Once established, they need no water for several years after planting. When harvesting the leaves and young stems, it’s best not to cut them too close together so that they don’t get choked out by other plants.
You can harvest the whole plant, or just the tops. You’ll want to remove all the stalks first because they contain a bitter sap that causes severe stomach upset if ingested. The leaves are edible, but only when young and tender. Older leaves may cause diarrhea and vomiting.
The pods are generally eaten raw or cooked like spinach, but many people avoid eating them due to their high sugar content.
The black eyed pea is an important crop in many areas of the world. They’re especially popular in the southern U.S. where they’re a key ingredient in many traditional dishes.
Black-Eyed-Peas were first introduced to Europe by the Spanish when they came back from the New World. Since then, they have been a popular food for people all over the world. During the Civil War in the United States, bean production increased significantly to support the war effort.
Black-Eyed-Peas are native to Africa and are still a major part of the traditional diet in much of that continent. In the U.S., they’re traditionally eaten on New Year’s Day as a symbol of wealth and prosperity.
This tradition started during the Civil War when the combination of black-eyed peas and hog jowl was popular among poor people.
How To Dry Black-Eyed Peas
Harvesting: When you are ready to harvest your black-eyed peas, grab the vine close to the ground and pull up. You should be able to pull out a handful of peas. Do not pull by the seedpod; this may cause the vine to break off in the ground.
Drying: Spread the peas out in a single layer and dry them for several days until they are completely dry.
How To Store Black-Eyed Peas
Black-eyed peas can be stored for several years if they are completely dry. They can be stored in jars, cans, or any other airtight container in a cool, dry place. The peas will remain at their best quality for about a year.
How To Prepare Black-Eyed Peas
The black-eyed peas are now ready to prepare however you like! You can serve them as a side dish, incorporate them into a salad or soup, or do something else entirely.
Fact: In the southern U.S. black-eyed peas are traditionally eaten on New Year’s Day for good luck.
Try This Recipe: Black-Eyed Peas With Smoked Sausage and Collard Greens, recipe here.
Sources & references used in this article:
Traditional African American foods and African Americans by D Byars – Agriculture and Human Values, 1996 – Springer
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An Irresistible History of Southern Food: Four Centuries of Black-Eyed Peas, Collard Greens and Whole Hog Barbecue by R McDaniel – 2011 – books.google.com
Families we choose: Lesbians, gays, kinship by K Weston – 1997 – books.google.com
What a plant knows: a field guide to the senses by D Chamovitz – 2012 – books.google.com
Sharing the harvest: a citizen’s guide to Community Supported Agriculture by E Henderson, R Van En – 2007 – books.google.com
Harvesters and harvesting 1840-1900: a study of the rural proletariat by DH Morgan – 2017 – books.google.com