On New Year's Day we enjoyed Purple-eyed Peas or Purple Hull Peas. We grew a vining variety this summer at the teaching beds at Zilker Botanical Garden. We built a vertical trellis for under $40 and grew it with chinese long beans and malabar spinach. The complementary purple and green colors were stunning.
This vining variety is resistant to all three types of fusarium wilt diseases. They are related to black eyed peas but have a purple-eye. They are native to Africa, specifically the country of Niger, andi came over during the era of American slave trading.
They grow great in the summer through the heat after tomatoes have finished up. The bush variety make a great cover crop and fix nitrogen in the soil.
This southern pea variety is easy to grow, not fussy about the type of soil they grow in and needing very little additional fertilization. Direct sow seeds 2-3 inches apart at ½ inch deep.
Depending upon the variety, harvesting time will be between 55-70 days.
Despite the name, the Purple Hull Pea tastes like beans and can even be cooked with the hulls. We harvested them when they were still green and cooked them in stir-fries. We also waited and harvest after the peas had turned fully purple and dried out, which makes dehulling easy. At that point, you can allow them to dry more indoors and then store in a jar for New Years Day!
#purplehullpeas #happynewyear #superstition #lucky
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