I asked Lucky in Kentucky for an education in "southern peas"
Butterpeas (Phaseolus lunatus) are a bush-type Lima bean. Typical Lima pod,
but the beans are more plump/round than most limas. Very productive and
tasty. Links below for illustration purposeshttps://www.threshseed.com/products/dixie-speckled-butterpea?variant=14660488836
I grew up with Dixie White butterpea. Henderson bush lima is a fair substitute, and I have grown them in the past.
find seed locally, but did find Dixie Red-Speckled on clearance at
Southern States a few years ago and bought 2 lbs. They are pretty, but I
prefer the white strain, and found them at Sandhill. I think the reds
must have a high lectin content or something like that. I have to cook
the dried red ones til fully rehydrated, pour off that initial water,
then add fresh water and whatever seasonings ( usually ham bullion &
It's a killer bending over to pick
them...I still have nightmares of looking down those two 100 ft rows Dad
always planted...it seemed that it took forever to make any headway
picking them. Nowadays I may pick a few for a meal, but I mainly let
them go until most pods are full, then pull up the entire plant and go
sit in the shade to pick them off without having to bend over for
hours.(Is that lazy? I like to think... resourceful. lol)
messed up and planted red & white too close together and
'contaminated' my whites... still working on segregating the whites back
out. All my seed this season are white, but I wouldn't be surprised to
find a few pink/red ones in the mix when it comes time to shell them
Cowpeas (Vigna unguiculata)? I've got Piggott, a mix of KY & Franklin Red,
black Cow, dimpled brown Crowder and Iron & Clay.
I grew up growing & eating
Pinkeye Purplehull cowpeas - and thought they were the pinnacle of
cowpeas... better than blackeyes... but there are hundreds of strains
that are so much better than PePh... I'll probably never plant them
Trialing Bisbee Black, Black Crowder, Maroon-speckled
Whippoorwill, and Old-fashion Red Ripper this year. Will plant more
Piggott - very productive - and Iron & Clay - my fave for flavor,
but I&C is a very rampant grower and less productive than Piggott;
and it's about a 100 day maturity strain vs 75 for Piggott. I think
some of the deer hunter food plot boys put I&C in some of their
summer food plots.
(ERJ note: I was looking at various cultivars and I had to chuckle over "Zipper Cream" cowpeas. I may have to grow some of that just because of the name.)
Freezer space is at a premium here, so for
the last 3 years, I've been shelling & drying all my cowpeas and
dry bean varieties. Have a few dual-purpose 'green beans' that we eat
either as green beans or let them go to produce dry shell beans - Turkey
Craw and Black Nightfall are pretty, but need something to run on.
Tenderpod bush green beans make a nice dry shell bean.
Hoping for some rain, soon. We're under air-quality alert today, from whatever's coming south from those Canadian wildfires.
(ERJ note: Either of these species might make a good substitute for Red Clover in the "rest" period. They produce food more directly usable by humans. The downside is that it would have to be drilled into the small grains in early summer. Scythe off the rye or wheat and then the peas which have been sulking/smoldering should take off for a second crop. Does anybody have any tricks up their sleeve?)
Thanks a million Lucky.