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This staple of Southern cooking brings back memories for just about anyone who grew up south of the Mason-Dixon Line. You might hear them called cowpeas, Southern peas, or black-eyed peas. They're especially popular and are eaten on New Year's Day for good luck in the South and in African-American communities.
This Southern star can also be grown in more northerly regions. Depending on variety, it grows as a bush or vine. Closely related asparagus bean, also called yard long bean for its pods that grow to 3 feet long, is a vining plant.
how to grow Cowpea
Harvest cowpeas any time from the green-mature shelling stage to the fully mature dried stage. Harvest asparagus bean when pods are tender and only 10-12 inches long. At later stages of development pods become tough. If pods become over mature, shell out the seeds and use them like cowpeas.
more varieties for Cowpea
'California Black Eye' cowpea
is a high-yielding variety with a meaty texture. It's named for the central black spot that develops on each bean. 70 days
'Red Noodle' asparagus bean
is highly ornamental -- its lavender flowers develop into burgundy pods. 90 days