Wednesday, October 22, 2008

About Purple Hull Peas

Just a little more on purple hull peas...please....I'm just ecstatic that I actually have a harvest. They are coming in by the bunches. Like I said, I'm a long time gardener, but I'm still a novice. This is the first time I've had enough of any kind of legume to cook a whole pot of them, and it looks like there will be several more pots to come!

If you're interested in growing them you can find a ton of information on them at this site Purple Hull Pea Festival. Emerson, Arkansas has a festival every year featuring these beautifully colored peas. They look like black eyed peas yet are tastier and prettier. The coloring is sort of a pale lime green with a pinkish purple eye, and of course, the hull is purple. They also are an heirloom vegetable. So much the more fun to grow! Someone asked if they were a Southern thing. I guess so, but you can grow them most anywhere if the growing season is long enough. Cow peas (purple hull peas are a type of cow pea) were originally brought over from Africa.

Purple hulls on the vine.
Purple hulls rinsed and ready to shell.
Shellin' purple hulls.
Look at all those peas in a pod! After shelling them, blanch them in boiling water for 1 minute and freeze, unless you're going to cook them right away.
Another wonderful thing about these peas is, you can save the seed and it will produce like kind. According to the book "Seed to Seed" by Suzanne Ashworth, Let the pods dry on the vine and then shell and save. These are the peas I'm saving to plant next year. Oh yes, I'm going to plant a larger patch of them!!!


Egghead said...

Thanks for more information on those peas. I love the close up photo of the pod. Beautiful!

Robbyn said...

I grew up eating pink eye purple hull peas..those and fresh garden tomatoes, freshly-pulled shallots and hot cornbread, that's eating! :)

We're considering them this year because we're run across some mention of potential multiple uses for cowpeas, and they're in the cowpea family. In our research of multiple-use plants, it is said that in Africa the new leaves of cowpeas are harvested, boiled, and the water drained off, and they're eaten as a hot green...their protein content far exceeding even that of the actual pea!
The other thing I found was the mention of people who take those gorgeous purple hulls after they're shelled, and boil them to make a grapey-tasting's a link if you're's something I want to try!