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Cowpea, Sage's Texas

  • $4.00


Vigna unguiculata

Prolific, beautiful, and diverse cowpea mix. One of our favorites!

The first evidence of domesticated cowpeas was found in central Ghana at an archaeological site that dates back 4,000 years. Across Africa, cowpeas are a main source of protein for people and livestock. Cowpeas traveled with enslaved Africans to the Americas during the Transatlantic Slave Trade. They have become a staple of Southern cuisine in the U.S.

We initially received these seeds as a landrace from lovely landrace seedsman Joseph Lofthouse, who received them from Sage, a landrace seedswoman in Texas. Sage wears many other creative hats, including artist, photographer, musician, and hummingbird whisperer! Sage's climate in Texas is harsh. She and her fields have had to endure floods, extreme droughts, tornadoes, and wildfires. Natural selection due to these conditions has made her landrace cowpeas a true survivor. It is a beautiful mix of small peas in a stunning diversity of color, with some grey, some maroon, some black, and some tan seeds. This is by far the most prolific cowpea variety we've trialed for production. We love the humble and wholesome beauty of the seeds, and their dainty size lends well to quick-cooking. Our Texas transplant friends introduced us to "Texas Caviar"--what a wonderful dish to showcase these Texas cowpeas!

Though cowpeas haven't really become all the rage in the Intermountain West, we believe it's high time! They're excellent nitrogen fixers, and they can be eaten at several stages. In the "green bean" stage they're delicious and a more crisp than Phaseolus beans. In the "green" stage, you can shell them and eat the peas like fresh favas without that pesky additional husk. Or, you can let the pods dry completely on the plant and harvest for storage, to be cooked like other dry beans.

Seeds grown by Titbout's Seeds in Missoula, Montana.

50 seeds. 

Directions: Direct seed after danger of frost has passed.

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