Southern Peas

(Vigna unguiculata)
Read Southern Pea Blogs Here

Southern Peas (Vigna unguiculata) aka cowpeas aka field peas aka black-eyed peas!

OUR WORK

In 2019 the Utopian Seed Project grew over forty varieties of Southern Pea. Southern Exposure Seed Exchange donated their entire collection to the grow out, and we requested 14 varieties from the USDA GRIN database on the advice of Dr. David Shields. The USDA varieties were selected for their cultural or historical significance and one variety, USDA #1 aka the Conch Pea rose to the top of our culinary evaluation and in collaboration with Dr. Shields was accepted onto the Slow Food Ark of Taste. In 2020 we are focusing on a seed grow out of both the vining and the bush varieties for more culinary work and a wider distribution of the seeds.

Here`s a selection of edible summer greens growing at the #experimentalfarm right now. Even though you may never have tried (or maybe heard) of some of these, they are not new. We did not discover them. They belong to cultures older and wiser, ancestral work done to create many of the food crops that exist today, both known and forgotten.

We support eating and exploring these crops, and there is resilience in a diversified food system that will be much needed as climate change continues. But climate justice and climate work goes hand in hand with social justice and social work, so respecting those who came before (the work, the culture, the traditons, the people) is critical to our journey.

This picture shows a world of possibilities, but it also shows the world.

Top Row, Left to Right
1. Permelon (Cucurbita maxima)
2. Butternut (Cucurbita moschata)
3-4. Sweet Potato (Ipomoea batatas)
5 (top). Southern Pea (Vigna unguiculata)
5 (bottom). African Basil (Ocimum gratissimum)
6. Moringa (Moringa oleifera)

Bottom Row, Left to Right
1. Chaya (Cnidoscolus aconitifolius)
2. Sunset Hibiscus (Abelmoschus manihot)
3-4. Okra (Abelmoschus esculentus)
5. Abelmoschus tetraphyllus
6 (top). Taro (Colocasia esculenta)
6 (bottom). Chayote (Sechium edule)

#summergreens #diversefood #chayote #chaya #taro #moringa #hibiscus #okra #southernpeas #basil #squash #sweetpotato #eatyourgreens #leafygreens #greens #notallgreensarered
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Planting all sorts of things at @frannysfarm today. One early observation is that we`ve had only one small rain shower in two weeks since planting the beans and cowpeas and yet they`ve germinated and grown in these hotter that normal, parched May days. Today we panicked a little and began watering by hand but stopped half way, figuring prolonged drought is in our future so let`s see how they manage... #resilientagriculture #plantachild #beans cowpeas #cropdiversity ...

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C is for Conch Pea. This exciting vial of seeds arrived from Dr. David Shields today. Dr. Shields recommended certain USDA held Southern Peas for our 2019 trials and later was able to be a part of our Southern Pea Tasting event. He loved the Conch Pea and we are now in the process for a @slowfoodusa Ark of Taste nomination. In reading the history we discovered there were two conch peas: the vining and the bush. the USDA variety was bush, and this picture is seed for the vining variety. Very excited to continue our exploration of this great tasting Southern Pea in 2020 and compare the two lines.

#croptrials #southernpea #conchpea #fieldpeas #strengthindiversity
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The diversity of beans really is amazing. These are a diverse population that board member, Yanna Fishman, has been working on for a number of years. Photo Credit, Todd Elliott.
#beans #strengthindiversity #seedsaving
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It is no surprise that the Maggie Flowers pink seeded pink podded bunch bean is the first to produce out of 30 varieties of common bean. A great variety, proving its worth amongst peers.

#beans #strengthindiversity #beantrials #growyourownfood #croptrials #cropdiversity
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And the vining Florida Conch Pea for comparison (see previous post for more information on this special southern pea!).

#conchpea #southernfoods #southernpea #heirloom #arkoftaste #slowfood #seedsaving
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Our aim with all our trials is to assess both varietal diversity and culinary diversity. Here we are drying some of the bean varieties to make leather britches, a traditional appalachian way to preserve beans (traditionally greasy beans) and extract more flavor during cooking. Super excited to have the incredible @ptpix on board again this year, taking stunning photos for our bean and cowpea trials.
#leatherbritches #theutopianseedproject #beantrials #heritagebeans #strengthindiversity #croptrials #cropdiversity
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