View Full Version : World Cowpea Research Conference: Crop Experts Embrace Legume Prized for Protein and
06-10-2010, 07:25 AM
"It's hard to imagine a more perfect crop, particularly for Africa, where food production lags behind population growth, demand for livestock products is soaring, and climate change is bringing new stresses to already challenging growing conditions," said Christian Fatokun,
. . .
The cowpea, which is also known as the black-eyed pea, is one of the world's oldest crops. It is currently cultivated on 10 million hectares, mainly in Central and West Africa, but also in India, Australia, North America, and parts of Europe. It was brought to the Americas on slave ships and became a favorite of President George Washington, who was looking for a variety of peas -- he called them "pease" -- that could withstand the warm climates of the southern United States. Cowpeas are treasured for their high protein content (grains contain about 25 percent protein), leaves and stalks that serve as especially nutritious fodder for cows (hence the name cowpea) and other farm animals, and the fact that their roots provide nitrogen to depleted soils. For many in Africa, the crop is a critical source of food during the "lean period"--the end of the wet season when food can become extremely scarce in semi-arid regions of sub-Saharan Africa.http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100927105157.htm
08-10-2010, 02:20 PM
Hi, from northwest Arkansas, USA. I'm going to plant cow peas this week. I know they are great for the soil but I don't quite know what to do with them. Do I pull them up and compost the plants, do I cut them short leaving the roots intact and compost the tops? Do I let them lie in place as dead plants at the end of the season? I will, of course, eat some black eyed peas both fresh and dried.
08-10-2010, 03:11 PM
It depends... If you are using them as a green manure crop and want to plant something else there in the longer term then you need to chop and drop BEFORE they set seeds. If you wait for them to die and dry they'll drop seed and you'll keep getting cowpea every year. Which is OK if you want to!
You could cut them as they start to bear and use them as stock feed. If you want to compost them then it is best again to do it before they set seed, or you'll need to harvest all the seed heads before you compost the rest.
Being leguminous the roots will fix nitrogen in the soil, so even if you cut the top off and compost it you'll see some soil benefit. You'll get the most benefit for the soil from the green manure approach though.
A bit late in the year to be planting cowpea in the northern hemi...
Might try some clovers that will handle the cold months.
09-10-2010, 06:45 PM
I made a delicious dal recipe with them some time ago. I will try to get around to posting the recipe. Remind me if i forget. Now is not the right time as i am cooking dinner and i need a shower etc.
Would love to get that recipe. I let about half of mine go to seed for the next season but haven't tried cooking any yet.
And I hope you're not 'stacking' the cooking and showering. Just envision hands popping out from behind the shower curtain stirring a pot of dal...
10-10-2010, 11:05 PM
Yes please! I have a pile of cowpea planted up and would love to try dhal when it is ready.
11-10-2010, 02:55 PM
Clover is my best friend. It's everywhere in my garden, even in the greenhouse. I'm in northwest Arkansas so I may take a chance on putting in some "Black Eyed Peas" (I'm from Louisiana.). The worst that can happen is that they won't grow.
Hugh Gravestein and Phil Gall just used my cousin's property in the Bega Valley as a good example to illustrate some PDC lessons. I finally have family members who have heard the call!
12-10-2010, 08:07 AM
I've been thinking of growing them in buckets in my greenhouse during the winter for fresh rabbit feed I read they produce alot of leaf growth is that true?
Yeah they put off a lot of leaves. Nice ground cover and they climb well too.
My Guinea fowl like to nibble on them so I'd guess that rabbits will like as well. Might like the young bean pods too.
Let us know how they like it...
15-10-2010, 08:23 AM
my experience with cow pea, is we planted them amongst a bed of sweet corn on year, we returned home after a month away, all of the cow-pea and grown like crazy and dragged all of the corn over. That said, when we started chopping it all back into the soil (cow-pea, corn) we discovered that we still actually had quite alot of corn to harvest.. either way, a very vigorous and productive plant for chopping back into soil.
I have planted some remainder cow-pea seeds in my newly formed bannana pit..
17-10-2010, 02:46 PM
Anyone growing cowpeas in NZ?
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