Learn more about Santa Fe College and the Florida Heritage Foods Project.
Cowpea, southern pea or field pea (English), 眉豆 (méi dòu, Mandarin), imbumba (Zulu), pois à vache (French), dinawa (Setswana)
Plant bush-type black-eyed peas directly into the garden after the last frost (April-September). Seeds are typically spaced two to three inches apart and one inch deep. Some fertilizer may be necessary, but the peas do well in poorer, sandy soils. Once established, the plants are drought-tolerant but may benefit from mulching. Avoid over-watering the plants, which may promote fungal growth on the leaves. Harvest months are July-November. Peas may be dried on the bush for seed-saving or culinary storage purposes. Peas prefer full sun (Iannotti). In addition to nitrogen-fixing green manure, cowpea plants can be used for livestock forage, either green or dried for future use (“Cow Peas”). To plant. To Plan, a heritage garden, download the ‘Planning a Florida Heritage Garden (PDF).’