Cowpea, Fast Lady Northern Southern Pea (Organic)
Vigna unguiculata. White. 65 days fresh, 90 dry.
An excellent, productive, early variety of white seeded cowpea. Beans have a creamy texture and do not require soaking before cooking. Pods are solid and hold well above the ground on compact upright bushes so they can take some wet weather and not succumb to mold. Beautiful yellow flowers that pollinators go nuts for – but not to pollinate. Instead, they seem to drink the plant’s nectar at the base of the closed flower. Our crops have two good flushes of pods. The early pods hold until the later ones are ready, making this bean extra productive and easy to harvest. Bred by Carol Deppe who selected it to thrive in our cool Oregon summers. It can also handle the heat of summer that is increasingly becoming our norm.
Direct sow 1” deep when soil temps have reached 65°F, ideally by early June for dry beans. May also be eaten green at any stage. Plant at 2-4” in-row spacing and 12” between rows. Very heat and drought tolerant, also good as summer leguminous cover crop. For dry beans, pull entire plants and allow to after-ripen before processing. Collect seeds from beans that are fully dry. Shell by hand or by dancing on the dry pods, winnow or screen to clean. Test for dryness with a hammer – dry beans shatter, moist beans squish.
Cowpeas are self-pollinating and do not need isolation for seed saving purposes.