(Vigna unguiculata) Because cowpeas are often associated with southern warmer climes, they tend to be unknown to most northern growers as field crops. Fast Lady is a very small-seeded strain selected by Oregon breeder Carol Deppe for success in cool season, northern growing. They have a beautiful growing form with very long pods held up off the ground on upright plants. Botanically fascinating to us was the presence of extra-floral nectaries. Nectar is usually produced in flowers to attract pollinators, but being almost entirely self pollinated, the nectar here (up to 95% sugar) is produced further down the stems by special glands for the purpose (it is hypothesized) of attracting predatory insects like ladybugs, ants, and parasitic wasps to aid in the plants defense. That’s right, cowpeas hire bodyguards and pay in sugar. In addition to their cool biology, they are a nutrient-dense food rich in minerals (100% daily recommended copper and iron/100g dry peas), protein, b-vitamins, and fiber. A fun new addition to fuel our obsession with beans and pulses. Worth noting too, that while it is particularly adapted to northern climates...like most cowpeas it also thrives in hotter ones. Creamy texture and does not need a presoak.
90-100 days dry. UO *OSSI*
Packet: 100 seeds