"Pic-Of-The-Week" by journey11
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I've never grown beans before (aside from snap beans). And I've discovered that I'm completely clueless, now that they seem to be ready to harvest! I didn't expect them to do so well. I planted a small 2' X 2' raised bed with them, just for the fun of it. About 9 plants. I put them in late in the season, and they were just scrubby, ugly things for quite a while....and then, they took off! They are just gorgeous and overflowing their box. They're blooming and throwing pods everywhere! Many of the pods look full, and I can see the separate beans in each one. I opened one for the fun of it, and the beans are large and look "done", but they are slightly green?
I hope to leave a plant or two to dry for seed next year, but what the heck do I do with these that I want to harvest fresh? And then, what do I do with them once I pick and shell them? I know that this is a question more suited for the canning/preserving forum, but I didn't want to start two topics--can I freeze the fresh beans, and if so, do I blanch them first? How do I cook them fresh, just boil them as if they were dry (though for a shorter time, of course)?
Sorry, wow, I didn't realize that I was so clueless about fresh beans! It's pretty cool, though. I can't wait to try some different beans next year--I really want to grow black beans, we use them a lot.
This is what I found on Google:
The time from planting to harvest is 70 to 110 days. Pick the pods at whatever stage of maturity you desire -- either young and tender or fully matured to use dried.
Fun Facts about black-eyed peas:
* Cultivated since pre-historic times in China and India, they are related to the mung bean. The ancient Greeks and Romans preferred them to chickpeas.
* Brought to the West Indies from West Africa by slaves, by earliest records in 1674.
* Originally used as food for livestock, they became a staple of the slaves’ diet. During the Civil War, black-eyed peas (field peas) and corn were thus ignored by Sherman’s troops. Left behind in the fields, they became important food for the Confederate South.
* In the American South, eating black-eyed peas and greens (such as collards) on New Year’s Day is considered good luck: the peas symbolize coins and the greens symbolize paper money.
* They are a key ingredient in Hoppin’ John (peas, rice and pork) and part of African-American “soul food.”
* Originally called mogette (French for nun). The black eye in the center of the bean (where it attaches to the pod) reminded some of a nun’s head attire.
Thank you for that info, Robbobbin!
I think I'm ok to pick my pods that are "full". Now, does anybody know how I cook these things? I've only ever used dried (or canned) beans...