Cowpeas

Discussion in 'Planting, growing, nurturing Plants' started by MichaelT, May 28, 2009.

  1. MichaelT

    MichaelT Junior Member

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    Hi, This is my first post. I live in Colorado, USA at 5,800 ft asl and I just watched "Establishing a Food Forest the Permaculture Way (2008)."

    The Cowpeas that I saw Mr. Lawton plant don't look anything like the cowpeas That I have. Mine are white with a black spot in the middle . Can someone provide a photo or link to a photo of what he uses. I searched the forums and Green Harvest and I can't find the type of cowpea Mr. Lawton uses. I could not tell from the video. And the Lupines looked huge compared to what I have. please help!

    Sorry this has really been bugging me :)
    Michael
     
  2. Hamishmac

    Hamishmac Junior Member

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    Re: Cowpeas

    Hi MichaelT,

    Welcome to the forum. Always good to hear from new permies, whether experienced or novice. There are several cultivars of cowpea (Vigna unguiculata). Sounds like the cultivar you have is what we call the Black-Eyed Pea:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black-eyed_pea

    which is the type I get from my local foodstore when buying edible beans (seeds) here in SE Queensland, Australia. When I buy cowpea seed from my seedstore they are brownish/red in colour which I think are Red Caloona, and when I buy from https://www.greenharvest.com.au/ they arrive with a small bag of Rhizobium inoculant, which is a mixture of the beneficial bacteria used for nitrogen fixation. There are 4 cultivars and I suppose which you use depends on your needs and local conditions. Other links:

    https://www.entm.purdue.edu/NGICA/
    https://www.iita.org/cms/details/cowpea_project_details.aspx?zoneid=63&articleid=269

    I have a couple of .pdf info sheets on them, written by CSIRO, our agric research mob (includes details of cultivars). If you'd like them, send me your email by PM (personal message) and I'll forwards them on.

    Interestingly, when I buy off Elders, the farmers seed retailer, the bloke said if you are just growing for green manure, don't bother wasting money on Rhizobium inoculant as it will be time to turn the crop into the soil before the nitrogen fixing benefits have really taken off. Different story if growing for food yield.

    Remember to let us know how you get on!

    Regards,

    Hamish
     
  3. MichaelT

    MichaelT Junior Member

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    Re: Cowpeas

    Thanks for answering a newbie question so thoroughly...

    We homeschool our 2 children 4 and 9 and they are determined to grow oranges and Jackfruit in Colorado :D

    I will PM my email to you. Thanks for the pdfs and the info. I will upload photos as we progress.

    Thanks,

    Michael
     
  4. MichaelT

    MichaelT Junior Member

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    Re: Cowpeas

    Here are some images from our progress. We have much to learn and a long way to go.

    If you see anything that you think we should change please post your response as we appreciate
    any and all critiques.

    Our images: https://s1.webstarts.com/thompsonpermaculture/index.html

    Thanks!!! :D
     
  5. alfamick

    alfamick Junior Member

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    Re: Cowpeas

    Hi Michael,

    That garden looks like it's off to a great start! What I like especially is your bold approach to the front yard :D I'm not that game - my street-facing garden is going to stay fairly typical with the rest of our street for a while at least.
     
  6. MichaelT

    MichaelT Junior Member

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    Re: Cowpeas

    Thanks for the reply. The folks around me took some training :) but I have five houses all supporting our efforts I even have two houses next to us that have started small gardens. All of the swales ( I use the term loosely, because they are so small ) were dug by hand with a shovel and I can convert it all back to grass :shock: if need be.

    BTW, Thanks for responding.

    It is amazing to see the kids walk through the swales with their notebooks and cameras; taking samples, drawing pictures and sampling the greens. They saw Bill Mollison picking things and eating them from various gardens in his videos and they were hooked. It is so cool to see them have the chance to eat REAL food and not get hooked on sodas and fast food which we have nothing to do with.

    Sydney waves at the ice cream truck as it passes by and says, "there goes the high fructose corn syrup truck" shes 5 years old.

    All of this is for them!!!

    We hope to get 5 acres someday. I'll be satisfied with 2.

    Thanks again
     
  7. gemjill

    gemjill Junior Member

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    Re: Cowpeas

    G'day
    Your garden is beautiful; very productive and attractive at the same time. Well done.
    We get really hot sun in this part of Oz too, so I either interplant tender stuff like lettuce with tall shady plants like sunflower or corn, anything tall really to provide some shade;
    or we use shadecloth, old net curtains, sheets etc to drape over the veg when it's a scorcher. Though the last option isn't so attractive for a front garden but your neighbours are obviously well trained.

    Keep up the good work
    cheers
     
  8. sunnyslopes

    sunnyslopes Junior Member

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    Re: Cowpeas

    I bought a 50 lb. bag of cowpea this year. The name on the bag was claypea or ironpea. The seed is very small and has the color of dark clay with no spot. Interesting too that these seeds produced a plant with no flowers or peas. Since I purchased for ground cover and feed for chickens I didn't have a problem with that.
     

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