How To Know When Beans Are Ripe?

brute(Florida 9B)October 20, 2008

I've got several cowpea (black-eyed pea) pods out there that are looking big and juicy, but still green. If I want to eat fresh peas, how should the pod look, green or brown?

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scents_from_heaven(z9b Orlando FL)

It should look green and the fact that it is fat generally means they are ready to pick and shell. Zip open one of the pods and if the peas are nice and big then you need to pick, cook and enjoy, Linda

    Bookmark   October 20, 2008 at 8:46AM
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watermelon7(9 - 10)

Are beans perennials, or do they only grow vegetables once?

    Bookmark   October 21, 2008 at 8:44PM
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scents_from_heaven(z9b Orlando FL)

They generally will produce many pickings over a season but they are not perennials. You need to resow them each year. Linda

    Bookmark   October 21, 2008 at 10:22PM
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brute(Florida 9B)

I brought some pods into the house and opened them. The peas, while large, were green and so hard I couldn't easily crush one with my fingers.
I've never grown black-eyed peas before. I'm used to seeing them grayish-white with a black "eye". Are they supposed to be green?

    Bookmark   October 25, 2008 at 8:30AM
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You can harvest and cook them at any stage after the pod fills out. I always let my blackeye peas just dry on the bush, then pick and shell them.

When the pod gets brown and sorta papery, it's time to harvest for drying. You can let them get completely dry on the plant, but watch out for fungus. I used to lay them out between newspapers to dry, then store them.

To get the best taste, add a ham hock or some salt pork to the pot, as well as a small chopped onion when cooking.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2008 at 10:28AM
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scents_from_heaven(z9b Orlando FL)

They will be green ntil cooked. The color you are used to is the dried beas you biy in the store and JYG is correct in that you allow them to dry on the bush and pick when the hull is very papery and rustles when you touch it. I love them fresh off the vine and yes cook them with ham hocks, ham bones, ham pieces, sat pork, country ham or plain bacon or bacin drippings. Salt towards the end as they cook down. Make a pone of cornbread to ass to the pot liquor and some hot pepper sauce and you will be in southern heaven. Linda

    Bookmark   October 25, 2008 at 10:35AM
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