2012 cowpeas & other Vigna
What cowpeas or yardlongs did everyone grow this year? And how well did they do?
This is a report on the cowpeas & other genus Vigna that I grew in 2012. All but one were repeats:
Yardlong beans and cowpeas
* "Bush Sitao Var. BS-3" - snap/dry, from SSE, developed in the Philippines. Semi-bush cowpea with 6-8" pods, bred to be eaten as snaps. The pods are light green, have a firm cooked texture & semi-sweet flavor. These did incredibly well this year; two large pickings of pods, then let the rest go for seed. Kidney-shaped tan & white seeds, the pods let go produced over 4# of dry seed from a 20 foot row.
Bush Sitao Var. BS-3
* "Fagiolino Dolico Veneto" - dry, from SSE member. This is a semi-bush black eyed pea. The seeds are a little smaller than commercial varieties, but the yield is very high. Did really well, over 5# of dry seed from 20' of row. For some reason, this was much more attractive to wasps than my other cowpeas. They were swarming on this patch in large numbers; but the nectar appears to make the wasps docile, I was never stung while harvesting as long as I moved slowly.
* "MN 157" - dry, from SSE member. This is a true bush, purple hulled, calico pea... very unusual. It was bred in Minnesota for short-season areas (hence the designation) and usually does well here. This year, however, it was heavily stunted early, and did not bear as well as in years past. I was able to coax the plants into producing a second set, but this was heavily attacked by box elder bugs (!!!) which destroyed most of the seed. Only got 2.5# of dry seed from 36 feet of row, about half of what I expected... which is a shame, because it is my favorite for flavor.
* "Yardlong, Galante" - pole, commercial variety from the Philippines. Light green, sweet, very firm pods 24-28" long. This one bore consistently all summer long; we ate them, froze them, gave them away. The seed is dark reddish brown, with a small cream patch on one end. Curiously, when temperatures finally began to cool into the 70's, the white patch on the seed grew larger; seed that matured during hot weather was almost completely brown. The pods in the photo below are old & not typical of the variety, but it was all I had at the time.
* "Yardlong, Sierra Madre" - pole, another commercial variety from the Philippines. Deep green pods just shorter than Galante, but wider. Slower to develop fiber than any yardlong I've grown; even the dry pods are papery. In diameter, flavor, and texture, this is the closest yardlong I've found to snap beans... snapped & frozen, you can hardly tell them apart. A good yield, but still less than Galante and Chinese Red Noodle. Dry seed is tan & cream.
* "Yardlong, Three Feet Plus" - pole, GW seed swap several years ago, originally from Evergreen. Was sent to me as "Yard & 1/2" (as shown in the photo below) but corrected to match the listing by Evergreen Y.H. This was a new...