Purple Hull harvesting questions
Hey, Guys & Gals! Me again, with a few questions that I should probably be able to figure out but I'd really appreciate experienced advice.
Last Fall in the swap, I received purple hull pea & pinkeye cowpea seeds. I planted the purple hull this spring, saving the pinkeye for later. Well, they're grown like gang-busters! I fenced them with CRW to keep them separate from my bush green beans. They are producing long pods that mature to purple. Now for the questions:
Do I wait for the whole pod to turn purple before harvesting? So far I've "shelled" a few and they're a pale green pea inside. Is that right? They still have a slight "green" taste when eaten raw. Does that change after you cook them? Do I dry them to preserve them? How? or if I freeze them, I should blanch them after shelling, right? DH wants me to invest in a sheller, but I don't know that I want to do that yet. Is there an easier way? I read Soonergrandmom's thread from last year on beans and several others that contained advice from George, but none have told me when to harvest! One Google search said I could harvest when 50% of the pod was green, but that seem too early to me.
Any advice is greatly appreciated!