Cowpea of Veneto- Italian Cowpea (Vigna unguiculata) This heirloom cowpea's origins date back to sub-Saharan Africa of the 1500's or perhaps even earlier, eventually becoming popular in Italy and eventually North America through the slave trade. This variety was very popular in the Veneto region of Italy where it is also referred to as 'Fagiolo Dall'occhio di Veneto' or Friulani Cornetti. A fairly easy cowpea to grow here in Nova Scotia's growing season of extremes. We have had good results during the hot and dry conditions as well as through humid, cool and wet weather. Pods are about 7 inches long and mature upright like pretzels or tiny wooden spokes. Expect twelve to thirteen seeds in each. Plants are very sturdy and bush-like with dark green foliage and bearing very attractive flowers. Growth habit makes it a good choice for those with tight gardening space. Mature seeds are white with black hylum (eye), hence the other common name, Black-eyed Peas. Young immature pods can be used like string beans, or allowed to mature to dry and shell and used like common cowpeas. A very flavourful bean with an earthy tase similar to mushrooms. We really enjoyed these beans cooked in omelettes.
80-90 days to maturity
50 seeds $3.95
Planting Instructions: Select a sunny location and direct sow when threat of last spring frost has passed. Pre-soak seeds overnight and direct seed into warm soil at 1-1.5" depth, keep moist. Tolerates heat, drought, humidity, but best with good supply of moisture.