Crop Spotlight: Black Eyed Peas

Black Eyed Peas growing in the field at Sankofa Community Farm.

Writer Amiyah Stradford has been a youth farmer at Sankofa Community Farm since 2018. She runs the Farm’s blog, which you can read here.

This week, we’re focusing on Black Eyed Peas, a popular crop at our farm. It’s widely loved by staff and students. Also called cowpea, Black Eyed Peas have been found in recipes going back to the Middle Ages! This plant originated in west Africa and it is one of the most widely-dispersed beans in the world. It can even be found growing wild in parts of Asia. It’s widely used in soul food, especially in the Southern US. You may have heard that they bring good luck: in the South, eating them on New Year’s Day is considered very good luck. They’re cooked with greens—the beans symbolize prosperity because they swell when cooked and the greens symbolize money. Most beans grown commercially are the California Black Eye variety.

Here’s some benefits of the Black Eyed Pea:

  • Excellent source of calcium, protein, fiber, and vitamin A.
  • Nourishing to the soil.
  • Helps with cell formation.
  • Helpful during pregnancy.
Dried Black Eyed Peas

Did this teach you anything you didn’t know? Tune in next week to hear about a new crop!