Surprise Harvest – Cow Pea


Finding self-sown seedlings is always a treat.  But to find self-sown seedlings that are producing an abundance of food is fantastic. This is a Cow PeaVigna unguiculata subsp. cylindricaOtherwise known as a CatjangThey are closely related to snake beans and black eye beans.

Originally I planted these 2 years ago as a Green Manure crop.  Not realising what they are, each spring a new plant will pop up somewhere within the garden.  These I would simple ignore and pull out eventually over winter, once dead.  But this summer curiosity got the better of me.  And I discovered ‘They are edible!’

Cow Peas are a climbing plant, but will also happily sprawl along the ground, like the one above.  Once the pods begin to dry, they are ready for harvesting.  From one plant I have harvested to date 200g of seed, roughly 1 cup.

Inside is tiny little seeds, that are perfect to add to lentils, dahl and stews.