140 days — Although not common in the United States, and often considered an "orphan crop
," pigeon peas are an important crop in many parts of the world. In reference to its high protein content and since it is typically grown by subsistence farmers, in marginal soils, it is sometimes referred to as "poor peoples' meat
It has been cultivated at least 3,000 years and is believed to have originated in India, spread to East Africa, and then to the Americas via the early slave trade.
Pigeon peas are a vigorous, productive, drought-tolerant legume. They have a pungent, sweet flavor, a meaty texture, and are used in dishes combined with beans, rice, and often seasoned with hot chilies. The slow cooking nature of these beans allows for a rich, savory broth to be created. Culture:
They are cultivated like Southern peas and soybeans. Sow seeds to one inch deep, three to four inches apart on raised beds with forty inches between beds. Plant late in the spring after soil temperatures have warmed. Germination can take fifteen to twenty days if planted too early. It is a long season crop requiring approximately 140 days from seeding to the beginning of harvest. In most parts of the United States where freezing temperatures are possible, they must be grown as an annual.
Each packet contains 0.5 ounce, which is approximately 80 seeds.