PEAS, Northern Notch Pidgeon Peas (Adapted)

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PIDGEON PEAS  Northern Notch (Adapted)  Cajanus cajan  91%  (Feb.  2022) Seeds per packet ~ 50

This variety was introduced to us by our friends at Truelove Seeds, and this lot was grown by Ujamaa member and Truelove alumna Amirah Mitchell of Sistah Seeds. Here's the description from Truelove, which quotes their original source, East New York Farms: "Pigeon peas, called "Gandules" in Spanish and "Gungo peas" in Jamaica, are a staple food in the Caribbean community in East New York.

In our neighborhood, gardeners and other community folks have shared with us that they normally harvest the peas at the shelling stage and cook them with rice and coconut milk, or add the peas to hearty soups and stews which may include some combination of pumpkin, cooked greens like callaloo or malabar spinach, dumplings, and fresh coconut among other ingredients. Some folks even use the leaves of the plant to make tea! In the tropics, they are typically harvested right around the holiday season, and multiple folks have told us some variation of, "it wouldn't be Christmas without gungo peas!".

They have a high nutritional value and are easy to grow, being drought resistant and not requiring pest control. They can be grown on marginal land. Pigeon peas are grown in tropical and sub-tropical areas throughout the world. Although India is the top producer (where it's called "toor dal" or "arhar dal"), they are also grown in Africa, Southeast Asia, and Central America. In the tropics, the plant is a short-lived perennial. Because pigeon peas grown in the tropics require long nights to trigger flowering, they typically do not mature in our northern latitude/climate until late in the season and cannot set seed before frost.

Dr. Sharad Phatak, of the University of Georgia-Tifton, developed pigeon pea varieties that are not as day length sensitive and can begin flowering and setting seed earlier in the season. This variety is one of the two varieties Dr. Phatak gave to East New York Farms via Mohammad Faroze, a former staff at Cornell Cooperative Extension. We've grown these seeds out for several years at East New York Farms with good luck. Days to maturity: 120"