Each year, millions of Americans consume black eyed peas as part of a New Year’s tradition. While some simply consume the black eyed pea in hopes of becoming wealthy, others remain realistic in the black eyed peas’ most likely contribution; to simply bring family and friends together with a common goal. As a twist on the tradition black eyed pea meal, many American families are turning to black eyed peas as a viable option in home landscaping and gardening.
Black eyed peas are believed to have originated in North Africa. Not considered a pea, the black eye pea is actually in the family of beans and is now commonly grown as a major crop production in India. Full of calcium, folate and Vitamin A, black eyed peas offer a unique nutritional supplement, especially to pregnant women. As a soft and creamy food product, baby food can be produced, with ease, by placing black eyed peas in the food processor offering infants with the added calcium, folate and vitamin A nutrients.
In foods, black eyed peas add a unique texture, especially to southern based foods. Believed to bring good luck for the New Year, many Americans consume black eyed peas, alone, as a main course meal or indulge in black eyed peas by mixing them into soups, salads and casseroles. Believed to bring not only financial stability but also personal enrichment, the black eyed peas received their status when southerners felt the black eyed pea was the closests food representing a coin and, therefore, hopes of wealth and prosperity.
In addition to human consumption, cattle and swine commonly feed off of black eyed peas as part of a hay crop. In addition, black eyed peas, as a legume, offer a rich nutrient to soil and make for a great addition to landscaping and gardening when used in moderation.
As a New Year’s family tradition, some American families, especially those in the South, have begun to plant black eyed peas in outdoor gardens with hopes of a good harvest in time for the following New Year’s celebration. Because the plant does not grow well in cold temperatures and frost, this New Year’s tradition is commonly begun indoors in small potting plants, allowing the see to germain, and then transferred to the outdoor landscaping. When considering this tradition, purchase soil and fertilizer which is nitrogen free and avoid watering the black eyed pea plant excessively as the plant propers wonderfully in warm, dry climates.
With so many New Year’s rituals, black eyed peas have remained at the forefront of American New Year’s celebrations. When considering food preparation for New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day or simply interested in beginning a family New Year’s tradition and resolution, consider planting and growing your own black eyed peas and, hopefully, your financial situation will improve and the New Year will bring a renewed self of well being.