Over the weekend, I removed the rest of the dried seed pods from my Pigeon Pea bush.
After shelling the peas this is what I ended up with:
Considering this is still from the first crop, I estimate I got 2 ramekins full - one dry and one green.
What's great about these plants is that they will live and produce for 3-4 years. I'm hoping my next crop will be double what this first one produced. I'll be sure to catch as many as I can in the green stage.
Since I've never cooked dry Pigeon peas, my research found that you need to soak them first (like normal beans) for at least 6 hours, then boil for 5 minutes, throw out that water or they'll be bitter (onto your garden, once it cools of course!), and then boil again and continue cooking for another 30 minutes. Apparently they remain "firm" and no amount of longer boiling will "soften them". Should be an interesting experiment. I'm thinking they'll be "chewier" than normal beans.
It's pretty amazing that you can grow green peas on a bush in your back yard and with very little fuss. And if you miss the green stage, you still have a dried pea food source.
If you want to try your hand at growing Pigeon Peas, shoot me an email at slexperiments (at yahoo) with your mailing address and I'll send some your way. I have a limited number of seeds (just itching to get in the ground), so it will be first come, first served.