Growing Purple Hull Peas | Wild + Whole Sourced

By | November 29, 2022

As an avid gardener, Danielle, is eager to grow a new variety of legumes and seeks expert advice from Misty Newcomb. In this episode, Danielle and Misty uncover the importance of seed saving and seed diversity. By understanding the significance of the purple hull pea in the South, they learn how seeds represent our past, provide hope for the future, and are a link to our local community. Together, they prepare the purple hull pea in a traditional Southern recipe, but also find interesting new ways of working with the legume.
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Every meal has a story to tell that is If you're willing to look for it I'm Danielle Pruitt and I started wild and Whole with the mission to reawaken our Connection to food And to empower us to develop meaningful Relationships with the ingredients on Our plate You're not just farming sustainably You're regenerating as a cook I'm driven By curiosity and my inspiration Springs From harvesting ingredients directly From its source I've spent the past Decade of my life trying to eat Consciously and believe me it's not Always easy but it's taught me the value Of our food and resources and of course It brings me so much joy in the kitchen I want to challenge your perception of What food is where it comes from and how Those two elements are woven into our Lives [Music] Because connecting to our landscape Through food means so much more than Just the calories that sustain us Welcome to Wild and whole sourced I've always believed in connecting to Our food and not just meat but Everything else on our plate the food I Cook at home is very Whole Food driven And I love to eat seasonally with a Variety of fruits and vegetables I enjoy Supporting local farmers as often as

Possible but as an avid Gardener I found That growing my own food is truly a Rewarding experience I've recently moved To a new home and I'm starting another Garden from scratch I'm eager to grow a New variety of legumes that'll be Perfect for this climate the purple hole Pea Since it's my first time growing them I've decided to seek expert advice and I Know just the person Misty Newcombe has Been growing harvesting and cooking with This piece and she was a child I Tradition handed down to her by her Grandparents I'm traveling to Arkansas To the Newcomb Farm to learn a little Bit more about the history behind this Pea and how to have a successful Harvest What's interesting about the purple hole Pea is the history and story it carries Cow peas were brought to the U.S by Slave trade and are fundamental to the American South the tradition of good Luck soup is to bring luck into the new Year a cooking with this pea is also a Way to honor the culture it comes from Okay let's get started with this soup as Far as the peas go I see them fresh I See them dried what's your favorite way Of cooking with them well I think that They actually end up tasting the same to Be real honest this is a little bit a Little bit nuttier a little bit fresher I think the big draw to dry peas is the

Shelling process oh it's easier because The when it's dry you can kind of break Up you could just break it apart like You just kind of split it up Well let's use dried because I love the Idea of infusing it with all the Ingredients here because I see I see a Ton of spices the real flavor I'm going To be honest is going to come from your Broth like having a really high quality Stock and it's going to come from you Know your aromatics there's bay leaves Somewhere around here Does a lot of your food here in Arkansas Have Cajun influence you know if you Think about southern food in general Then you're going to have a lot of Really the African dice board so whether That's You've got Caribbean influences you have What we think of as traditionally Southern food is not really it didn't Like you know emerge from Georgia it Emerged from the African-Americans who Were cooking for for people and that is In everything everything that we that we Do you know pea Farmers they've got it Hard it's not a it's not like an easy Easy life you have to plant these four Inches apart which is a lot really close And you have to plant so many to get Clay was saying hey I wish you would Grow more so that we could have these Like once a month and I was like do you

Know how much of our garden real estate Number one and also my bag You know digging little holes four Inches apart you have to they you plant Them really close together or at least That's how we do it we're talking about So many different elements to this P That is representative of the culture But you know the hardships that people Went through and I think today being Able to cook it it's sort of a way to Honor the people before you Something I've never grown before and I Love experimenting with new things new Foods in general especially when it Comes to cooking but also the element of Growing it and watching a seed become This food that you cherish is very cool Yeah so we've got caramelized onion this Is where we add our chicken broth and I Think it's always worthy to just look at It and celebrate it we call it Liquid Gold around here yep so I think that There's like a ratio of beans to broth That I'm looking for that's kind of how I decide how many how much to add like What's in the pot right now is probably A one to four ratio the beans are going To soak it up and they're going to swell Up and they'll look a little bit more Like the ones that are fresh by the time They're done [Music] So this is going to take forever so

Usually while this happens we cook Cornbread [Music] And so what we do is we're going to just Add this in here I'm also going to add a little bit of The broth here so we're going to take Care of the bitterness of greens so I Just told you all the um healthy things That we do like if we don't put a bunch Of sugar in our cornbread we don't make It as sweet as the kind I had growing up But I imagine if you're going to eat Greens and you're going to make them Really wonderful you're going to have to Add some stuff so we're going to add Some of our bacon in fact we've reserved Most of our real crispy pieces of bacon For this we're going to add that in here Because we want that fat to be cooking We are going to add sugar to this oh and So if I clay will travel to Canada for Bear hunting season he's got you know he He ends up there and he'll bring me back Some Canadian maple syrup and we add That at the very end but we're gonna let This just cook down for right now and We're gonna keep an eye on it because in The cooking Dam we don't want it to be Mushy and that's kind of a common way to Have it is where it just becomes like Mush and some people really like that And those people don't really love this There are two kinds of collard green

People and I'll be honest I've never had Collard greens like this except for here Okay I mean when I say some people I Mean like the newcombs really like it Like this So how do we serve this how do we plate It okay so there's a couple different Ways you can do it some people like to Separate their food out we go all in One Bowl put it all just yes go beans Greens cornbread on the side and Cornbread soaks up the juice Perfect all Right So I brought a gift Um this is something I made it's a Zucchini relish sweet and spicy it Reminds me a lot of chow chow and so When back home when we eat something Very similar with our cow peas and we do Smoke talks and collard greens we add This to the top so I am going to share This with you so exciting but I think It's probably very similar to what you Have going on with the the greens to add Sort of that vibrant acidic and sweet Elements that I think sort of makes the The peas pop nice at least that's what I'm thinking in my head so So you're gonna you're gonna do this the The new confirm way where you just throw It right on top I am mix it all together I'm gonna combine everything right all In one thing There you go

Thank you for sharing this I feel like This is such a special meal to have Because I know you took a long time to Show these peas yeah it's really good I Really like it with this relish it gives It like a pop with every bite [Music] Thank you so much oh you're so welcome You're so welcome Thank you for Coming to the Nukem farm and eating oh My gosh this is awesome I'm paying Appropriate homage to yeah the purple Whole pea We've talked a little bit about seeds And about the the value of of seeds in Our history one of the things that we've Learned inside of gardening is the value Of using local seeds that do well in the Local environment whenever I first Started gardening I wanted all the Colorful things and I still do like I Still try to grow a purple head of Broccoli every year I mean it's fun but One of the things that I learned is if You really want to have success do what Does what grows well in your community And my my great aunt told me that my Great-grandparents would go to a seed Shop in town and every every season and I started looking for one here okay and The place that we found that sells seeds That is just full of local seeds and the Varieties that local farmers use it's

Called chicken holler oh fun I would Love to go and I want to see what scenes Y'all are growing and sort of compare it To what I find back home and then I will Probably take some home And after a delicious and fulfilling Meal we head down the road to chicken Holler Misty's local seed shop to see What varieties grow best in this area And to talk about the importance of seed Saving I have three flowers and you can Get like all the hanging things but you Can also get blueberries and Strawberries oh this is like my heaven Here saving seeds is about more than Just growing it tells the story of our Past and connects us with our community It's a critical component to preserving Sea diversity knowing that we have Varieties of fruits and vegetables each With different culinary attributes and Ensuring the future of food production I've always wondered how long I can keep Seeds for every year I'm like is this Going to grow It's kind of old Tomatoes saved the best And um like corn and beans you'll get Like 50 germination if you save them in The freezer but not you know not 90 or 100. the seed part of the store is my Favorite part I kind of feel like a kid In a candy shop every time I come I love Taking pictures because they set their Seeds up not in packets I mean you can

Buy packets of seeds but they're like Bulk bins here so it's worth looking It's a lot of the seeds that we have Saved over at in our farm for the last Couple years originated here oh wow oh That sounds so fun I would love to Explore your seed Library yeah and You're gonna have to tell me which seeds Are sort of regional to this area that Are special and I'm just curious to see It's not every day you see a shop like This and their selection of scenes and Local knowledge plays such an important Role in supporting the gardening Community I used to teach in preschool Classes and we would always try to have Bins like this for little kids to to Play in and I think this is the adult Version of it I kind of feel like when You come here it feels like you're going To an old General Store you know where You can get everything I don't think I've ever seen a store that carries Seeds like yeah and all of these will Grow cool locally and I think that's one Of the really valuable things we value Local food I mean if you're growing your Own food you value extremely local food Yeah so we value local food but we Should also value the people who help Make that possible and we were really Warned there's going to be seed supply Shortages and that was the case for like I like to grow some kind of funky

Flowers that we that aren't really yeah But I can get anything that I need to Feed my family right here strawberries Are outside things like that so I think It's really important to find local Places that serve service and support Farmers absolutely even if like somebody Who's relatively new to gardening going To a place like this yeah if I have any Questions I know that probably a lot of People in that room are going to be able To help you and answer those questions [Music] So we talked earlier today about cow Peas and if you look here so these are The this is pink eye purple whole piece I mean this is what we ate today and Like I said where we grew up it was like And I think part of it is that the soil There was not as good and so if you go To different parts of the state where The soil is not as good then people are More interested in I mean these are Going to put nitrogen in your soil oh They're going to be powerhouses I mean They're going to give more than they pay I never really realized before I started Gardening what the difference was Between like a green bean right and a Purple Hulk pea and then like a bean Bean like that you know a dried bean and I mean I knew the difference between Cooking but not like botanically Speaking and in the way that you know

Those purple peas and beans are really Made You know to be preserved for those times Of need and like thinking ahead I just I Think that's interesting [Music] Back at Misty's we prepare for the seed Swap a community Gathering that Misty's Hosting on the Newcomb Farm This allows Farmers to share and Congregate around something that Sustains their lives and provides an Outlet for all the love they've planted All year So Misty what do we have here okay so we Have a bunch of dead flowers right here And we have corn that we let dry on the On the stock for a long time and so it's Really hard this is our sweet corn and What we're going to do is we're going to Turn them into seed packets to give out At the seed swap tonight Foreign I love that we have all these flowers Separated and packets to give to Everybody but as you know I'm starting Out my garden And I'm really anxious to grow some Purple whole piece yeah so I'm going to Send you home with some Nukem Farm Purple whole piece and I'll take you Over the garden and show you how we're Getting our started yeah let's go see it Foreign

[Music] This is our first time to ever use this Soil for gardening so you can kind of See a difference if you look at the soil Over there and over here and that soil Is a lot darker it the Mounds of the of The rows are a little higher because Every year they get just a little bit Higher because we just add organic Matter to it I learned this method by doing flowers This method of netting more than Trellising but we're just going to put a Piece of wood here a stake here you know One halfway down and then at the end so We're going to make like a little Rectangle and then we're going to put The net on top of it and tie it up and Then as they grow up as the seeds grow Up then I'm going to just sort of make Sure they're growing through the square So this is great because it's ready to Roll and I can move the net as I see Them needing as they start to grow up Okay as I see them needing support Okay so thank you all for showing up to Our first annual seed swap Sparkle Fingers A couple years ago you all know the Story of Dede's mom and how she got Alzheimer's and we couldn't really talk About much with her but she could talk About farming and gardening because that Was like way long-term memory that she

Still had and I planted some seeds that She talked about she talked about Kentucky wonders and talked about like The value of green beans and if you were Gonna it wasn't worth planting green Beans unless you plan on Kentucky Wonders so we plan an element every year We eat them and we serve them to her Grandkids many who are running around Here and every time we see those plants We think about her and I think that this Is really special because when we put These plants and these seeds in the Ground we're going to think about each Other in our Gardens and everything is Better life is better if shared in Community and so I think this is a Really special way to take what we all Love to do and to take what we've been Doing digitally to a whole new level so Thank you all for for showing up and Being a part Glory [Applause] Of my way [Applause] [Music] [Applause] In case you're wondering when to cheer Is when I do this [Music] Back in my home state of Texas I planted The purple hole pea seeds that Misty Gave me these peas love intense heat and

Can grow from late spring to early fall It's been a joy watching these plants Grow and I've already learned a lot About my micro climate and the local Pests such as the leaf cutter ants Within a few months the peas are ready For Harvest and I'm so excited for Misty To join me in my garden and celebrate With the meal [Music] Until I really started to research I Didn't realize that they're actually Very popular here and I know that in Some of our communities yeah like we Have a purple whole pea Festival yeah in Texas and so I know there's a lot of Regions in Texas that can grow it and I Think it's just those zones where it can Get really hot yeah the difference maybe Our rainfall is right is probably a Significant difference I think you told Me you don't even irrigate your garden Not this time of year I don't I mean That's crazy yeah we don't water that That often come August we'll need to Water usually last year we had a really Dry August so I had to water but during This time of the year we get floods so In Arkansas we have to stake them Because the leaves get so heavy because There's so many and I think it is the Water I think it has to be the water I Know they were very full before that Ants came and stripped them yeah but

You'll see huge mounds of ant hills and So that's when they like get the heavy Duty chemicals out but I don't really Want to do that so one thing I'm Interested in learning from you Misty is Sometimes I see them fresh yeah and then There's like the dried version and which Is what you pick right so I've noticed That these peas go through different Stages of being green to purple right Yeah they start off green and usually They're a little small once they get Full size they start to turn purple if We pick this one off and we start to Because it's so green what we're going To see inside of there is like a bright Green with a pretty heavy purple dot on It let's just pick it and see [Music] Before we shell these I want to pick a Few more ingredients from the garden for Cooking today great all right [Music] All right let's shell some peas we Actually have a bit more of a handful Than I originally thought yeah let's get A pot of soup [Laughter] So you've got a couple different kinds Here you've got these green ones and These are fresher obviously and so They're going to be prettier but they're Going to be a little harder to Shell That one is this is a good one

Oh my gosh So do you have a method you've done this So many times you've probably got like a System down huh the main thing I like to Do is just hear them drop So that's once you get it split you can Just rip her open like that [Music] So I think what I'm gonna do is take This little handful of dried beans and I'm just gonna plant them probably Tomorrow and try to get some more going But we have a little bit of fresh peas And I've got a couple different out of The box ways of cooking them one is that They're going to be cooked in a salted Water and pureed into a hummus okay and Then the other way I want to prepare That is sort of a summertime cold salad With a lot of those fresh tomatoes so It's just so warm out here I just wanted Something really refreshing yeah [Music] One of the cool things I kind of Realized when I started gardening is That it's similar to cooking with Wild Game and when you compare Wild game and Domestic exactly yeah this idea in your Head that it's going to be this like Um standardized uniform thing and Wild Game is certainly not everything they Eat affects the flavor and gardening is The same way you get lots of different Shapes and sizes the heat can really

Change the way something tastes how much You've been watering it I just think It's really cool to be able to Experience yeah food in that way what Time of the day you pick it changes a Lot of things taste So I want to marinate the peas so that They sort of soak up a lot of flavor and The way I do that is to make a really Basic vinaigrette with some lemon and Some garlic All right so the last thing we're going To add uh before all the marinade is Some really thin sliced red onion okay Because I like onion do you like onion I Do like onions okay yeah Never know Enough Add this in and then the peas will go in Oh it's so pretty and then the Vinaigrette I like a lot of marinade do you I do but That's probably plenty in there all Right so we can just wrap this up store It in the fridge because I want to eat It cold All right so these peas are super super Soft and like mushy that's what I want To get a really smooth hummus okay so I'm going to put this in the blender and If you wouldn't mind I've got a head of Garlic that's roasted and I want to put The whole thing in there so just squeeze The garlic cloves out and then I'm gonna

Puree this with a little bit of yogurt Because I found that once I started Making this the traditional way which is With tahini I noticed that it was like a Little brown and I thought that was Unappealing right so the yogurt is Actually really nice because it whitens It a little bit and then it also just Adds some Tang which I think is is Really nice so I'm going to go ahead and Get this part going if you don't mind Doing it I don't mind okay Foreign [Music] Probably not the most authentic way to Eat it but I think it is my favorite Bread more I like it a lot more than Pita and so it's just to me a nice Little way to dip so I'm gonna go ahead And Spoon this into a bowl And then pour a bunch of olive oil On the top And then this is sort of a garnish it's Really nice and cold it's cucumber Shallot parsley lemon juice so it's just Kind of that like refreshing little Thing I think it just adds a little Something extra to the hummus yes I've Got respect for what you've done here Well thank you I appreciate it I I Really I just like to spend time making Things look pretty yeah it looks good You can sit back and enjoy it as Something you've like accomplished oh

Yeah I don't know why this is Art like You can see it's beautiful a big part to This component it's like the cold crunch Texture with the soft really smooth I Think what I like about the peas is how Easy it was to get it so smooth yeah It's like compared to a dry bean and I Think this would be Better to make the hummus with a fresh Frozen peas because they're just they're Nothing soft yeah well I've got another Thing that I want to cook for you and I Feel like we've been talking so much About nostalgic dishes and memories so I Want to cook for you a Texas sheet cake Have you eaten a lot of sheet cakes I Have had I mean yes remember I I was Actually born in Texas so yeah so yeah That to me is my childhood okay the way It smells the way it looks everything And I really love it so I'm gonna make That exciting okay great Foreign [Music] Foreign Dish to serve with the pea salad I Wanted to do something kind of fun that I haven't cooked in a long time that's Special to me which is a pheasant cutlet We used to live in North Dakota we did a Lot of bird hunting and pheasant is just Something that's really special to me to Have on the menu because we don't live There anymore and we don't have them out

Our back door so anytime I have them in The freezer I just wanted to share them With you have you had beds I was going To say fun fact I've never eaten peasant Oh super excited I'm so excited to share This with you this is from our last fall Hunting trip and it's our last visit in The freezer okay so so I get the last One yes it's very special all right and It'll cook so so quickly in the pan but It'll get really nice and crispy and Crunchy and delicious perfect so I'll Let you pound that out I'm gonna get a Pan and oil ready Thank you Pepper Okay and now we'll go dredge it in the Flour first And then the egg mixture and then roll It in the panko [Music] All right I think we have everything we Need we'll serve the salad with a Pheasant cutlet and we can go eat great All right Foreign [Music] Thank you so much for coming all the way To my home to eat with me and to garden With me I'm a little bit amazed at like We're able to pull off this kind of a Meal that so much of it has been grown Ourselves or hunted myself so thank you So much for being here yeah thank you so

Much for sharing this with me it looks Beautiful and wonderful and same thing This is It's always exciting to eat a Meal that you Source yourself oh my gosh Absolutely like I know where everything Came from and I just think it's pretty Cool that you grew these all the way in Arkansas and then I picked them up and Then I grew them I just think the whole Process to be sitting here and eating Some of them it's so special it is very Special yes I hope that you know Assuming that I'm gonna figure out this New Garden area that I'm going to be Able to grow more successfully and then Pass this on because I don't think it's Something that is done very often in This day and age yeah it's very special It is special and you I think the whole Experience of these peas and sharing Them with you has been just such a Community experience and has really been Kind of what with this lifestyle to me Anyway is all about imagine if people Didn't do that I wouldn't be able to Fully put this meal together it's true Growing your own food is a rewarding Experience both in terms of Self-sufficiency and in creating a Delicious meal What I've learned through growing the Purple hole piece is that the food we Eat can carry a lot of meaning Seeds are more than just the start of a

Plant or sustenance they're a symbol of Our culture They represent the stories of our Nation's past and can become a link to Our local community [Music]