Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

We have some friends from Trinidad Tobago and they were complaining that they can't get pigeon peas. So I said I'll grow some for them.

You can get 'seed' supplies from Green Harvest and other seed places, but PPs are also a Indian grocers standard ...as I recall in my foraging. Am I right?

Any legume junkies out there, I'm asking: 'Do wholefoods stores  also stock them?'

They are sold here as chicken food and a cover crop, but their culinary aspects are quite strong in certain cuisines.

I had made a big pot of  pelau and that requires PP. What an interesting dish that is.

So I'm asking for supply suggestions without having to go to too much fuss.

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HI Dave,  if you're looking for some seeds to grow, I have some here I saved, not sure about the viability as they're from a few years ago. But even only one is viable (there's a few dozen here), it should give you plenty to grow on... .. . I can bring them this Sunday.

I don't know where you can buy them in bulk for food though...

Thanks:if I cannot find local supply I'll take up your offer.

Here's my backyard at the moment:

I've planted the pigeon peas in the hope of providing some nitrogen for the lawn, and some shade during that post-dry season period before the first storms arrive. It's a rental property, but if needed I can just cut these off at the ground and you'd never know they'd been there. It's also a nice boon in that it has attracted a few more insects than just plain lawn does (praying mantids, bees). Anyway, they're covered in pods, although I don't know if they're the best variety to eat.

There are a lot of places that sell incredible numbers of pulses. The biggest problem seems to be that Pigeon Peas can be called by so many different names, depending mostly on where they are packed or where the consumer is from.

There probably are many suppliers, but it may take some real effort to figure out what to ask for.

My trees are still in bloom, but I've noticed that in spite of them being covered with blooms and pods and being popular with all the bees, very few pods seem to have actual peas in them. I didn't have this issue with the short variety.

I've got seeds from the shorter variety if you are interested. If you want the tall ones, and mine start setting more peas, I'll be glad to donate some to your effort.

Has anyone tried growing them from cuttings?

I have pps everywhere and they are deeply laden with green and dried pods .With my dry pods  I am looking at crushing them and mixing up with the normal feed for japanese quail as an extender.With regards to peeling fresh pods I find that cutting on the side with sharp scissors makes it a bit quicker.Any ideas on crushing the dried seeds would be appreciated.

I've never tried grinding them, Darren. I imagine a coffee/spice grinder, food processor, blender or mortar & pestle would do the trick, depending on the quantity and what you have on hand. (I'd probably go with the spice grinder or mortar & pestle.)

This is all new to me. I'm projecting hypotheticals. The niche I was after was using them fresh as happens in Caribbean cuisines.As far as I can judge it's them peeps who prefer the peas that way.

But from what you've written in this thread I can see that in effect the PP (or PPS) do have gardening legs. They'll even serve as a dahl of course.

I don't eat pulses much at all so I needed homework up...

I don't eat a lot of pulses either, but my plan is to just chuck them in whenever I steam rice to increase the protein content somewhat. That's quite common in Korea and probably other places.

I think there's a bit of a problem with varieties, as they are grown for agricultural purposes as well as culinary ones, so you want to make sure you get the right one that's palatable and not just productive. Legumes can vary quite a bit - think of the difference between marrowfat peas, podding peas and sugarsnaps. The thickness of the skin on the pea seems to be the attribute that varies with pigeon peas.

Not met Marrowfat Peas but read about them in an old Royal Navy handbook. Marrowfats figure prominently in the seagoing diet. Somehow they don't sound appetising ...

I had some Madagascar Beans and wasn't into eating them but like Jack's beanstalk they grew. So I kept harvesting from the pods and replanting them all over. They still come up after 5 years of use as fixers. They were the first thing planted in new beds.

The chooks won't eat them...But it's handy, as you suggest, Rob, to have some pulses available. I cooked this dish last night -- Pork, Bean and Sweet Potato Chilli -- and I didn't have any beans.If I did the dish would have been  more 'authentic.'

But the sweet spuds really took off in the mix.

Historically I'm a chick pea man..that and the coloured dahls/lentils. If I want to fart I know now I can eat Sunchokes.

I do follow a diet that has a no legume clause...so I'm not often tempted.

Here's the fine print:

Most foods haven’t been thoroughly evaluated for toxins, so there’s some guesswork. But on a gross level, if you feed the beans (kidney beans, black beans, pinto beans, soybeans, you name it) raw to animals, they’ll get extremely sick or die. .... Toxins include not only lectins but alpha amylase inhibitors, trypsin inhibitors, cyanogenic glycosides, and others. Cooking somewhat detoxifies them, but not entirely. Peanuts and peanut oil are also problematic. Some vetches cause irreversible paralysis from neurotoxins.On the other hand, I’ve never heard of anyone, human or animal, dying from peas.

FYI: Pigeon peas are fed to chooks and the traditional best method for bean prep is long and slow.

The point being is that I'm not anti-toxin in a big way -- but I'd preferred my toxicity to be caused by alcohol rather than some vegetable thingy that I could replace with something else.

FYI: Pigeon peas are a bean.

Thanks Dave it would only be sparingly if I did feed my birds

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