Thursday, July 19, 2018 Blog · GrowFood Newsletter · News

A Word from the Warehouse – July 2018

by Sara Clow
Every July, I remember my first summer in 2011 visiting farms and I think about peas. It was so darn HOT and as I called around to set up farm visits each farmer said “Are you sure you want to come right now? There isn’t really anything growing except for okra and field peas.” For a girl from the Garden State who had just moved here from Northern California, I didn’t get it. Nothing growing? It should be the height of the season. Peas? Peas should have been done in April. Where am I? This last question popped up a lot in that first year!

When a Pee Dee farmer took me into the field that first summer, I said: “Oh, that’s a bean.” Peas to me meant early springs and shelling pods and sweet green legumes. I was a total rookie then, and quickly learned about peas: iron and clays, pink eye purple hulls, sea island reds, white acres, crowders and more. Very few of our farmer partners grow field peas for commercial sale; most are grown for soil nutrition, but a few are always saved for cooking at home and each farmer has their favorite variety.

I’ve been here now for seven summers, and I still have so much to learn when it comes to peas. I often ask farmers, chefs and neighbors about their favorite field pea and look forward to hearing a long story or gain a cooking tip. What’s your favorite?

Featured Story

A Field Guide to Peas

This field guide on field peas is a few years old, but’s it’s a must-read. Learn the history of the crop and read about how the good folks at Blackberry Farm in eastern Tennessee cultivate heirloom varieties in their very own field pea “search and rescue.”

Read Full Article

Post of the Month
Featured Recipe

Stew peas from Charleston chef BJ Dennis

Community chef and advocate BJ Dennis is known and adored for his Gullah-Geechee cuisine. This month, he’s sharing one of his favorite Lowcountry field pea recipes: stew peas. To recreate this simple, hearty dish, you’ll need four ripe Johns Island tomatoes, a hot pepper and a warm stove.

Get the Recipe

Quote of the Month

“My granny would ask me what I would want for breakfast, and I would always say ‘butterbeans and rice.”


Josh Johnson, farmer and co-owner at Old Tyme Bean Co. (Elloree, SC)


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