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Pigeon Peas

Caitlin Espejo

Author

Have you ever heard of pigeon peas? No, it’s not a type of bird. It’s a plant. In fact, It is a kind of legume that is commonly grown throughout the world’s tropical and subtropical climates. Because of their high nutritional value, they are a staple food in many nations. In this blog, we will talk about the origin of pigeon peas as well as where you can grow them, and some of its benefits.

Scientifically referred to as Cajanus cajan, pigeon peas are a species of legume that are extensively grown throughout the world’s tropical and subtropical climates. They are small, circular, and usually have a beige to light brown color. The plant is a small shrub with yellow flowers and intricate leaves.

It is believed that pigeon peas originated in India, where they have been grown for thousands of years. They have been widely grown, and it is most likely in the Indian subcontinent where they were cultivated. Through migration of humans, trade, and exploration, pigeon peas originated in India and eventually moved to different parts of Asia, Africa, and eventually the Americas. 

Pigeon peas are farmed in many different countries nowadays, such as India, the Caribbean, Latin America, Africa, and portions of Southeast Asia. They are a crucial crop for food security and agricultural sustainability in many areas and have adapted well to a variety of environmental circumstances. Pigeon peas’ global distribution across continents is evidence of both their adaptability and the historical migration of people and crops around the world. Pigeon peas can be grown in Florida as its warm and tropical climate provides the perfect conditions for growing them. Pigeon peas thrive in areas that have lots of sunlight, warm temperatures and well-drained soil. Areas that have these suitable conditions are  Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Orlando and Tampa. However, it is important to take into consideration factors like soil quality, drainage, and potential frost protection throughout the winter months when cultivating pigeon peas in Florida. Although pigeon peas are largely acclimated to the environment of Florida, local variances may affect the effectiveness of their growth.

There are both health benefits and planting benefits when it comes to pigeon peas. We will now discuss some of them.

  1. Crop Rotation – Pigeon peas are a crop that is rotated in agricultural methods. By fixing nitrogen in the soil, they aid in enhancing soil fertility, which benefits succeeding crops.
  2. Culinary uses – Pigeon peas are a flexible ingredient that may be applied to a wide range of recipes. They are added to soups, stews, curries, and rice meals. They can be eaten fresh or dried.
  3. Protein supplement – Pigeon peas are an excellent source of a plant-based protein and as we know, protein is essential for building and repairing body tissue.
  4. Source of fiber – Pigeon peas are are a great source of fiber which in turn, aids in digestion and helps in preventing constipation.
  5. Nutritious – Pigeon peas contain many essential nutrients such as iron, B-vitamins, phosphorus, magnesium and potassium. All these nutrients help in proper muscle and nerve function, maintaining healthy bones and energy metabolism.
  6. Regulates blood sugar – Pigeon peas’ high fiber content can help improve blood sugar regulation by delaying the absorption of carbohydrates. For those who already have diabetes or are at risk of getting it, consuming this might be helpful.
 
Now for some fun facts.
  1. Pigeon peas have been cultivated for more than 3,500 years.
  2. They not only provide a valuable food resource but are also used as animal feed and the shrub wood as firewood.
  3. In India, dhal is a popular dish made primarily from dried pigeon peas, which are essentially split, hulled, and dried beans.
  4. India produces the bulk supply of the worlds Pigeon peas with approximately 82% of total production grown there.
  5. Pigeon peas are used to feed pineapples when growing them as they contain lots of nitrogen. This is what we use here at Grow Inn Homes.
 
Follow us on our social media pages to see us plant pigeon peas at our Grow Inn Homes properties. 
 

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