I would guess that there is not a garden in this area that does not have at least one row of southern peas, lumped affectionately together as black-eyed peas. The ones I grow are technically pink eye, purple hull peas, but fill the same niche in our garden and larder. There are subtle taste and texture differences between crowders, black-eyed, purple hull, and lady finger, so you try a few and pick a pea. You don't really need to grow more than one kind in a garden unless you want a new variety. Bees just love peas and cross pollination is a sure thing.
In the garden, peas are nitrogen-fixing legumes that are also pollen rich. They love the heat of the south and are even drought tolerate. In the larder, peas are a staple of the southern table. Eaten along with greens or ham or with just cornbread, they are rich in Vitamin A, Folate, and Calcium. They also are a source of protein.
Perhaps, if Mississippians would remember their traditional foods and shun the fast food stands, they wouldn't be the fattest Americans, again.
Today, I will salute the lowly black-eyed pea. After I shell today's harvest, I will cook some, basically unadorned, to eat with some cornbread, accented with some pepper jelly - nothing better, really. Of course, having a hunk of watermelon for dessert wouldn't be bad.
Tradition. Not always bad.