Originally native to Africa, but widely grown in many countries in Asia, the black-eyed pea was introduced into the West Indies and from there to the Southern United States, where it is still a widely used ingredient in soul food and Southern U.S. Cuisine. The planting of crops of black-eyed peas was promoted by George Washington Carver both because, as a legume, it adds nitrogen to the soil and for its nutritional value. Black-eyed peas are an excellent source of calcium (211mg in a 1 cup serving), folate (209mcg), and vitamin A (1,305 IU) among other nutrients.
This "good luck" traditions date back to the U.S. Civil War. Union troops, especially in areas targeted by General William Tecumseh Sherman, would typically strip the countryside of all stored food, crops, and livestock and destroy whatever they couldn't carry away. At that time, Northerners considered "field peas" and corn suitable only for animal fodder, and as a result didn't steal or destroy these humble foods. Many Southerners survived as a result of this mistake. Wikipedia
It has been a beautiful day today. Our temps warmed up to the upper 50s by early afternoon. We split and stacked one load of firewood after lunch, then enjoyed a walk around the property.
I hope you all had a wonderful first day of 2009