Just curious about a few things. Just a quick succinct response from each of you would be great.
From a consumer viewpoint, a culinary viewpoint, and a farmer/gardener viewpoint: What traits are you interested in most in the various peas/beans?
An example: From a consumer viewpoint i really like colors that stand out. From a culinary viewpoint i think i kinda like snow peas and really sweet shelling peas over snap types. Beans i like color and flavor when cooked in a crockpot and beans that hold their shape rather than becoming mushy.
I have not experimented much with using dried peas for cooking myself, though i have eaten split peas and lentils. Not sure if all starchy peas can be used in the same ways. Is a round smooth starchy pea a soup pea? Are soup peas, marrowfat peas, and grey peas all the same? Is there any desire in preserving these old types? A market for them?
The reason i ask is i'm just curious as what general trends there are for peas (and beans) from these different viewpoints, and if there is a difference by country/region. Wondering what traits i should be breeding for. I have several pea lines and/or genes in my collection that could be nurtured specifically to create future specific new varieties. I just don't know what is of most interest to people.
Andrew - I'm not really a shelling pea fan, I much prefer sugar snap peas. As Anne pointed out the fava bean discussion is great. I like favas because they fit a great niche for me, higher protein like a soybean, but overwinter/cool season crop. For warm season beans, I like varieties that can be harvested immature for green beans or left to ripen for shelling beans. It simplifies things for me. Colors are great because they make harvesting easier. I like pole beans because they are easier to harvest as well.
I have never been a big fan of dried beans. I have learned to like black beans, and little white beans in small amounts.
We grow Rattle Snake and Cherokee Purple for the beans, purple hull and crowder peas, the reasoning is that these are the ones we like to eat, both fresh and hulled (dried).
For fresh only we like sugar snaps.
All of our produce type vegetables are heirloom seed.