Reviving the Sapelo Island red pea

William Thomas and Jerome Dixon hope the heirloom hope will bring accolades and income to Sea Island’s economically challenged neighbor to the north
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Geechee red peas

Illustration by Ohn Mar Win

You may have heard of Sea Island red peas, the popular heirloom legume sold by Anson Mills. Now business partners and Geechee descendants William Thomas and Jerome Dixon are reviving another heirloom, the Sapelo Island red pea, which they hope will bring accolades and income to Sea Island’s economically challenged neighbor to the north. Grown at Georgia Coastal Gourmet Farms, Dixon’s farm in Townsend, Georgia, the ruby-red pea has already won over fans like chef Linton Hopkins. “It’s very flavorful, and the peas keep their structure with lengthy cooking,” says Thomas. Reserve a one-pound bag of the next crop, to be harvested in late September, by calling 912-485-2206.

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