Presoak black-eyed peas overnight. In large stock pot, heat bacon until it begins to cook and fat is rendered. Add carrots and onion and cook until tender. Add drained peas to pot. Add water to cover peas plus 2 inches over top. Add garlic, red pepper flakes, oregano, thyme, black pepper and stir well. Bring to boil, cover, reduce and simmer for 1 hour. Uncover and cook for an additional 30-40 minutes or until peas are tender. Add water as necessary to keep moist. Add salt (if desired) before serving.