Okra Returns

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Last year we lost our okra garden to deer, foreshadowing the havoc they would wreak on our farm this year.

But fortunately they spared the okra this year, devoting themselves to eating our tomatoes and peppers instead.

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Okra is one of Africa’s many great contributions to Southern cuisine and culture. It’s part of what summer in the South tastes like. We love it and we’re pleased to have it back.

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And we’re not the only people in our community who are happy to see it return to White Flint Farm. This morning we’ll have it at the farmers market and I expect it will sell out quickly.

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20 comments on “Okra Returns

  1. BeeHappee says:

    I am still trying to perfect my acquired taste for okra. How do you usually eat it? Do you also eat the leaves raw in salads? Dry them and roast them for coffee? Reading about how hardy the plant is, and ho the whole plant is edible and okra can be pressed for oil
    “Thomas Jefferson noted okra was well established in Virginia by 1781” I think historically Okra is quite an interesting plant. I saw your pics and for a second it looked just like my hibiscus in the garden, which makes sense, since I see they are related.

    Liked by 1 person

    • BeeHappee says:

      Ok, this posted before I finished. I meant to say: Reading about how hardy the plant is, and ho the whole plant is edible and okra can be pressed for oil, I am surprised okra has not become a plantation-subsidy crop like soy.

      Like

    • Bill says:

      We eat the pods. I’ve never known anyone to eat the leaves, or make coffee or oil out of the plant. A friend once told me you can make a type of rope from the stalks, and he wanted to try doing it, but I don’t think he ever did.

      The most common ways to eat okra is fried, boiled or in gumbo. But it’s a versatile vegetable and there are many other ways to enjoy it. When our intern Jude from Saudi Arabia was here we were surprised to learn that it is a popular food there. She taught us some great new ways to cook it, one of which shows up as “Jude’s okra” in Cherie’s cookbook.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. shoreacres says:

    I took one look at that flower and thought, “I’ve seen that before.” Actually, what I’ve seen are the mallow and hibiscus — as you surely know, all are members of the Malvaceae family. Hibiscus tea is favored by some, and the flower is used in salads, too.

    I’ve come to enjoy pickled okra, and I can eat it in a gumbo prepared by someone who really knows what they’re doing. And deep-fried? So good! But I’m not going to do any deep frying myself, just because it’s too much trouble, and not the most healthy way to enjoy okra. But people must be doing something with it, as it sells out lickety-split at our markets.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bill says:

      As I mentioned to Bee, we learned some great new ways to cook okra from our Saudi Arabian intern a couple of years ago. It’s a popular food there, which I found surprising.

      I don’t care for boiled okra but I’ve enjoyed it all the other ways I’ve had it.

      Like

  3. ain't for city gals says:

    yum….I haven’t had okra in years! I honestly can not remember seeing it for sale in Arizona…only when I travel back to the mid-west.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bill says:

      I think it would probably grow in your climate. It likes hot weather and doesn’t need much water once it’s up.

      I think of okra as a Southern thing. I don’t know if you have Cracker Barrel restaurants where you are, but if so you can probably get it there.

      Like

  4. avwalters says:

    I thought she had a tv show.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Deb Weyrich-Cody says:

      What a beautiful blossom Bill: )
      I’ve never seen them on the plant – to the best of my knowledge, they’re not grown around here. So, are they a vine like squash?

      Like

      • Bill says:

        No, they grow on a stalk. The plants are about 4-5 feet tall now, but as you harvest the pods the plant keeps growing taller to produce more of them. I’ve had plants grow to well over 6 feet tall by the end of the season.

        Like

    • Bill says:

      I prefer okra to Oprah.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. beeholdn says:

    (So it’s back to clicking the irresistible Like ‘buttons’ for me.) Question: which part of okra is most palatable? Though it may be hard to find up here in Ontario—to be honest, I’ve not paid enough attention!

    Like

  6. @Deb and Bee – West Coast Seeds here in BC has Okra in their catalogue, so some people up here must grow it. But I agree with them Bill, it’s not something you really see or hear about in Canada – we think of it as Southern food, like black eyed peas and grits. I’ve had okra (at a restaurant) in a gumbo, and it was lovely, but I would say it’s not common here at all.

    Like

    • Bill says:

      Interesting. I didn’t know it could grow in your climate, but evidently at least some varieties can. Okra to you is probably something like rhubarb to us. I’ve heard it’s possible to grow it here, but I’ve never known anyone who managed to do it.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Okra is such a beautiful plant. I’m not a big okra fan for eating so I never plant it, but a few fried ones find me each year.

    Like

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