Okra produces a beautiful flower as can be seen in the photos and can be prepared in several different ways.
The favorite around here is pan fried with bacon, slices of tomato, and a generous amount of chopped onions after being dipped in a cornmeal or pine nut batter – roasting with a variety of spices is a good alternative.
Any other way and it’s a little too slimy for my taste, though pickled at times is good as well.
For some reason bugs seemed to target okra and eggplant this year, the battle was waged employing a multi pronged counter attack and within a day victory was in hand.
No real harm, a few aerated leaves and that was the extent of it – but amazing what a few bugs can do in a day or two.
People suggest pesticides but my response always it would make about as much sense if a person just went ahead and had a drink as they’ll be ingesting it when they harvest and prepare what they grown.
The response usually is “it’s poisonous and could kill you”……exactly so, and my point.
The range of different species of bugs and birds is expanding in a northerly direction due to climate change that is affecting their preferred habitat and more “surprises” can be expected as the trend continues.
Okra as I understand it originated in Africa and was something of staple in Egypt thousands of years ago.
I’ve heard it called lady fingers and seems to be more popular in the South than elsewhere and you don’t see much of it in our neck of the woods.
Nonetheless it deserves a place in gardens for it’s nutritional value and purported health benefits that are said to be a preventative related to to diabetes as well as lowering blood sugar levels.
Like any green vegetable it is a good source of Vitamin C but also of B complex and a wealth of minerals.Think fiber is a good thing and include it in your diet? Okra’s loaded with fiber.
Okra takes about six to eight weeks to grow, when the pods are two or three inches long they can be harvested three or four time a week as the plant will continue producing.
Something that will facilitate this ongoing production is to trim off lower leaves as you go along, the energy and nutrients that would be directed to maintaining them will be transferred upward.
Okra is a plant that likes a little elbow room, so if planting more than one row the rows should be a couple of feet or more apart and the plants themselves a foot and half or two feet apart.
If what is harvested during the day isn’t intended to be used for the days supper they’ll be alright for a couple days, beyond that better to freeze, pickle, can, or dehydrate.