Tuesday, September 27, 2016

OKRA GONE WILD


These were the okra plants in July.  
We weren't sure how well they would end up doing...


What's that towering green bush inside the garden?

HUGE okra plants
Why it's the same two "little" okra plants.  
Well over six feet tall!

Okra up close
I swear, one weekend there were no pods and the next weekend they were EVERYWHERE on the plants!


 For those that don't know about okra, they go from flowers to small pods, growing upwards like this, in clusters.  They really have to be harvested almost daily as they grow that fast.  We had to let a bunch go because we just couldn't get to it quick enough.  2nd Family took some as well but it was coming in faster than both of us could keep up.

Basket of okra
This is one basket of okra, one of about six like this that we had during this end of Summer harvesting.  We'll definitely grow this next Summer (and plant it a bit sooner, this was coming in a bit late this year).  They grew like crazy, LOVED the heat and humidity, and were very drought tolerant.  A true Southern veggie!

We've pulled the plants up now, did that this weekend.  More in upcoming posts about how we ate it...and how it went over with 2nd Man.  

Anyone else like okra?  
Does it normally grow crazy like this?

33 comments:

donna baker said...

It originated in Africa and comes on like gangbusters in late summer. I slice it and freeze it and use it for gumbo. Some coat it in cornmeal or flour before freezing. Some of the larger ones can be sliced and marinated and cooked on the grill. It is also good pickled.

Colleen said...

Absolutely Love breaded okra.
Have noticed since the temperatures have turned a bit cooler that my pepper plants have really taken off and then having over 2 inches of rain over the weekend also helped.

The plants can produce for ten to 12 weeks. It grows and bears seed pods until frost, which quickly turns them black and kills them.

Start harvesting a few days after the okra blooms fade. At that point the seed pods should be soft and two to three inches long. Pick the pods at least every other day, as they quickly turn from tender to tough the bigger they grow. Handle okra gently. The pods bruise easily.

Remove old seed pods so they do not inhibit new pods from developing. For maximum yield, prune older limbs beneath the already harvested pods.

Do Not wash okra. Wet pods become slimy and mold quickly. Refrigerate dry okra in perforated plastic bags. Use within a few days before the pods' ridges and tips start to turn dark.

Freezing Okra:
http://www.hgtv.com/outdoors/gardens/garden-to-table/how-to-freeze-okra

Step by Step instructions / pictures on freezing:
http://pickyourown.org/okra_freezing.htm

Anne in the kitchen said...

You can't beat okra as a Southern plant. We had it all summer and love it. I am still babying mine because it is still blooming and producing, even though it has slowed considerably.

Texas Rose said...

Wow, your okra did fantastic! When it took off, it really took off. It does love our Texas heat!

This will appeal to your canning interest - okra is really good pickled.

To extend okra’s growing season, you can cut it back to a couple of feet at this time of year - this will reinvigorate it and it will produce until the first frost.

Linda said...

Not a fan of eating Okra any any way, shape or form. But I do have a couple of the cutest Okra Santa ornaments! Google it :)

jaz@octoberfarm said...

i just harvested some this morning. they are so good just sliced in half with salt and pepper. i pickle them too! and of course....GUMBO!!!!

kymber said...

ickety-blick! i have only had okra in gumbo and did i mention that i hate gumbo?!?!?!?! but i have so many southern friends who love it that i have to keep trying it. but still hate it! so slimey and blickety! but i am glad that you love yours and have such a good harvest. please share with us some of the recipes that you make with it and let us know how 2nd Man really feels about that slimey/goopy plant - bahahahah!

sending love to you both! your friend,
kymber

SmartAlex said...

Holy Cow that's some big Okra! I'm jealous.

Donna OShaughnessy said...

I am sadly, an okra virgin. Please share recipes and pics. Would love to grow it sometime.

Anonymous said...

slice it really thin and fry it. It isn't slimy at all that way. I won't eat it boiled at all, but love it fried. The thinner you slice it the crispier it is. Catherine in south MS

Texas Rose said...

45 Okra recipes: http://www.nola.com/food/index.ssf/2015/07/45_okra_recipes_from_pickled_a.html

Jason and Michelle said...

If it likes geat, I'm wondering if it will grow here in Utah. I've never had it. If no ones likes it, I'm sure my chickens will eat it.

Gail said...

I have okra envy! The deer loved ours all year, not one pod! Every new top growth was daintily trimmed every night.

Kev Alviti said...

Never tried it but would love to. You should have kept the plant in and then harvest the dried seed pods to plant next year.

Margaret said...

I'm not sure okra would do well in our area as our season is relatively short. I've actually only had it once and didn't mind it, but can't for the life of me remember how it was cooked which, from what I've heard, can make all the difference between yuck and yum when it comes to this particular veg.

carol pavlik said...

Well of course cardboard would taste good breaded and fried. Have only had okra in canned chicken gumbo soup. Not a fan. But good for you!

1st Man said...

Well that would make sense for it to be so heat loving. We'll have to freeze some too. And while I didn't pickle this year, we'll grow it next year and do that. I love pickled okra. And grilling? Will look into that, thanks!!!

1st Man said...

LOVE this great info. Thank you so much. I wish I had known about the harvesting tips, I didn't do it exactly right, but of course, if i had, I might have had even more and we could barey keep up as it was, ha. I'll be prepared next year. :-)l

1st Man said...

It is so Southern isn't it? I cut ours down, more just to be done with that crop and because the plants were so huge I need the space for Fall stuff, ha. Will work on that next year, ha.

1st Man said...

Thank you for this link, lotsa recipes. I have bought store bought pickled okra and love it. Will have to try it like that next year. And I didn't know I could cut it back like that. Will remember that next year.

1st Man said...

LOL, I totally understand, many people don't like it. I think my office is split, half like it half hate it, ha. Okra Santas? Oh I am SO off to google that. Hang on....

OH. MY. GOSH. THAT is a brilliant idea. Thanks!!!! Damn, now I'm sorry I cut it down, ha. AND I threw away the "too big" ones. Shoot!!!

1st Man said...

Sliced in half, said and pepper and.....? Raw? Or cooked? We did roast some in the oven, I'll have a post up about that. We never made it to gumbo but that will be planned next season. This was sort of an experimental season to see how some things did. Okra goes into the CRAZY GROWING category, ha.

1st Man said...

Tell us how you really feel? LOL!!!!!! I understand, it's kind of a love/hate plant isn't it? I'll post up a couple things soon.

Love to you too!

1st Man said...

Ha it was huge. I am 5'9" and couldn't reach to the top to get them, had to pull it over to cut some. It was a happy plant in that spot for sure! We'll see what happens next season, ha.

1st Man said...

What? No okra ever? We'll I'll share some pics soon, and I would say at least try one plant sometime. I'm not sure what climates it doesn't do well in, but it does love heat, that's for sure. :-)

1st Man said...

That's one way we did it, post coming soon on that. And yes, it's so good that way. And not slimy at all. Thanks!!!

1st Man said...

Hello!! I'm not sure how well it would grow but it would be worth a try just a spot for one plant. And yes, chickens do love it. :-) Thanks for stopping by!!!

1st Man said...

Really? I guess ug it's inside the garden fence the deer haven't discovered it. Though we don't have a lot of deer, 2nd Family's dogs chase them off. I'm always torn on that. I'd like to see them in their habitat but I don't want all our plants eaten up, ha.

1st Man said...

Thanks, you should try it. You might like it!! And I bet no one is growing it over there, ha. I should have mentioned, I did save a few branches with large pods and they are hanging up drying. We'll see what happens!! :-)

1st Man said...

Yes, anything with moisture brings out the side of okra many don't like, the slimy side. But heat and/or oil work great. Fried I think is the best. Though I have to say, the moisture comment I said is not always accurate, the pickled okra is not slimy at all.

1st Man said...

HA!!!!! That made me laugh. I take it you don't like it in ANY form, ha. I understand....it's a polarizing veggie for sure. :-)

Fiona said...

It is an amazing plant. I Dried extra okra pods and turned them into little Santa Christmas tree ornaments.

Kev Alviti said...

Good man! Seed saving need to be more automatic like that. Each year I'm trying to save a bit more.