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Waiting for the okra

By Penny Stine

I'm growing okra for the first time this year. Knowing that okra can reach six feet tall under the right conditions and that it is native to Africa, I gave it prime location in my garden. It's in the sunniest area possible, and I tried to give it lots of space.


In mid-June, it looked rather sad, forlorn and silly, having such large areas for such tiny plants. 


This particular variety was supposed to be a 50-day okra, so by mid-July, I was somewhat skeptical.

As you can see by the photo, it still looked less than impressive. And wasn't producing, but was taking up a huge space in my limited garden. 








I gave the okra a privileged place in the front yard not just for the sun, but also because I saw a photo of this particular variety, which produces a red pod and has a gorgeous, cream-colored flower to go along with it. So I wasn't disappointed when it finally flowered in late July.




So far, I have picked all of four pods from three okra plants. One I stuck in stir-fry (and I finally learned what people mean when they say that okra is somewhat slimy) and the other three I just picked a few days ago and stuck in the fridge. I'm hoping that they all start producing like crazy, since my deep fryer is on stand-by and I'm eager to experiment with fried okra and gumbo. As you can see from the photo, I'll have a few more pods to add to the three in the fridge, so maybe fried okra will be on the menu this week!


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