Okra is one of those vegetables that I’m much less familiar with, and it also fits my category of “if you have to bread it and fry it to make it edible, it either isn’t edible or isn’t a vegetable.” That said, one of the biggest mistakes that people make with okra is harvesting it. I don’t know how many times I’ve seen grossly over-sized okra entered in a county fair.
Here’s the okra a couple days after flowering. Actually, I would consider the okra on the right to be just about the right size. If you gently squeeze it, it is still tender and not too woody. Woody okra – yuck!
If you don’t harvest your okra regularly (every day or every other day), this is what you are going to end up with – huge okra that is extremely woody and not very tasty. The more medium sized pods on the left are probably still good for things like gumbo, although they are best slightly smaller.
Another thing to be wary of when harvesting okra is that a lot of people are very sensitive to the hairs on the leaves and stems of okra plants. If you don’t want to get VERY itchy when you harvest, you may want to wear some combination of long sleeves, gloves, and use a pair of pruners or scissors!
Does anyone have a good okra recipe they’d like to share? (Other than breading and frying.)
This week has been something of a whirlwind, and with the garden at something of a standstill, thanks to the crazy weather this summer, I feel like not much has changed in the last week to show you. I did find a few things to share, though.
Isn’t this an interesting sight? The heat has definitely NOT been kind to our strawberry patch this summer. Between the leaf spot diseases (you can see some in this picture too), and the heat and drought (the berries don’t have irrigation, ugh!), the plants have thinned out quite a bit. You can imagine my surprise when I saw these berries yesterday! Apparently the marketing was somewhat accurate for these, because this fruit did set during late July when it was so hot. Of course, I had to eat it, and it was surprisingly good, considering the circumstances.
If you guessed potato, you would be right! Apparently, we didn’t quite find every potato when we dug them earlier this summer. There are a couple of sprouts coming up. I guess we’ll just leave them and see what happens. The shade from the okra is probably making this spot a little more hospitable than it might otherwise be.
The okra are starting to develop buds…slowly but surely. I was hoping these plants would hurry up and start flowering/producing, partly for the pictures, but also so I could do a post about harvesting okra. Oh well, I guess we’ll have to wait until the time is right.
Have a great weekend!
Hello? Anyone out there? I hope so, because I’ve got a lot of interesting pictures to share with you all! But first, let’s get an update on the garden.
Here’s our heirloom tomato bed at a distance. The plants on the right are the non-grafted heirlooms, and the plants on the left are the grafted heirlooms. You can sort of see the difference in health, but the picture just doesn’t do them justice.
The Master Gardeners tell me that while I was gone, they harvested about 6 or 8 melons, and that they were all really sweet and juicy. Unfortunately, I don’t have any pictures for you! Maybe next week.
Have a great weekend!
I feel like we hardly need a photoessay this week, since I just posted tons of pepper pictures, but I suppose I have a few other interesting things to share.
As I was looking at our tomato plants earlier this week, I found that we had a good number of small green tomatoes on some plants, especially the ‘Black Krim’ heirlooms. Some of them are small enough that it seems likely they may have set during this hot spell. If so, that would be very exciting! I chatted with one of our specialists, and the real catch is whether these tomatoes set during the last “cool” spell in June, and they just haven’t grown like they should. I’m suspicious though…we’ll definitely be keeping an eye on them!
On another plant, you can just see the tiny little tomato forming where the bloom was. I don’t think these tiny tomatoes are past the point where they will abort if they weren’t adequately pollinated yet, but I know where they are and I’m watching them everyday. Can you just say that I’m desperate for some good news in this hot, hot summer?
Have a great weekend!
Things have changed drastically in the Family of 4 Garden in the last 2 weeks. The cabbage are gone (except one), the potatoes and onions are gone, the peas and lettuce are gone. We have planted seeds for squash, cucumbers, melons, and okra to take their place.
Family of 4 Harvest Report:
2 lbs Red Onions @ $1.20/lb =$2.40
2 1/4 lbs Yellow Onions @ $1.20/lb =$2.70
3 3/4 lbs White Onions @ $1.20/lb =$4.50
1/3 bunch beets @ $3.00/bunch = $1.00
10 lbs Yukon Gem Potatoes @ $1.20/lb =$12.00
1/4 bunch carrots @ $2.00/bunch = $0.50
Weekly Total: $23.10
Year to Date: $141.04