Okra, fruits displayed


A Good Site

Okra, like artichokes and dark beer, evokes from people either praise or disgust, rarely something in between. A pot of stewed okra, tomatoes, and onions sends me into creole heaven, yet makes my brother gag. I say the mucilaginous quality of okra adds “body” to a dish; he says okra is “slimy.”

This season I’m reveling in a bumper crop of okra. Such a crop would hardly be worth noting if I gardened south of the Mason-Dixon line, where okra plants grow to be the size of small trees! Growing okra up here in the Hudson Valley is somewhat of a challenge because the plants begin to shiver when temperatures drop into the 50s — not uncommon even for a midsummer night in my garden.Okra, fruits displayed

In spite of a good bit of hot weather this summer (1.3°F above the 127 year average), I like to think I had a hand in this season’s success with okra. And the first okra-righteous thing I did was to choose for my planting a good site: the hottest and sunniest spot in my garden.

Lack of sunlight used to be a problem when my garden beds ran east and west; tall plants, such as popcorn, on ann adjacent bed to the south of the okra bed would shade the okra. Read more