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Okra in the Garden; Beautiful Flowers…

Many folks raise flowers for their beauty. And they most certainly are wondrously pretty! Not many flowers are edible, though; and even the ones that are don’t provide a lot of nutrition. So flower gardeners are involved in a particularly “pure” form of cultivation, for art’s sake (as it were).

Me, I like to eat what I grow.

That doesn’t mean there’s no beauty in the vegetable garden! Far from it. Here are a couple of shots I took recently in the okra patch. It was early morning, and there was a bit of water still on the plants from the early watering session:

Okra Flower

Such color from a vegetable! These flowers open early in the day, before the sun’s up, and close later in the day. That’s it. One day! The bees have really gotta hop to get them fertilized.

Bloom With Okra Fruit

We chose to grow Red Velvet okra this year, and I’m glad we did. The scarlet pods, stems and leaf ribs add tremendous eye appeal to the plants. The beautiful red pods have a velvety sheen, seen in the photo above, due to very fine hairs on their skin. There are also some short spines at the base of each pod. On the Red Velvet, these spines aren’t as tough as found on other varieties, in our experience. No sharp stickers in the fingertips when cutting pods for PJ!

Early Blossom

A few of our seeds produced ordinary green plants; no red on them anywhere! They’re not blooming yet, though, so I don’t know what their pods will look like. (Probably everyday green.) I bet the flowers are the usual pastel yellow. Interestingly, the okra this year isn’t growing very tall; still less than three feet high. In past years we’ve had the stalks reach over ten feet. I guess we got the dwarf variety as well as red.

The red color of the pods goes away, mostly, when the okra is cooked. PJ loves to fry hers; Southern popcorn, it’s called. Immature pods must be used, though; once they’re a few days old they get woody, and they’re not very good eats at that point…

Enjoy the (Blooming Veggies) Heat!

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