One of the easiest crops to grow here in DC is okra. Yes, Robin Williams’ comedy might represent the thoughts of a few past okra consumers – “Okra is the closest thing to nylon I’ve ever eaten. It’s like they bred cotton with a green bean. Okra, tastes like snot. The more you cook it, the more it turns into string!” – but when freshly picked, even eaten raw straight off the plant, okra gladdens the heart in stews, soups, and when dusted with corn meal and quickly sautéed!
Okra is very good source of Dietary Fiber (13%), Vitamin A (7%), Vitamin C (50%), Vitamin K (66%), Thiamin (13%), Vitamin B6 (11%), Folate (22%), as well as the minerals Calcium, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium and Manganese.
Related to both cotton and hibiscus, once the edible flowers are pollinated, it only takes about 4 days for the seed pod to form. We are growing 5 varieties this season: ‘Millionaire’, which produces high yields of dark green 5-point pods; ‘Clemson Spineless’, light green 5 to 8-point pods and the standard variety grown in the southern US; ‘Jambalaya’, a high-yielding early season pod; ‘Carmine Splendor’, a fast-maturing, deep red late season pod; and an heirloom variety from Jamaica, mailed to us from one of our friends in Kingston!
In October this crop will be the featured vegetable when our Junior Chefs learn all about pickling!
The recipe ingredients: fresh okra, garlic, lemon, cider vinegar, mustard seeds, coriander seeds, fennel seeds, celery seeds, and black peppercorns (the okra, garlic, coriander, and fennel seed all harvested from our Farm)