Monday, August 11, 2014
Okra is a summer staple at our house. We want a bowl of fried okra at every supper, especially if we are have peas and sliced tomatoes to go with it. It outlasts everything else in the garden; it is usually the only thing that we are still harvesting when frost kills it.
Several studies lately have touted okra as a super food--one that contains antioxidants, helps people with diabetes, and promotes a healthy digestive tract. According to some, it will lower cholesterol, prevent heart disease, and even help depression. Unfortunately, the best benefits occur when the okra pods are lightly steamed or eaten raw. Not happening here.
Okra is found in almost every Southern garden. It requires hot summers and loves the clay soil of this area. I have learned from experience that you cannot plant it too early; it will not come up until the soil gets warm enough, usually in late May.
Even if it wasn't go good and so good for you, I would probably plant it anyway because the plants are so pretty. It is in the same family with cotton and hibiscus plants.
Look at that perfect pentagon in the center of the blossom! We get to enjoy this beauty while little bees feast on its nectar. Within ten days after it is pollinated, we are munching on the seed-filled pods.
Are you hungry yet? How about some gumbo?