Every year I let the weeds grow in through spring. And every year I have difficulty mowing it down (We live in a city). I don't till it, but their roots are good for the soil. Any amount of wild growth heals the soil, even in brief. In spring, much of this top growth sleeps in the compost bin.
I was standing outside with my daughter one spring. We were looking at the lush wild growth. I said to my daughter, "It's getting really bushy." meaning getting out of hand. She was lost in her viewing it, standing very still. The wind was blowing at her face. She stood there with her face to the wind as to somehow embrace the universe with her soul, totally engrossed, like I wasn't even there.
I love it, she breathed as if her heart was speaking to something else, not me. It was one of those defining moments of a growing child where Mom loses control and something else takes over. It was powerful. It'll be interesting to see where that little soul takes things. Hopefully, God will carve a path and protect her from the evil that would smash that soul's desire.
I took a stroll in the garden right after my road trip today to see if anything needed harvesting. I swear that Rocket Selection Heavy Hitter Okra plant (the one I pictured above) is the most lush beautiful Okra plant I've ever grown. It just rained, so it is really hurrying up in growth to put out pods soon. I'd imagine it would become a ten footer if it had all season to grow.
I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something that I can do.
Post by heavyhitterokra on Sept 6, 2020 13:03:52 GMT -6
Better keep a watchful eye this week. It only takes about four days from blossom to harvest if there is plenty of water and a decent amount of sunshine.
That would be awesome if you got enough tender pods to be able to fry up a mess of okra the same week as the Labor Day Celebration. You've certainly put in enough garden labor to deserve a Holiday to commemorate it.
Post by heavyhitterokra on Sept 6, 2020 21:28:42 GMT -6
My Daughter came down from Oklahoma City to visit this weekend, so she and I pickled 9 quarts of baby okra today. Our goal was to can at least 12 quarts (one for her to eat every month for the coming year). So, looks like we'll be picking more baby okra tomorrow morning to make up the difference.
Post by heavyhitterokra on Sept 7, 2020 9:32:00 GMT -6
I was out and about bright and early this morning, picking more baby okra to be pickled. I ended up with about 8 pounds *Way more than I needed to finish off pickling my Daughter's additional 3-quarts. Looks like she'll be taking home a few bonus jars this afternoon. (I sure hope I have enough vinegar and spices left in the cupboard to do that many more).
No matter, we'll have fun working on it together. We've made pickled okra on Labor Day Weekend ever since back in the days when she used to help me at the Farmer's Market on Saturday mornings in High School. (She's 26-years-old now). So, it has become a tradition of sorts in our family ... That, and canning up our annual batch of sriracha.
Post by heavyhitterokra on Sept 15, 2020 4:02:33 GMT -6
Affects of Day Length on Okra Production in Late Summer
I've just received an interesting email from one of my customers:
September 15, 2020
Hi Ron, my okra is growing well and I harvested a few pods but they are not edible. They are very hard even though I pick them when they are young. My friends said the same thing. We water them and take very good care of them but the plants give very hard okra and not very productive. 1 plant giving about 3 -5 okra. Is this variety give hard okra? Very hard that you cannot eat them. Looking forward to hearing from you. Thank you.
Sad as it may seem; this was my reply. Summer is at its end now.
This is perfectly normal for this time of year. All okra will begin doing that in late summer, as the days become shorter and the nights begin getting too cool for optimum growth to occur. The shorter days and cooler nights will slow down the growth rate of the pods, causing them not to develop much length before they start getting tough.
The tenderness of any okra pod depends less on length than on the age of the pod. Okra should be harvested about 4-days after blossom set. Any pod 4-days old or older will begin getting tough really fast. In late summer, when the days grow shorter and the nights begin growing cooler, the pod's growth rate is severely affected, causing them to gain length much more slowly.
(After all, Autumn Solstice is only 7 days away).
You may notice the sun is setting a lot earlier in the evenings now, since the summer solstice, which occurred June 21. Since that time, we have lost approximately two hours of daylight, per 24-hour growth cycle. That loss of sunlight, coupled with the lower temperatures will severely retard growth rates, causing 4-day-old okra pods to remain quite short. Though they may look tender, they will be tough at that age of development.
Any pods harvested at this time of year will be more suited for pickling or stir fry purposes than for pan frying. (Remember: Be sure only to harvest the youngest pods). It's best to ignore size at this juncture in their development and just concentrate on days since blossom set.