A Favorite Southern Vegetable, Okra

We grew up on okra.  For a long time, I actually didn’t know that there were people in the world who didn’t eat okra, much less there were those to didn’t even know what okra was.  Okra is a favorite southern vegetable to grow in the garden around here.  And, OHHH Boy, does it grow and grow!  Okra is like a super weed….it grows and grows and rarely has any pest or disease problems.  In fact, last year, without trying,  we grew okra trees that towered above our garden and produced amazing amounts of okra. 

This year I had a baggie full of okra seeds that were my grandmothers that I intended on using in our garden this season.  The baggie of seeds ended up getting soaked after being left outside on the back porch.  In a few days the seeds began to sprout and so I asked my boys to go plant some of the sprouted okra seeds in the garden..  Last week we counted 28 okra plants popping up out of the ground.  This week the number went up to 60 okra plants but then the chickens got in the garden and ate a good portion of the tiny plants and messed up the rows so I’m not sure where we will stand when all is said and done. 

I’m not sure how many okra seeds they planted…but evidently I should have specified an exact number.  If all goes well, I guess all the excess is perfect food to give to our growing little piglets. 

In addition, we have some starter trays up on the porch that we have been starting plants in.  I noticed one tray was popping forth in great abundance…looking as if a younger child just dumped a whole lot of seeds in the empty dirt 6-packs.  It had a “Zinnia” tag stuck in it….so I was thrilled that we had so many zinnias coming up to plant or that was my assumption.  When I asked the kids who planted that tray of great looking zinnias plants sprouting up out on the back porch.  I heard, “Ohh, those aren’t zinnias….those are more okra plants for the garden.” 

More okra!!!  Just what we need!


  • Ticia says:

    I liked your story about the okra. I have seen okra-well I have seen deep fried okra while I was in Arkansas. I don’t think anyone eats it around here (Washington state) or if they do they don’t talk about it :).
    It does seem to be a southern thing. Here in WA blackberries grow like your okra. I laugh every time I see some one plant blackberries here. They actually can take over your whole yard and are almost impossible to get rid of. They are yummy though !

    • BethTN says:

      We’ve loved the okra……  It grows so fast and if you don’t pick it early enough ….it gets too tough.  So we’ve been giving all the tough okra to the pigs!  They love okra!
      We also have blackberries growing wild all around here….We can pick our fill of blackberries along the road sides. 
      I’d love to get blueberries growing wild!!! 

  • Cia Dreves says:

    Just wanted to let you know that I posted a link to your gardening entries from mine.  Am looking forward to your information on canning peas and think I will try my hand with them as the weather begins to cool a little.  LOVE YOUR BLOG!

    • BethTN says:

      Hi Cia….  I just saw your comment!!! 
      We did get peas this year…but not enough to can.  I had enough to pick fresh and cook up for that night’s supper.  They were delicious!!! 
      I learned that I would have to plant a lot more than what I planted to get a good amount to can.  I also learned that it’s difficult to keep the kids from eating the raw peas….we were shocked at how sweet and delicious they were!