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I love okra. Growing up in Florida okra was one of the easiest crops to grow over the long summer season. I well remember Papa picking it so I wouldn’t get itchy from the mature plants and Mimi patiently frying it. The restaurant we frequented most was Po Boy’s. Even if I had okra at home I always ate a double order of it and stole as much as I could from my Papa’s plate.
Four years ago I grew Clemson Spineless in my own garden. It did well. The next year I tried Louisiana Velvet. I was not impressed. Last year I grew okra commercially. It was just a landrance variety developed by some friends who are long time commercial okra growers.
This past winter as I was perusing the Baker Creek catalogue the Jing Orange Okra caught my eye. I have become more interested in Asian varieties over the past couple of years after realizing that my microclimate is similar to a large portion of that continent. So, I gave the nice people at the seed company three dollars and they sent me okra seeds.
I didn’t bother planting my seeds until June first this year. After the Mother’s Day freeze, I am happy I waited. Twenty of the twenty four seeds I planted came up and survived. By the first week in July I was lightly harvesting my okra three times a week. Now in the second week of September I’m harvesting enough daily to eat my fill and dehydrate for this winter.
I didn’t do anything to my rocky soil other than give it a good breaking up with my hoe. The transplants were then put in the ground and watered well. I did mulch heavily with freshly soiled sheep bedding and rotten cow manure.
The plants are beautiful and the pods are spineless. Okra plants don’t bother my skin. I so enjoy slipping between my rows and harvesting one of my favourite vegetables.
So far this has been an easy plant to grow, even in my very shady kitchen garden. I’m pleased as punch at how well this variety performs in my climate and how it cooks up.
The only real draw back is that the Jing is unforgiving if you miss a pod at picking stage. Several have gotten away from me, but that’s just fine. Large okra pods produce good seed. Considering I’m contemplating a minimum of 100 stems next year, there’s no real complaint.
If you want to try a colourful and different variety of Okra, I highly recommend Jing Orange.
In all you do,
Craft No Harm
Moriah and the Flock