Sunday, August 20, 2006

Okra…a quick fix

Once again, I am happy to report that okra continues to have a special place in my organic garden as well as my heart. Tonight, I threw together a bunch of vegetables from the garden including—zucchini, onions, tomatoes, fennel, leeks, carrots, and fresh herbs for a soup. I was getting hungry and the soup was still looking watery. I knew I could add pasta or rice but that wasn’t what I wanted to do. Then, I thought—I know it’s not gumbo—but how about adding okra. The okra was the perfect solution. It thickened the soup and tasted great.

My southern visitor, okra, has been a good garden guest and will be invited back to next summer’s garden. Although, it is not the same 6-foot tall, dark and green okra that grows in tropical and sub-tropical zones, my okra, a shorter northern cousin, works just fine in my zone 5 location. It is an upright plant, so it doesn’t hog a lot of garden space; it matures relatively fast—about 52 days--and doesn’t seem to have a bug problem. Just remember, if you grow okra, harvest it when it is no more than 1 to 1 ½ inchs long—and harvest the plants every couple of days. It keeps in the refrigerator 3 or 4 days and can be frozen. Okra--it's a good thing. gg.

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