Okra – To Eat or Not To Eat

Posted: September 18, 2014 in Yard and Garden
Tags: , , , , , , ,

This year, we grew okra in our garden but not for the fruit. Our mom planted the okra because she likes the way the flowers look. We’ve grown them before (for the flowers), but in the past the plant was grown in a flower bed.

This year, since the chickens don’t like eating okra, we decided to harvest them and eat them ourselves. None of us kids have eaten okra before, but our parents have since they grew up in the South. Neither our mom or dad likes okra much because it’s slimy, but they had never had it fried surprisingly enough, and that is how we attempted to eat our okra tonight.

Basically, our fried okra experiment was a disaster. We apparently waited too long to harvest our okra, and we didn’t know that if you don’t pick them quickly after the flower disappears, the okra becomes tough and woody. Some of our fried okra nuggets were soft enough to eat, but we still didn’t think too much of them.

In any case, it’s kind of a cool looking fruit resembling a grooved green banana pepper. If you look at our picture, the okra we picked were anywhere from 4-6 inches long 🙂 You are supposed to get them when they are 2-3 inches long.

Okra Flower

Okra Flower Off the Internet

So that you won’t make the same mistake as us, here’s some information about harvesting okra:

Okra matures quickly, and it is good to pick it soon after flowering before the pods become tough. You should pick them within four days of flowering, or they will get tough and woody. Here’s a good way to harvest them: Try to cut an okra plant open with a knife, and if you can’t, it means they’re too tough to eat. If you find one that is inedible, cut it off the plant so that it doesn’t use up resources. If you can cut the okra, you can cut it from the stem and eat it.

Click here to see the recipe we used to fry our tough and woody harvest. We may try again, but then again, we may not.

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