The first okra harvest

The blooms are very beautiful, if you are lucky enough to see them open

The okra plants have gotten about four feet high and finally set fruit. If my garden was larger, I would have planted it with the tomatoes and probably been harvesting for a month by now. Of course okra grows really well in high heat —  we set a record here of 114 last week — and this summer is not disappointing.

The easiest way to harvest okra is to cut them off with sharp scissors about 1/2″ from the base. Watch out for the leaves and stems of the plant because they are prickly. Always harvest okra before it gets longer than 2 1/2″ or it will become hard and stringy when eaten. Young okra works well in gumbo, fried, pickled and  stewed. By the end of the season, I will probably post a recipe for each.

I know it is a small harvest, but soon I will have so much it will be coming out of my ears

About Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide

This blog attempts to collect some of the things I try to create with food and booze. Sometimes I succeed and sometimes I fail. My hope is to entertain and maybe help people think a little harder about what they decide to eat and drink.
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64 Responses to The first okra harvest

  1. rutheh says:

    Informative and cool photos as I have never seen an okra plant!

  2. Kristy says:

    Looking forward to those recipes! Especially the gumbo!

  3. joshuafagans says:

    Okra is one vegetable I don’t have much experience with. Living where I live you don’t run across it much. Looks great though!

  4. weirdcombos says:

    congrats! we are trying to grow heirloom purple okras in our community garden plot in SF but I don’t think they are going to make it before he winter. This is our 2nd attempt they are just 3 inches tall now.. oh well my Brazilian roots… there you grow things year round…

  5. JamieAnne says:

    Yay! you’ve got okra!

  6. ChgoJohn says:

    Though not really a fan of okra, I am a fan of your gardening expertise. You’ve got quite the green thumb.

  7. I just don’t know when you have time to work! Your garden sounds like a wonderland of continually ripening deliciousness – envy, green with it.

  8. Okra is definitely not my fav BUT do you know how crazy my mom went when I showed her this (even when she should be sleeping lol). She LOVES okra and loved this post.

  9. Our neighbours in Mauritius grow okra (lady fingers as they call them) on an entire open plot of land each season. Strangely it’s not one of my favourite veggies. Yours is beautiful and healthy.
    Have a happy week.
    🙂 Mandy

  10. rsmacaalay says:

    Wow those okras look good, I never see okra that good here in NZ, they look like dry your looks so plump and juicy!

  11. I have never seen an okra plant before. Can’t wait to see your amazing creations!

  12. Sissi says:

    I tasted okra for the first time only a couple of weeks ago. I really like it the Japanese way. I was a bit worried about the sliminess at first, but I don’t really mind it. Looking at your fresh okras I now realise how “tired” are those I buy in Switzerland (imported from Thailand). The flower is very decorative!

  13. I love the first picture
    so vividly green
    can’t wait for the recipes

  14. You make my arch enemy look tasty! 😀

  15. I’ve eaten okra but never seen the plant. Very cool. Looking forward to those recipes!

  16. I absolutely love okra. Quick – cook them!! 🙂

  17. I love fried okra myself. Interesting photo.

  18. Chef Scar says:

    I love okra, looking forward to your recipes on how to prepare it.

  19. Kelly says:

    So beautiful… I have a harvest stew that I prepare in October that stars okra. I just love the mucilaginous nature of this vegetable and find myself, once again, completely jealous of your gardening abilities! Cheers.

  20. Sigh… It’s actually been hot enough for okra this summer – and melons – and I’ve planted neither…
    I’ll have to salivate over yours, I suppose!
    (They’re related to hibiscus, in case you were interested. And hollyhocks…)

  21. Holly says:

    Not sure what gumbo is but sounds interesting… Very excited for recipes as only eaten okra once and never cooked it myself…

  22. Lea Ann says:

    Beautiful! My friend Vickie, just posted an okra bloom photo. I’ve never seen one and it’s GORgeous. Okra has just hit our farmer’s markets, I’ve been making okra, sweet corn, corn meal stirfry, topped with a bit of smoked paprika. OHYgosh good.

  23. You’ve got some nice lookin’ Okra thar sug!

  24. nrhatch says:

    I love it sliced and fried . . . with grits on the side. Yummy!

  25. spicegirlfla says:

    Great photos! I’ve not used okra much at all so I’m looking forward to see what you two are going to be posting with this little beauties!

  26. I think we´ll have to grow some okra next year as it likes the heat. Will have to look out for seeds or buy them in the UK…am looking forward to your recipes!

  27. Looks wonderful and congrats on the first harvest!

  28. Besides green peas, okra was my favorite vegetable to eat growing up. Looks like a great crop!

  29. midaevalmaiden says:

    I never knew ocra grew like this picture shows. I confess I always thought it was a water plant like water-cress and lotus.

  30. Oh I am so jealous you have your own okra! I want them so bad. I love okra and my favorite way of cooking them is with tomatoes and corn! Delish

  31. Ya know what? I’ve never tried okra! I always see it at the farmer’s market or grocery store but just don’t know why I don’t take the time to try it. Hmmm, I’ll wait for you and Katherine to post a recipe for me to try for my kids!

  32. egg me on says:

    Awesome. Dying to know what you’re going to do with your crop! A little fried action, perhaps?

  33. Caroline says:

    This is so awesome, I can’t wait to see what you whip up! Please document the okra coming out of your ears too, I’m intrigued. haha

  34. jenlenew says:

    ooh i love okra! can’t wait to see what you make!

  35. TasteFood says:

    I look forward to the recipes – I love okra!

  36. Janae says:

    Oh my goodness, 114 degrees… Well, at least your plants are thriving, though I must admit, I’ve never tried okra. It’s kind of hard to find around here, but I’d love to see what it tastes like. If you do post okra recipes I’ll have to seek it out and give it a try (especially if it’s fried!).

  37. klownboy says:

    Dude, as much as I hate okra, this post of yours’ make it sound so good. Nice blog dude!!!

  38. I love okra! I’ve seen people make them into “fries” by baking them and while I don’t think they actually compare to fries at all, they still taste pretty darn good!

  39. I love deep-fried okra – but have never made it myself! Another thing to add to the to-do list!

  40. I’ll be happy to take any excess okra off your hands 🙂

  41. I enjoy okra as much as anything in the garden. I freeze a lot of it, too, for the winter months.

  42. Charles says:

    This sounds so stupid, but “thank you”! I saw something weird in the supermarket the other day called “Gombo” and assumed it was some weirdo tropical thing. Seeing your picture above I now realise it was, of course, Okra (Gombo in French!) and I’m not quite so scared of this “weirdo tropical thing” now as I was. I might even actually buy some next time I’m going shopping 😀

  43. karencooking says:

    Boy, do I love fried okra. My mother usually makes it as a treat when we visit in the summer (since that’s our only chance to have it all year long). Looking forward to living vicariously through the recipes you’ll post!

  44. ambrosiana says:

    Oh!!! You even have okra in your garden!!! I go nuts for okra!!!!!!

  45. Pingback: Fried okra | Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide

  46. Pingback: Planting season… again? | Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide

  47. Pingback: Okra and Green Pigeon Pea Curry « Chica Andaluza

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