Our Okra Is Special!
The flower of an okra plant.
Sarah Wilkerson, a master gardener and the secretary of the Friends of the D.D. Collins House, has diligently worked in our garden this year. While she has been busy with the garden chores, she has enjoyed the company of a special visitor.
Okra pods are filled with tiny seeds.
Dr. Ahmed is a pediatrician in the old pharmacy building just down the street from the Collins House. He stopped by the house while she was working and offered us some okra, squash, and tomato plants for the garden.
Okra pods should be picked when young and tender.
He stops by to talk to Sarah and the other gardeners as they tend the garden and to check on his plants. He was sad we were not able to pick the okra several times a week before the pods got too big. We offered to let him pick the plants. So if you see a nicely dressed man picking the okra, he has our permission.
Okra fun facts:
An okra plant does not grow taller than its master.
This proverb refers not only to the physical height of the okra plant, but also its inability to be superior and greater than its master.
Okra is also called Lady's Fingers.
In some places okra is called gumbo because it is a main ingredient in Creole gumbo stew.
Okra was cultivated by the Egyptians by the 12th century B.C.
Okra seed pods have not only been eaten cooked since ancient times; but the seeds were removed from the pods and roasted as a coffee substitute. They still do this today in the Middle East and Africa!
Okra is a relative to the cotton plant, hibiscus, and hollyhocks.
Okra was brought to America in the 1700s.
When okra is left to mature, the pods become woody so it is used to make rope and paper in some countries.
Okra is known to be a bit slimy (actually it is quite slimy when cooked). There is only one way to overcome this, according to chefs worldwide. Get over it!