Okra, Burmese (Organic)
Abelmoschus esculentus. Green. 50-70 days.
We have been trying to grow okra in Oregon since 2005, and we finally found Burmese Okra, a variety that not only grows well, but also produces seed (well, we’re not sure it’ll happen every year). Nevertheless, we are thrilled that our experiments have led to Burmese okra being worthy of our catalog! This Southeast Asian variety grows shorter than other types of okra which helps it produce fruit earlier. Light green pods are spineless, and have a mild, sweet flavor. Burmese okra is less mucilaginous than other varieties. Generally best picked small, around 3-5” long. With our arid summers and cool nights, okra gets woody fast, so keep an eye on it. Big thanks to Southern Exposure Seed Exchange for supplying our original stock seed all those years ago. They are a great source for southern adapted varieties, many of which surprise us with their ability to grow well here, too.
Okra needs a lot of heat and humidity. Make sure to wait for warm weather to sow, water it a lot, and cover young plants for extra warmth. Direct sow after danger of frost has passed. Thin to 12-18″ in rows 1′ apart. For best texture, harvest pods when still small, around 3-5″ long.
To save seed, leave a few plants unharvested and wait until fruit have dried. Pick pods, thresh by hand, winnow to clean. Dry seed thoroughly. Okra mostly self-pollinates, isolate by ½ mile to ensure varietal integrity.