Planting okra in the northern garden: Bowling red okra with Devil’s ear lettuce

June has arrived and I am planting my garden little by little. This morning I planted my Bowling red okra with Devil’s ear lettuce. I mixed them in a bed with some seeds for short music box sunflowers, cilantro, muncher cucumbers and some vining nasturtiums.

I haven’t eaten okra in a long time. I always used to think of okra as slimy, and I was not interested in eating it. But, my brother-in-law once gave us a jar of pickled okra in a gift basket. It was part of a collection of things from Texas where they were living at the time. This changed my perspective on okra. Believe it or not, this slimy gumbo vegetable doesn’t have to be slimy.

Okra, it doesn’t have to be slimy

The texture of a food is often what deters us from eating many things. This is why I avoided okra. But, okra, when pickled isn’t slimy. It is crunchy and delicious. Texas pickled okra is not so easy to find in Michigan, so this year, I’m going to try to grow some.

Bowling red okra in the northern garden

The Bowling red okra may not grow great in my northern garden, because okra loves heat. I am also planting a green variety, Burmese okra. Hopefully at least some of the plants will do well.

If you have a favorite way to eat okra, I would love to hear about it.


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