Appalachia Gardening

Deputizing Blind Pig and The Acorn Okra Reporters @ Large


This year Sow True Seed has graciously donated extra okra seed so that I can deputize @ Large Okra Reporters.

Here’s the varieties with details from Sow True Seed’s website:

Okra – Jing Orange, ORGANIC – Striking red-orange pods make this Asian heirloom a true standout! This may be the only okra you’ll ever want to grow again because of its heavy production of 5″ to 7″ pods, (though we actually liked them best picked at about 3″). Plants are productive early and showed excellent drought tolerance in our trials.

Okra – Bear Creek – Sent to us from Robbins Hail of Missouri as a trade through Seed Saver’s Exchange. From Robbins: “The okra is some we have been growing and selecting for the last 15 years. It is a cross of Lousiana Green, Burgandy, a kind from Africa that I have forgotten the name of, and a white okra. I aim for a very long thin fruit with no real ridges, but still get some with ridges.” We were excited to trial this one, and were not disappointed! We don’t think you will be either.

Okra – Granddaddy’s – Originally said to be from Mr. Rex Eubanks of Whitney, TX whose family had stewarded the variety for over four generations. Found growing in the garden of John H. MacDonald who was one of the founders of the Texas Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association and sent in to SSE where Sow True Seed acquired the seed. Long, thin pods have a delicious flavor and are best picked under 6” long. Good production in spite of disease pressure.

So what does being a Blind Pig & the Acorn Okra Reporter @ Large mean?

Sow True Seed is always looking for feedback about their seeds. You know things like plant growth, production, pest issues, and most of all taste.

To be an @ large reporter you need to plant the okra seeds, keep track of how they grow, and send your findings and observations to either me or directly to Sow True Seed. If you can snap a few photos along the way for me to share here on the Blind Pig-that would be fantastic too.

If you’re interested in being a Blind Pig and The Acorn Okra Reporter @ Large send me an email at [email protected] and let me know. Be sure to include your mailing address and which okra seed you’d like to try the most.


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  • Reply
    Leon Estes
    May 21, 2018 at 5:55 am

    I would like to try “Jing Orange” or either of the other two. Just one variety, my space is limited. . It will be fun to report on the success here in NW Arkansas – – I wonder about planting the 3 kinds adjacent to each other. Would the seed be cross-pollinated?

    [You have my street address? email: [email protected] ]

    Thank you. (Will I report direct to “Sow True Seed?” )

    • Reply
      Chris Smith
      May 24, 2018 at 5:30 pm

      The seeds are likely to cross pollinate but okra is very easy to flower-bag and isolate pollen transfer.

  • Reply
    dianna thomas
    May 17, 2018 at 10:50 pm

    okay since no one is trying out Grandaddys okra….I will for sure try it. If there was to be any left of the other 2 kinds then send ’em to me! I have been experimenting with straw bale gardening so 3 rows of new okra varieties sounds like fun to me!

    • Reply
      Chris Smith
      May 24, 2018 at 5:31 pm

      I’d be very interested to hear how okra grows in straw bales (I’m writing a book on okra!)

  • Reply
    Papaw Ammons
    May 16, 2018 at 4:35 pm

    I love fried okra. Sliced about a quarter inch thick and shaken in a bag with a little cornmeal with a extra pinch of salt and pepper and fried in bacon grease in a single layer to a golden brown. Not breaded, just coated! When you eat breaded and deep fried okra you get the taste of whatever was fried in the oil previously.
    I got some frozen okra from a grocery store (I won’t tell the name but it rhymes with Jingles) and sorted through it to make sure it was all good. I tossed out the stem ends and tips and anything that didn’t look right. I put it in a pot of special vegetable soup I was making for the kids. When I tried it, it all had a very good flavor. But the texture didn’t match, not nearly. I told the kids I was sorry but I couldn’t feed them something like that. The okra tasted good but was like chewing on a toothbrush. I had to feed it out to the neighbors dog. At first he turned up his nose but finally he ate it. He’ll eat anything.
    I’ll try to plant some of the okra seed if you have any left but it might be like the lettuce from last year. I still have half of those seed but with the circumstances of the past few months I didn’t get anything in the ground. “The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry” is part of a poem “To A Mouse” by Robert Burns in which a gardener plows up the nest of a mouse as he turned his ground. Here lately I feel as if I am that mouse.

  • Reply
    May 15, 2018 at 5:11 pm

    I would love to try the Jing Orange and Granddaddy’s okra. A bit late for planting here but the super cool spring has made planting late less problematic. My husband loves what he calls “plain okra gumbo” – just okra, onions, and tomatos. I prefer some rice and either sausage or chicken added so compromise by cooking the rice and the chicken (sausage) with some onions separate and mixing them together on my plate.

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    May 15, 2018 at 3:20 pm

    I’m just curious….Does anyone that plants Okra soak it in buttermilk, milk or blinked milk overnight before planting…
    We always have done this…but some folks we told about this just laughs…We happen to know that it germinates much better…maybe also the bacteria from the sour milk attacks and helps break down the hard shell covering the germ…
    Also….Okra is usually that last thing we plant in the garden…Okra is a ‘”hot weather crop” and will pop up out of the ground with a good soaking in blinked milk. Pick a warm/hot sun-shiny day with warm/hot soil with humid hot air temperature predicted for a few days…Okra will be coming out the seams of the soil…LOL
    Thanks Tipper,

    • Reply
      May 24, 2018 at 7:45 pm

      I want to thank you for this tip, and I’m going to try it tonight, B. Ruth! My Bear Creek seeds took a solid 14 days to begin sprouting, so we’ll see what happens with the Jing Orange I’ll be planting in peat-pots tomorrow after soaking in milk tonight. I could wait to plant them directly in the ground, but I’m still working really hard just to get the garden worked up and a new raised bed built, so the peat pots will still give them a little head-start, I hope 🙂

  • Reply
    Steve Cox
    May 15, 2018 at 1:45 pm

    I have an heirloom okra called Louisiana Long that I have been growing in my gardens for about 10 years. The okra pods will get between 9 to 12 inches long before they become too tough. My wife and I split our time between Florida and Brasstown. We will be back in NC next week. Not sure when you plant okra but, if that gives you enough time to grow them will be glad to share some of my seed stock. We will not be in Florida enough this summer to plant okra.

  • Reply
    Ken Roper
    May 15, 2018 at 1:43 pm

    I called Donna Lynn today and thanked her for playing “Our National Anthem” and she replied “When it started playin’, I stood up and put my hand over my heart and faced the Courthouse”. When she asked what I wanted to hear, I told her “something by the Pressley Girls” and she played “The River of Jordan”. Then she played “Working on a Building”, by Paul and The Pressley Girls.
    Those are two of my Favorites. …Ken

  • Reply
    May 15, 2018 at 1:21 pm

    I would like to try the Jing Orange as a 1st choice. A 2nd choice would be the Bear Creek. I just planted a row of Clemson Spineless today. I like okra and there are several seniors in our church that look forward to my garden produce. I was unable to have a garden last year and several have asked about this year’s possibilities. A few years ago I planted kohlrabi. None of them had ever heard of it but all liked it. My guess is that they have never seen orange okra.

    • Reply
      Chris Smith
      May 24, 2018 at 5:33 pm

      Hey Jackie – I’d say Jing Orange is more of a red okra, but still very beautiful!

  • Reply
    Ken Roper
    May 15, 2018 at 11:52 am

    When I had a garden, I planted a couple rows of Okra and it kept me busy cutting that stuff off and bringing it to the house. My rows were about 70 to 80 feet long, and that was too much. I tried giving some away and nobody wanted any, so I quit. My main thing was taters and Nantahala White Runners and Tomatoes anyway. Anymore, if they have it, when I go out and eat, I usually get some of that breaded stuff they serve. …Ken

  • Reply
    May 15, 2018 at 9:56 am

    I love okra, but have never been able to grow it here. There are not many okra lovers in the area, so is hard to find fresh okra for sale. I always have a bag of frozen in my freezer to cook my favorite Okra or Chicken Gumbo.

  • Reply
    May 15, 2018 at 8:14 am

    That Jing Orange looks very interesting! This week I’ve planted a good many STS Bear Creek Okra seeds in my growing collection of peat pots in my tinkertoy greenhouse. But it’s last year’s seed, so fingers crossed for germination rate. I planted some late last year and it had just begun to flower when some critter got into my garden and chomped every okra plant right down to the ground! Hoping for better results this year.

  • Reply
    harry adams
    May 15, 2018 at 7:50 am

    We love okra but with the short growing season we have, it is hit or miss with us. Few people in Ohio know how to use okra. At the local farmers market we overheard two men discussing the okra he had grown.
    “Yeah I grew it, but don’t know much about it. Nobody really wants it.” My wife replied,” it has to be picked while small and tender.” What he had was almost ready to dry for seed and 6 or 7 inches long. It would have taken a hack saw to cut it.

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