Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Fresh & Local: Okra

by Ryan Earehart, Mana Foods Produce Manager

Okra Time is approaching fast. Although I am very busy mangaging the bustling Produce Department at Mana Foods, searching high and low to find the very beast quality and prices for your shopping pleasure, I have still been making time to grow another crop of okra this season and it's looking real nice. We did a test plot last season and now this year we increased the plantings ten fold, with three varieties mostly Mammoth Spineless, Red Velvet, and a Chinese smooth skin type. The birds ate 50% of the first planting and then the aphids severly damaged another 25% but we have replanted a couple more times.

Okra loves the heat and long days and right now in Kula long hot days are the norm, so the flowers popping out each day in droves. The wild bee hive inside the Inia tree in the adjacent gulch is up for the task that waits them to pollenate countless thousdands of okra flowers this summer. Young and Tender fresh from the plant is my favorite way to eat this fantastic fruity vegetable. Lots of Silica in okra is good for the elasticity of the skin.

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