Okra

(Abelmoschus esculentus)
Read Okra Blogs Here

Okra (Abelmoschus esculentus)

OUR WORK

In 2018 Chris Smith grew out 76 different varieties of okra as a research project to support a book he was working on, The Whole Okra. That trial was funded by a successful Kick Starter Campaign and the generous sponsorship of Sow True Seed. Variety observations and trial notes from the 2018 Trial can be seen here. In Many ways that project provided the proof of concept for The Utopian Seed Project to get off the ground.

In 2019 The Utopian Seed Project is planning another large okra variety trial with a whole new set of okra varieties, further exploring and celebrating the diversity of okra.

Peter Taylor aka PTPIX

Peter Taylor is an award winning photographer and friend of the Utopian Seed Project. In 2018 he took a series of ‘beauty shots’ of many of the okra varieties we grew. See more of his work here and follow him on Instagram here.

Here`s a selection of edible summer greens growing at the #experimentalfarm right now. Even though you may never have tried (or maybe heard) of some of these, they are not new. We did not discover them. They belong to cultures older and wiser, ancestral work done to create many of the food crops that exist today, both known and forgotten.

We support eating and exploring these crops, and there is resilience in a diversified food system that will be much needed as climate change continues. But climate justice and climate work goes hand in hand with social justice and social work, so respecting those who came before (the work, the culture, the traditons, the people) is critical to our journey.

This picture shows a world of possibilities, but it also shows the world.

Top Row, Left to Right
1. Permelon (Cucurbita maxima)
2. Butternut (Cucurbita moschata)
3-4. Sweet Potato (Ipomoea batatas)
5 (top). Southern Pea (Vigna unguiculata)
5 (bottom). African Basil (Ocimum gratissimum)
6. Moringa (Moringa oleifera)

Bottom Row, Left to Right
1. Chaya (Cnidoscolus aconitifolius)
2. Sunset Hibiscus (Abelmoschus manihot)
3-4. Okra (Abelmoschus esculentus)
5. Abelmoschus tetraphyllus
6 (top). Taro (Colocasia esculenta)
6 (bottom). Chayote (Sechium edule)

#summergreens #diversefood #chayote #chaya #taro #moringa #hibiscus #okra #southernpeas #basil #squash #sweetpotato #eatyourgreens #leafygreens #greens #notallgreensarered
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Abelmoschus manihot flowers are beautiful ❤️ we`re growing a few different Abelmoschus manihot varieties this year and none of them are flowering yet, but this Korean Silk Flower is a variety that we`ve been growing for many years and is a reliable heavy producer. The flowers can be dried for tea and the leaves are edible and the plants are stunning!

Abelmoschus manihot has a number of subspecies, including Abelmoschus manihot subspecies tetraphyllus var. tetraphyllus (aka. A. tetraphyllus). We`re growing two of these assessions from the USDA with an oil seed content of 23%, which is the highest we know of in any Abelmoschus species. They also produce pink flowers which can be harvested easily after pollination, so I`m considering the triple crop potential of A. tetraphyllus, with a leaf harvest, a dried flower harvest and an oil seed harvest.

Photo Credit @foodordeath_ (note: while these flowers look bigger than my head they are actually about 6 in across, there`s some camera trickery going on!)

#Okra #Abelmoschusmanihot #seedoil #experimentalfarm #tuspokra
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My favorite okra from the 2018 Okra Variety Trials: Puerto Rico Evergreen. Early to produce, productive, top 10 taste finalist, and a little bit of pod personality. Thanks to @ptpix for the beautiful photo.
#okra #okravarietytrials #growyourownfood #seedequalsfood #croptrials #southernfood
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Last year @lovesomegreen was here in North Carolina helping to hand cross all our high oilseed okra varieties. This year we`re growing out the F1 populations to start the process of developing a higher oil content variety. Here`s one of the crosses growing in Arizona, where Jordan has an indoor growing operation and was able to get a big headstart. It`s exciting to have collaboration across the country!

#Okra #oilseed #plantbreeding #tuspokra #oilseedokra #farming
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We noted July 4th producers today. About 20 out of the 50 varieties had produced pods (not all of them made it into the basket because 9 months is a long time to wait for fresh okra!). Big thanks to @studiogooz and @lieswine for coming out to help with weeding and harvest.

#okra #okravarietytrials #cropdiversity #independenceday
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We have 58 varieties of okra seeded for the continued exploration of okra diversity. Here`s one of @ptpix beauty shots from the 2018 trial.

#okravarietytrials #seedequalsfood #strengthindiversity
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Okra leaves contain more protein than the pods and are tender when young. I like making `mallow water` for a daily tonic (moisturizer for the insides!). But they are good stir fried and the right variety (non hairy) works in a salad. You can use the older leaves too but I would certainly cook them at that point.
These are `thinnings` from a densley seeded row of Whidley White, which we are growing as a restoration project for @seed_savers_exchange. The aim is to select the variety to be a standard pale white pod. It`s an early 1800s heirloom that has experienced some varietal drift. Follow #whidleywhite for updates on this project.
#okra #okravarietytrials #seedsaving #heirlooms #eatyourgreens #TheWholeOkra #seedtostem
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Another okra variety (Sea Island Red) from the beauty shot project with @ptpix last year. This year Peter Taylor will be photographing our beans and cowpeas, so get excited!
#croptrials #varietytrials #okra #diversity
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The trials are all flying along despite our loosing battle with the weeds. Groundnuts are flowering. Okra flowers have been bagged for seed saving. Many beans are already dried and saved. Cowpeas are loving the heat and don`t care that it hasn`t rained. Corn is everything from done-and-dried to not-even-tassling. There is beauty in diversity. Grateful to @frannysfarm for the space and freedom to grow and explore.
#croptrials #strengthindiversity #okra #groundnuts #lovebarn
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Saber-tooth tiger restoration project.

#volunteersrock #okrateeth #funonthefarm #okra
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