One of our favorite heirlooms this year has been the Burgundy Okra.
Okra is said to have originated in Africa and there is speculation that this variety arrived in Texas with slaves who managed to smuggle a few seeds in from their homeland. My source also said that okra seeds were roasted and used as a substitute for coffee during the civil war in the south. Be that as it may, these beautiful vegetables are really the stars of the garden. The plants are as pretty as the okra is delicious. If not left too long, even the longer pods stay tender and flavorful, with less “slime factor” than some varieties. We like it so well, I’ve planted even more to finish out the summer.
The watermelons and cantaloupe are at their prime now, of course, as are the great heirloom tomatoes – Cherokee Purple and Black Krim. Big Red Ripper peas, hot peppers, the first of the colored bell peppers, white and purple eggplant, carrots, kale, and fresh basil. We’ll also have a bit of arugula again. It re-seeded after the spring round and is coming back sweet and mild.
Some of the vendors are set up by 7:00 AM now – but that’s pushing it for me. We’ll be set up by 8:00, as usual. See you then. 🙂