Sunday, September 23, 2012
We had a couple of really late bloomers in the veg garden this year. It took forever for the red okra and the green long beans to hit their stride.
Here are the green long beans. The vines are now easily a third again as big as the red ones, but it only bears a few beans. It took an extra two months to get this big before it started bearing well. And after all of that, I've gotten easily two or three times as many red long beans as green long beans. This means that we're approaching the 'I don't think we'll do this one again' stage. I'm thinking I'll stick to the red long beans and let these go. Since I'm not ready to decide right now, I've let some of the pods ripen and when they're hard and crispy, I'll harvest a bit of seed just in case I want to give it a second chance next year.
Another late bloomer was the red okra. We've planted okra for years and usually it zooms out of the ground no matter what color it is. This year, it sat and sat and waited and finally only four seeds sprouted. It was seed that I saved last year, which might explain the low germination rate, but then the plants took forever to get going. Usually our okra gets to five or six feet tall in no time. These plants are still only three feet tall and slow to bear. You'd think in all that heat it would have zoomed out of the ground, but no, it sat. The flowers are really pretty, though. That's one at the top of the post. And the okra pod itself is pretty. They don't stay red when you cook them. They go green. Pick them smallish - the size of your thumb. The point should be bendy and soft. Steam them and serve with melted butter and lemon juice.