Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Down in the Okra Patch

Have I mentioned how much we love okra? We didn't name our place Okra Hill Farm for nothing--this crop continues to produce. Although we're used to seeing these plants growing, most folks who visit our place for the first time always ask "Now, what's that growing right there?" pointing to the pretty pale yellow flowers. 

Okra is in the hibiscus family. Where the blooms are, an okra pod eventually arrives. 

You can see the various stages of the okra on this plant...pre-bloom (top), bloom (left), and small pod (right). 

We're not the only ones who enjoy the okra...

 I spent a few minutes researching online what these black ants are up to on the okra but I can't find a definitive answer. They don't appear to be harming the plant--and move away when I pick the pods. 

 Here are my three boys in the okra patch. We've jumped right back into the routine of going to the garden every morning, thanks to the stroller. It's hard to believe that I've been a mama of three boys for almost a month!

Oh and green beans...goodness, the green beans that just WON'T stop! I've been picking buckets full, trying to find people to take these off my hands. I hate to see the food go to waste--but at some point we're probably just going to pull up the vines and be done with them. I've finally mastered picking the younger, tender beans, which means no strings. We're spoiled by the "stringless" green beans we get at Publix (grocery store) and I don't always do the best job removing the strings before cooking the beans. I'm getting better though.

All this said, I think we may be nearing that "tired of green beans" point!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Ooodles of Okra!

We've pulled up the pink-eyed peas but the okra continues to produce (if I remember correctly, we were still enjoying fresh okra last September). Ashley has replaced the pink-eyed peas with broccoli and the corn with collards (32 plants each again!). 

And sunflowers! We have sunflowers! In seventh grade, sunflowers were big on my best friend Amanda and I's favorite image lists. They really are beautiful. 

After Ashley planted the broccoli and collards, he said he wished he had staggered the plantings so we wouldn't be overrun with the crops all at once. Oh well--next time we'll remember that! And notice the Tonka truck--like the wagon, these Tonka trucks are constantly being used in the garden by the boys. Ashley even had the idea that I could push one along with my feet so I could hold our newest addition in one hand and pick okra with the other. I haven't tried it yet, though!

Our grapes are also ripening--we're growing a classic Southern variety--muscadine. They're delicious and make for a sweet treat when I'm walking by and pop one in my mouth. 

We've had beautiful (aka, low humidity) weather this week. I'm sure the sweltering heat and humidity will be back but it's nice to have a break!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Freshly Picked

Our latest addition here at Okra Hill is our third son! He was born August1 at 11:43 p.m. Weighing 7 lbs 8 oz and measuring 20 inches in height, I'd say he's the biggest thing we've produced in a while :o). Yesterday after supper he made his first trip to the garden (every night we usually go to the garden after supper to pick, weed, play and collect eggs). My oldest son thought it would be fun to put an eggplant on his baby brother's head--and we added a piece of okra since we all love that. 

Now I have three sons, or three musketeers, or three stooges. And we're looking forward to lots of fun together!

He's a sweet baby and we're already enjoying some alert times.  
I'll get back to garden posts soon but I thought this update was more important. :o)