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Burgundy Okra

Abelmoschus esculentus

Grown by: Bear Bottom Farm in Dillwyn, VA

  • $5.00

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Long, slender, deep burgundy pods stay tender up to 5". Cream-colored flowers, green leaves, and burgundy stems, branches, and leaf-veins on 4' plants. This seed was grown lovingly by Bear Bottom Farm in Dillwyn, VA. Their favorite okra dish is stewed tomatoes and okra with poached eggs and cumin.

Burgundy Okra was introduced by Clemson University in 1983 and won the All-American Selections award in 1988. It is said to produce well even in cooler Northern climates.

Originally, okra is probably from West Africa, though some claim Ethiopia as the origin. Many believe enslaved Africans hid okra seeds in their hair on the forced journey across the Atlantic. Certainly, this crop is a taste of home for people of the African Diaspora, and consequently, a taste of home for people of the Southern US in general.

Days to maturity: 55-60

Seeds per pack: 60

Planting / harvesting notes

Sow seeds of this heat-loving plant indoors 2-3 weeks before transplanting, which should happen several weeks after the last frost, or when soil temperatures stay above 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Soak seeds overnight for quicker germination, and plant 3/4" deep. Space 18" in rows 12-18" apart. Beds should be at least 3' apart as plants tend to bush out widely. Okra likes fertile, well-drained soil with added compost.

Seed keeping notes

Okra is insect pollinated. Isolate different okra varieties by at least 1/8th of a mile (or up to 1/2 mile if you are truly concerned about seed purity) to avoid unwanted cross pollination. Allow pods to grow large and turn brown and woody (your neighbors may look at you funny). When you can hear the seeds rattle, harvest the pod and allow it to dry further on trays in the sun in a dry place. Remove seeds and use breath, wind, or fans to remove bits of chaff.

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