You know, we’re very fortunate to be living in the San Joaquin Valley. We’re surrounded by some of the best farmland in the world and have a climate that allows an extended growing season. Long after other areas of the country have been forced to move on, our farmers are able to continue planting and growing warmer weather crops.
Case in point: okra.
Okra requires a minimum average temperature of 65 degrees Fahrenheit in order to grow from seed. As temperatures drop and Fall settles in, the window for planting okra closes. But our farmers still have months of opportunity, and since the plant can sprout and begin to flower in as little as 7 days, that means there’s still a lot of okra left for us here.
At the Vineyard Farmer’s Market, at the west end, next to IL Giardino Organico is the Thao Farms produce stand. I spoke to one of the gentlemen working there who told me that they will likely have okra until the rains start, probably late November or into December. So get out there and reap the advantages of living here. But get there early – the smallest, most tender okra pods are the best to eat, and they disappear quickly.
Here are some recipes featuring okra from around the web:
- Spicy Pickled Okra from Homesick Texan
- Fried Okra from The Bitten Word
- Okra and Tomatoes from Simply Recipes
Also, don’t forget to celebrate summer at the last evening of the Old Town Clovis Farmer’s Market this Friday, September 30 from 5:30pm – 9pm. It’s the Pistachio Party, and you won’t want to miss it! Admission is free, and there will be cooking demonstrations and free pistachio samples.