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Old 02-08-2007, 10:51 AM   #1
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North Carolina Winter Okra?

Yesterday I picked up a large package of unbelievably fresh tiny baby okra pods (some of which I added to a jambalaya last night). Now normally I don't buy many fresh veggies out of season, but these were tiny perfect little things - no longer than 2", crisp, & wonderful.

The label on the package said North Carolina, &, not being a very geographically astute person, was wondering if any portion of North Carolina was warm enough this time of year to produce okra? If not, maybe these were hothouse grown? Or perhaps shipped in from somewhere else?

I'm just curious, because besides when I grow it myself, nice fresh okra like this isn't easy to come across in the supermarket - even when it's in season.

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Old 02-08-2007, 11:41 AM   #2
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It could be a distributor in NC. I doubt that okra would be possible to grow in a greenhouse situation--pretty large plants. And no, there is no place warm enough to grow it outside now.
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Old 02-08-2007, 12:09 PM   #3
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I didn't think so, but figured I'd ask anyway. Boy, is it great stuff though - absolutely tiny & perfect, bright & crisp. Whoever did the picking & shipping certainly knows how to go about it.
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Old 02-08-2007, 12:40 PM   #4
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If they can grow hothouse tomatoes, there's no reason why they can't grow hothouse okra. There are newer dwarf varieties of okra now, that don't get nearly so tall.
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Old 02-08-2007, 03:05 PM   #5
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I too have found this okra during the winter months here in IL (but not this year). I am thinking that it may come from South America. Our agriculture communities here do exchange programs with them.
It could also be an african variety. Their okra is 100 times better than anything you could ever imagine.
Maybe Uncle Bob will be along soon to enlighten us with the facts....
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Old 02-08-2007, 04:08 PM   #6
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Breezy...

I seriously doubt that the okra you bought was grown in N.C. Okra is a "hot weather" plant...from the hibiscus family and is a close cousin to Cotton...They both grow well in hot, somewhat dry conditions...

While hot house Tomatoes are very common place...I know of no hot house okra production..Repeat I know of none...it may exist but I kinda doubt it.

Dwarf varieties do exsit as Connie mentioned..but still require the right climate conditions...Which I suppose could be created in a green house.

Who knows...it may be some new cottage industry starting up in your area!

My "guess" the okra was imported from Mexico..maybe the Arizona/New Mexico area. Fla. and Californina would not be likely this time of year.

It is grown in South America (mostly Chile) and is a contra-season item...(It is summer there) Much like the Peaches, Plums, Nectarines, Grapes etc. that we find in the winter months here. However okra does not ship well...so I would think it is not contra-season produce.
Again ...my guess..Mexican Import....Read the package to see if it says packaged by or packaged for a local wholesale produce company.

I hope this helps.
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Old 02-08-2007, 05:04 PM   #7
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Shame on you, Uncle Bob! Fresh Okra does not come in a bag. But you are right, the sign above the okra bin usually gives some produce information which would read "Okra, a product of Mexico."
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Old 02-08-2007, 05:18 PM   #8
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Okra is one of my favorite veggies (OK, I know it is a fruit but I use it like a vegetable).

Wow Breezy, have never seen decent okra in the winter. Would love to find a bag of small tender ones.

Have grown okra and they are larger plants and in our experience are not enormously productive, like tomatoes.

But they are lovely plants with very pretty flowers and miss growing them. We just have very limited garden space and use it very frugally. And the number of okra plants we need to make a dish just takes too much space.

Cannot believe that NC can grow okra in the winter, even in enclosures.

But enjoy Beezy, we would be in heaven.
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Old 02-08-2007, 05:28 PM   #9
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Okay - I managed to salvage part of the tiny little label that was on the package. All it says is "Farmstand Fresh, Hand-Picked, "Fresh Pac", Hendersonville, NC, with a phone #. No original origin info.

Since except for the Caribbean, the furthest south I've been is Cape Hatteras in NC, I really have no idea what, if any, parts of the U.S. might be capable of growing okra this time of year. Like I said, while it's usually available here year-round, the quality is normally abysmal. This stuff I bought yesterday looks like I could have picked it off my own plants (I do grow it myself in the summer).

Oh, & it came from our local Wal-Mart, which, surprisingly enough, frequently has much fresher nicer produce than the other markets around here.
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Old 02-08-2007, 06:33 PM   #10
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If it is not a Mexican import then...South Texas (the Rio Grande Valley) Maybe Fla..and of course Southern California..Arizona..etc.

Hey Breezy...call the number and ask them
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