The sun rises noticeably later now and light is brilliant on cool September mornings. Our “Mudham Rouge” okra glistens in the heavy, late summer, morning dew. I initially was going to call it “Mudham Red” but my wife AnLe said, “Oh no, it’s more like “Mudham Rouge” and so it was named.

Okra, one of many culinary contributions from the African continent, is a beautiful ornamental plant in its own right. It is in the same family as the hibiscus which accounts for that, and its culinary uses inexhaustible. Okra is part of the food chain that speaks of better memories of growing up in the American South. Things like gumbo — catfish and escaping to cool swimming holes in creeks and ponds on hot summer days. Music at night and the warm smells of familiar kitchens, but mostly a sense of place. A sense of home.

We have been messing around with this one for a while now. Letting nature do the mysterious heavy lifting of natural “open pollination” — We merely collect the okra pods that suit, save the seed year after year and — voila — you have “Mudham Rouge”. A long-thin-tender-sweet seeded-beautiful okra that is crunchy not soft when fried. And gumbo? It’ll knock your socks off.   Enjoy!

Eat a Peach.