468: Chris Smith on Okra.
Fascination with an underappreciated vegetable.
In This Podcast:
His first introduction to okra did not go over well, but years later Chris Smith was given okra seeds as a gift and he felt responsible to do his best with them. This prompted him to research, learn, and experiment with many varieties and recipes. He learned a lot and he shares part of his journey becoming fascinated with this often discounted vegetable. Check out the recipe for pickled okra he shared with us as well.
Chris is a garden writer and homesteading consultant who serves on the board of The People’s Seed. When he is not okra-ing he can sometimes be found at Sow True Seed, an Asheville-based open-pollinated seed company. The Whole Okra: A Seed to Stem Celebration by Chelsea Green Publishing, has just been released and is available!
Listen in and learn about:
- How he got introduced to okra
- Given okra seeds and feeling the responsibility to do well by them
- The difference between a good dish and a bad dish
- The okra plant is useful from seed to stem
- The Rosemond Wedding okra that he grows
- Seventy-six varieties that he grew on his farm in a study
- The highly productive plant and why timeliness of the harvest is important
- How to start appreciating the full potential of the entire plant
- What to do with the seeds
- Making artisanal oils from the okra seeds
- How to grow from seed
- The resilience nature of okra plants
- The okra itch he experienced from the okra spines
- The three main pod characteristics
- Dealing with the slime, and how some cultures like the slime
- Working at Sow True Seed, an open pollinated seed company
- A new organization called The People Seed
- Utopian Seed Project a non-profit seed company that grew from his okra experiments
As well as:
His failure – trying to canoe 127 miles in one go, within 48 hours
His success – four major projects in one year and is still sane and married
His drive – working towards sustainable food systems that is resilient and regenerative
His advice – approach your own food system by being open minded, creative, and curious
Recipe submitted by Chris:
Books written by Chris:
Chris’s Book recommendations:
Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming, Edited by Paul Hawken
How to reach Chris:
This contest period is closed. We say “Thank You” to Chris and Chelsea Green Publishing for this offer.