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Angola Prison Okra

Quick Facts:

  • Grown at the Angola Prison Farm
  • Short-statured plants
  • Tender, green pods
  • Best picked at 4-5" in length
  • Good for pickling & frying

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Angola Prison

More about Angola Prison

Abelmoschus esculentus

Angola Prison is an open-pollinated variety of okra grown on the Angola Prison Farm in Louisiana.  The variety was reportedly selected because it remains relatively short (~5 feet), allowing the guards to keep an eye on the prisoners while they are working the okra field. Plants produce excellent yield of ribbed, green pods that are best picked when 4 to 5 inches in length.  The tender pods have a great flavor and are well-suited for pickling, frying, and gumbo.  

Angola, a prison farm encompassing 28 square miles of rich delta farmland, has been the subject of much controversy in recent years.  Founded on the site of a former plantation of the same name, the Angola prison has for the past... More

Less

Abelmoschus esculentus

Angola Prison is an open-pollinated variety of okra grown on the Angola Prison Farm in Louisiana.  The variety was reportedly selected because it remains relatively short (~5 feet), allowing the guards to keep an eye on the prisoners while they are working the okra field. Plants produce excellent yield of ribbed, green pods that are best picked when 4 to 5 inches in length.  The tender pods have a great flavor and are well-suited for pickling, frying, and gumbo.  

Angola, a prison farm encompassing 28 square miles of rich delta farmland, has been the subject of much controversy in recent years.  Founded on the site of a former plantation of the same name, the Angola prison has for the past 120 years produced thousands of bushels of crops annually, with prisoners tending vast acreages of corn, okra, tomatoes, squash, and other vegetables.  Today, it remains one of the most self-sufficient prisons in the United States, however advocates have raised concerns over the inmates' working conditions and wages. 

Originating from Africa, okra is a heat tolerant, easy-to-grow annual that produces edible seed pods which are frequently fried, pickled, or eaten fresh in salads.  The pods contain a high degree of soluble fiber which serves as a good thickener in soups and stews.  Certain types of gumbo utilize okra as a thickener for the broth.  Growing your own okra couldn't be easier, with the plants requiring little care over the growing season and bearing consistently right up until frost.  Try our heirloom okra seeds today and take your favorite okra dishes to the next level.  Matures 60-70 days after planting.  Each packet contains a minimum of 50 seeds.

Abelmoschus esculentus

Angola Prison is an open-pollinated variety of okra grown on the Angola Prison Farm in Louisiana.  The variety was reportedly selected because it remains relatively short (~5 feet), allowing the guards to keep an eye on the prisoners while they are working the okra field. Plants produce excellent yield of ribbed, green pods that are best picked when 4 to 5 inches in length.  The tender pods have a great flavor and are well-suited for pickling, frying,... read more

read less

Abelmoschus esculentus

Angola Prison is an open-pollinated variety of okra grown on the Angola Prison Farm in Louisiana.  The variety was reportedly selected because it remains relatively short (~5 feet), allowing the guards to keep an eye on the prisoners while they are working the okra field. Plants produce excellent yield of ribbed, green pods that are best picked when 4 to 5 inches in length.  The tender pods have a great flavor and are well-suited for pickling, frying, and gumbo.  

Angola, a prison farm encompassing 28 square miles of rich delta farmland, has been the subject of much controversy in recent years.  Founded on the site of a former plantation of the same name, the Angola prison has for the past 120 years produced thousands of bushels of crops annually, with prisoners tending vast acreages of corn, okra, tomatoes, squash, and other vegetables.  Today, it remains one of the most self-sufficient prisons in the United States, however advocates have raised concerns over the inmates' working conditions and wages. 

Originating from Africa, okra is a heat tolerant, easy-to-grow annual that produces edible seed pods which are frequently fried, pickled, or eaten fresh in salads.  The pods contain a high degree of soluble fiber which serves as a good thickener in soups and stews.  Certain types of gumbo utilize okra as a thickener for the broth.  Growing your own okra couldn't be easier, with the plants requiring little care over the growing season and bearing consistently right up until frost.  Try our heirloom okra seeds today and take your favorite okra dishes to the next level.  Matures 60-70 days after planting.  Each packet contains a minimum of 50 seeds.

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Kids eating watermelon

How to Grow Okra

Okra requires well-drained soil with a pH range of 6.0 to 8.0. It prefers full sun exposure and requires at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight per day. The plant is heat-loving and grows best in areas with warm temperatures. The soil should be kept moist but not waterlogged, and regular fertilization can help promote healthy growth. The plant is also drought-tolerant and can withstand periods of low rainfall.

After danger of frost has passed and soil temps have reached approx. 70 degrees, sow seeds ½” deep, 2” apart in rows 3’ apart. Once germination has occurred, thin to one plant every 12-18”. Alternatively, plants may be started indoors 5 weeks before the last frost.

To transplant okra, start by selecting a well-draining and fertile planting site with full sun exposure. When the seedlings reach 4-6 inches in height, transplant them into the garden, spacing them 12-18 inches apart and 1-2 inches deep. Water thoroughly after planting to help the roots establish.

Insect Pests

Although not commonly a problem, okra can be affected by a variety of insect pests, including aphids, whiteflies, stink bugs, and bollworms. Regular monitoring and control measures such as insecticidal soap, neem oil, or row covers can help prevent and manage infestations.

Diseases & Other Problems

Okra can be affected by a range of diseases, including powdery mildew, bacterial blight, and root rot. These diseases can cause leaf spotting, yellowing, and stem and root decay. Proper cultural practices, such as providing good air circulation and maintaining proper soil moisture levels, can help prevent and manage these issues.

While each variety of okra differs in its ideal harvest size, all varieties of okra will eventually get tough if let on the plant long enough. To check to see if a pod is still tender enough to be harvested, try snapping the tip off the blossom end of the pod. If it comes off easily, the pod is still good. Since okra matures from the stem base out, it can be assumed that any pods located above your test pod will be tender. Harvesting should be done every 1-2 days to encourage continued production. Okra should be stored in the refrigerator in a plastic bag or container for up to 5 days. Alternatively, it can be blanched for 3 minutes, cooled, and then frozen for long-term storage.

CONSIDERATIONS:

Okra is a self-pollinating plant with flowers containing both male and female organs, however the large, open flowers produce copious amounts of pollen and are very attractive to bees so outcrossing is likely if two or more varieties are flowering in close proximity. To ensure varietal purity, isolate by one mile or cage whole plants or flowers to prevent visits by pollinators.

HARVESTING SEED:

To harvest seeds, allow the pods to dry completely. Most okra pods will begin to split when the seed inside is fully mature, however they don't shatter easily. Watch for the pods to begin to separate along the ribs. Cut pods from the plant with pruning shears. Using gloved hands, squeeze the pods to open the furrows encasing the round, blackish-green seeds. Winnow to remove any debris and store in an airtight container.

SEED LONGETIVITY:

Okra seed will remain viable for five years when stored under ideal conditions.

Planting seeds

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