Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Heavy Hitter Okra


Another overachiever in my garden this year has been the okra. I tried a new variety to me called Heavy Hitter from seeds I purchased 2 years ago from the farmer in Alabama that developed this okra. In the past I have traditionally grown Cajun Cowhorn variety and also Clemson SpinelessCajun Cowhorn is an heirloom variety that my parents grew in Louisiana when I was a child and the great thing about that variety is that the pods stay soft and edible even when very large. Heavy Hitter is a variety developed by a farmer over many years by selecting the best producing Clemson Spineless plants in his garden and saving seeds from those specific plants. It is known to be an extremely heavy producer and has lived up to it's name. I see it is available now at Bakers Creek Seeds if anyone is interested in trying it. I will say that it has produced spectacularly for me. We did have an extremely cool spring and it was slow to get started but once started it will produce now till frost. I found the seeds just a tad expensive at first but now save my own so have plenty for years to come. I also maintain a supply of Cajun Cowhorn seeds as well. 

Like any other okra Heavy Hitter makes a beautiful yellow Hibiscus type flower and a large bush. My okra in the garden and around the place tucked here and there are between 8 to 12 feet and some are 4 foot wide so give them plenty of room to grow. They also like rich soil and produce well in heat and even dry conditions to a point. I like to cut my okra pods  from 3 to 5 inches in length so that they are good and tender. 

Right now I am averaging about a gallon of okra a day. I have frozen about 40 vacuum bags with 4 cups each now in the freezer. This we love just tossed with olive oil and sea salt and roasting in the oven.  I have also canned okra and tomatoes in jars for making a dish that starts with a traditional roux with shrimp and onions served over rice. It is just okra, tomatoes and onions in the jars. I also use this in soups as well and sometimes gumbos. I have also frozen okra breaded for frying. 

So for now we are dehydrating okra. My husband eats it straight out of the container as a snack because it takes on somewhat of a nutty flavor. Dehydrated okra will eventually once I am finished go into Mylar bags with an oxygen absorber and be stored in food grade buckets with gamma lids. This way it should keep for years as long as it is dried completely crunchy. Rehydrated okra can be used roasted, in soups or even breaded and fried. It all works and no slime! 

There is also a pickled okra recipe under canning recipes above if you want to give that a try. 

Blessings from The Holler

The Canned Quilter


  1. I tried Heavy Hitter last year for the 1st time and saved seeds too. This year I planted again and got even more okra than last year. I love this plant and like you, I will continue to save my own seeds year after year.
    I live in Central Alabama and did not know the man who perfected the seeds was from Alabama. That's good to know..... guess thats why they did so well in my square foot garden. Lol
    Love your blog. Cindy Jane

  2. I was given a packet of okra seeds this year but never planted them. I think the flowers are just beautiful, will give it a try next year!

  3. I have grown Heavy Hitter twice and have been disappointed in the yield. The first year I blamed it on trees shading the back of my garden. This year I moved them to the sunny section and they did somewhat better but no better than the Louisiana 16 Inch planted beside them. I will grow them one more time next year along with trying the cowhorn variety. The seeds came from Baker's Creek and I mailed some to my son. He grew two in pots on his patio and had way more than I did! He has a very green thumb.

  4. The old Louisiana Cowhorn is a good variety that my parents grew for decades and I have picked a many a bushel of it. This new Heavy Hitter produces well but the one thing that all okra has to have to produce bumper crops IMHO is heat. Okra is a sun and heat loving plant and it all depends on and comes down to sunshine and heat. I struggle with these cool moist mountain springs some years but always manage to make enough for my own table and needs.


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