Friday, September 01, 2006

What are we going to do about this banana plant?

You can't tell from this picture, but it's over 6 feet tall. And - even though Zed promised me, when we spent $10 on this plant, that it would be a one-season-only pleasure (bananas are not hardy in central North Carolina) - now that it's flourishing he doesn't want to let it die. His current idea: to build a yurt around it. However, he's leaving for college on Sunday. Any other ideas, anybody?

This is what the Zone looked like on June 11.

And this is what the banana plant looked like when it went in the ground a couple weeks later.

Then there are these flourishing okra plants. He planted them by mistake (I don't know how they were labeled at Home Depot). They have grown very strong and have many pods. However, we all hate okra (let's just start with the word "mucilaginous") so the pods are getting bigger and bigger. We saw that somebody makes jewelry and art out of okra pods, but the process involves silica gel; I find that discouraging.

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At 10:27 AM, Blogger American1st said...

Bread and deep-fry the okra. It's better than french fries!

At 1:37 PM, Blogger novelera said...

I first steam lightly and then, when cooled, slice okra and saute it in butter and corn meal. This was my Southern mother's method. I've loved okra all my life. Here in California, it costs an arm and a leg, when they even have it!

At 3:59 PM, Anonymous Sylvia said...

I love okra too, but I have learned that when people say they don't like okra, they really don't no matter how it's prepared. But since we're sharing, my favorite way is to toss it in olive oil, salt, pepper, then grill the pods on the BBQ. Yeah, they're still a bit slimy but are they ever good!

They look gigantic, are they? Maybe you can sell them on ebay if any of them resemble a martyred saint. Or maybe you can swap them to an okra lover for something else. Anyway, Zed's manly zone of agriculture is very impressive.

No tips on the banana tree, sorry.

At 6:58 PM, Blogger kenju said...

Let the okra dry and use the pods in flower arrangements~!

I like okra this way: slice the pods about 1/4" thick, put in to a colander and run tepid water over all of it. The slime oozes out. Then coat the slices in white corn meal and saute in olive oil (preferably in an iron skillet).It tastes a little like fried green tomatoes - or oysters - that way.

At 9:41 AM, Blogger Jozee said...

Hi, just passing through. Your article on the Cuyahoga River brought me here.
My thoughts on the banana plant is to pot it up and move it indoors for the winter. That's what we have to do up here in the Northeast with tropicals.

You may not like okra but those are splendid specimens!

At 10:47 PM, Blogger john b said...

tie the banana plants tight, bending tops of leaves over (or chopping them off), then put a load of straw or similar in a big black bin-liner & tie round the whole plant. Most of the top growth will be killed, but the stem will put out new growth with luck.
It works around London, but you may have harder winters.

At 1:57 AM, Anonymous Kimberly said...

Don't like okra?!? Your Yankee blood is showing. Okra is at its best either fried up in cornmeal, as others have suggested, or stewed with really good, really ripe tomatoes. Something about the acidity of the tomatoes seems to cut the sliminess a bit.

I wish we could get okra around here, but the climate doesn't seem to be right for it. (Paul, on the other hand, is glad that we can't... but then, he's a Yankee, too.)


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