These pictures are from summer 2011. The okra plants are barely knee-high to a grasshopper at this point.
Last summer, thanks to the intense heat, the seven or eight okra plants I had were producing over 50 pieces of okra a day. Confessional moment: There were some days that I was not able to pick it all and had to throw it out for Missy to eat.
I have already confessed this transgression to Bertha B. Miller. She thanked me for the confession, the avoidance of any unnecessary investigation expenses and reminded me that she would required to notify the The BS Bureau (Better Southerner Bureau), Division of Okra Optimization where an appropriate incident report on this matter will be submitted. It will be kept in my permanent file.
Once you do pick a nice big bushel full of okra, what are you going to do with it? It's a lot like shrimp. You can grill it, boil it, fry it, saute it... and more importantly you can freeze it!
Turn your basket of goodies over
Then line up the pods of deliciousness
trim off their little stems and slice them up into bite sized pieces. Toss them into the ziploc bag that you can see above the cutting board. Scrape off the stems and keep cutting, obviously being careful not to barb your finger on one of those sharp, but nearly invisible dudes.
Then you have a nice bag of okra for the freezer. You don't need to steam, blanch or otherwise do anything to the okra. It's ready for dropping into gumbo, stew, batter to be fried (see list above).
Consider some for your garden this year, or if you have a particularly sunny and hot spot in your yard. This will absolutely thrive in those conditions. Perhaps the homeowners association won't be very amused if it becomes a part of your front flower bed landscape, but once the plants really start growing they can be easy to hide behind and nearly impossible to dig up.
Should the HOA give you any trouble, let them know your intent to file a complaint on them at the BS Bureau for attempting to limit production of a vital veggie.