A mammoth heirloom okra from West Africa that produces gargantuan edible leaves and delicious pods. This outstanding okra was introduced to us by Jon Jackson, a retired U.S Army Airborne Ranger and founder of Comfort Farms, a non-profit agriculture program focused on helping veterans to heal and learn sustainable farming practices. Jon’s mother hails from Liberia, West Africa, so on a quest to learn about his ancestral farming roots, he came across this remarkable variety of okra that is considered a productive and reliable staple in his mother’s homeland, as well as in other parts of West Africa. Jon grows the seeds for this okra on his farm in Georgia. There, the late-maturing plants grow to 15 feet tall with elephant ear-sized leaves, but the plants will express themselves differently depending on the climate in which they are grown. Other gardeners report plants averaging 6-8 feet. The pods are an unusual round shape and not entirely spineless. They are exquisite and versatile in cooked dishes, and can even be eaten raw when young. The leaves are also edible when cooked, and in their native range they are traditionally made into soup.
All images in this listing are courtesy of Jon Jackson of Comfort Farms.