My Name is Ron Cook,
Each Spring, I break a quarter acre, Certified Organic garden with a team of mules, then plant several rows of okra in 150' foot long successions (kind of like you would with corn). Each year, for the past seven years, through a selective harvest process, I've taken my best seeds and kept only the ones that promise to carry on the desired (H.H.) traits that I'm looking for. I take these seeds and plant them in a separate plot of ground. In this way, I've developed a new Strain of Certified Organic Okra that I call "HEAVY HITTER".
During the drought and extreme heat of 2011, while other gardens were failing, one of my 'HEAVY HITTER' plants produced well over 200 pods of okra and grew over 60 branches! A photo of this plant is posted on my project page. My "HEAVY HITTER" okra stalks on average were more than two inches in diameter (8" inches in circumference). A few, due to their extreme lateral growth of branches, could not be accurately measured.
In order for okra seed from this Clemson Spineless variety, to meet this strict criteria for harvest, the parent plant must exhibit over 40 tender okra pods simultaneously, grow more than 30 branches, and bare over 100 pods per season. This Spring, I will be working in collaboration with My State's Agricultural University to develop this strain further.
To read more about my new Certified Organic seed project, go to: www.ruckethub.com Press the red colored (EXPLORE) tab, and type into the search field.... "Developing a new strain of crop-food plants" There you will see details of my new Certified Organic Seeds project. Through this coming year's seed increase, I hope to be able to share this new strain with neighbors, friends, and other curious farmers wanting to carry on where I left off.
Happy gardening in the up-coming 2012 season!