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ORGANIC FARMING    (Posted Tue, Jan 31 '12 at 03:08 UTC)

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: 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!

Certified Organic Okra Seeds
 Sunny Gardener
 Bon Air
Re: ORGANIC FARMING    (Posted Tue, Jan 31 '12 at 04:02 UTC)

Hi Ron
you sound like someone we could do business with. Please check Epic Gardens for Edamame Seed. I'd love to try growing some of the amazing 'heavy hitter' okra you have selected. How'd we go about that?

Lightly on the Ground
Re: ORGANIC FARMING    (Posted Tue, Jan 31 '12 at 05:16 UTC)

By supporting our efforts to purchase enough equipment to make seed increase in 2012 a possibility.

Our biggest need is a hoop house to get our okra off to an early start. We also need it for protection against deer.

Last year, 2011- we almost lost all our seed stock to an early May ice storm with sustained temperatures at 28 degrees for five hours. Never in my life have we had an ice storm in May, and (I'm 50 years old). May 3rd we woke up to a 1/4 inch of ice across our whole operation.

the ice storm was followed by a tornado that passed high over head, upsetting 125 tomato cages, followed by two days of 40 mph winds, three hail storms, and 22' inches of rain in a week and a half period. After re-planting our losses, we were wiped out by deer eating all but 32 of 330 seedlings of our heavy hitter in a single night.

We never got another drop of rain until early September. We had 65 days over 100 degrees in 2011. Two weeks of that were over 110 degrees, with the high being 115 on August 2nd. In June we had a Japanese Beetle invasion like no other, followed by wildfire that pushed hundreds of thousands of grasshoppers ahead of it. By July there was nothing left, but the toughest of the tough.

Most all of my 2011 seeds will be used for 2012 seed increase on my farm, and the rest will go to researchers at OSU who are helping me with this. We hope to plant in two separate locations, to avoid so many natural disasters.

If I could get a hoop house, I could plant in mid April and nurse them until they are too big to be killed. Also, with a little help from a heater in Fall, I could keep the pods growing until dry seed pod maturity, without freezing.

Last year, it was June before the ground hardened up and warmed up enough to get them off and going. We had a 21 degree morning the first week of October that killed all the pods that were not already mature on every plant but one. That one plant was inside a homemade hoop house, made from a few sheets of tin, cheap-clear plastic, and black plastic stretched over a borrowed, 12' x 20' frame.

Because of the early killing freeze, I was only able to harvest mature seed pods from 5 of the 32 "HEAVY HITTERS" that survived the deer and rough Spring weather.

I've got a little over one pound of viable seeds from these five "HEAVY HITTERS" If all goes well, by 2013 I'll be able to share the off-spring of these with other interested people, so keep me in mind for the 2013 season!

Send me an email to and I'll send you some pictures of the plants... A camera cannot do them justice, but a picture is worth a thousand words.


Certified Organic Okra Seeds
Re: ORGANIC FARMING    (Posted Tue, Jan 31 '12 at 08:40 UTC)

Ron, You should go to your NRCS office and fill out the forms for a hig tunnel. It would be a great way to get one. Funding allocations should be released soon for each State.

Re: ORGANIC FARMING    (Posted Tue, Jan 31 '12 at 08:57 UTC)

I've already applied to the NRCS, but they only pay up to $2.55 per square foot of their approved vendor's brand of hoop house - unfortunately, the actual price is $4.50 per square foot, leaving me to pay over $1,000.00 for my share of a 14' x 48' foot hoop house, plus shipping and handling on an 800 pound package, plus construction cost of having it set up.

I was wiped out this season by freezing rain, hail storms, drought, high winds, tornado, 22" inches of rain in one long, cold, storm, extreme heat, an unbelievable influx of insects, deer, and an early Fall hard freeze...

I have no farm revenue from 2011, and still have to buy seeds for 2012.


Certified Organic Okra Seeds
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