'Aunt Hettie's Red x Puerto Rico Everblush F3' Okra Breeding Mix
Origin: Western North Carolina
Improvement status: Breeding population
Seeds per packet: ~50
Germination tested 12/2023: 74%
Life cycle: Annual
We're really excited to see what comes of this super-cool red okra breeding population from Chris Smith (author of The Whole Okra) and the Utopian Seed Project team. Here's what Chris says about these seeds:
"'Aunt Hettie's Red' is a Tennessee heirloom okra and my personal favorite red variety. It boasts a deep red color throughout the whole plant and pods, is a top taster in our taste tests, and grows on productive and beautiful plants. 'Puerto Rico Everblush' [shown in photo] is one of my all-time favorite okra varieties that we selected from a USDA accession, 'Puerto Rico Evergreen'. It has velvety green round pods with red blushing, is delicious, productive and very early. Plants can get very tall. I wanted to cross these two varieties with the aim of producing a solid red colored version of 'Puerto Rico Evergreen'. In 2023 we collaborated with Warren Wilson College to grow out a large planting of the F2 population of both AHRxPRE and PRExAHR. We made selections for our phenotype of choice and will continue to select for that, but we wanted to offer the F3 seeds from the entire population because there were some beautiful (and probably very tasty) combinations in the mix."
Let us know what gems you find and select from this exciting population!
GROWING TIPS: Grow as any other okra, direct-sowing after all danger of frost has passed, or starting in flats a few weeks before last frost. Space plants roughly a foot apart. Plant seeds an inch deep. If you find a plant you really want to replicate, you can tie a bag over some of its flowers to prevent outcrossing, as okra is capable of self-pollinating.