Okra - Bradford Family
Known most recently for their Bradford Watermelon, another wonderful family heirloom has been quietly hiding on the farm just out of eyesight from the public. The Bradford Family Okra has been grown and passed down in Sumter, SC for almost as long as their famous watermelon. In the mid 19s Theron Bradford built an okra thresher to harvest the seed from his crop and supplied all the local feed and seeds in Sumter and surrounding counties. This was the preferred okra by the locals. It was unique in that the tip of the okra would still snap clean at even 6-8 inches in length, meaning that it was a very large tender pod.
Nat Bradford, Theron's grandson, is now the breedline manager for his family's heirloom okra. Over the summer of 2017 Nat introduced this okra to SC chefs who have placed it in high demand. Chef Forrest Parker, impressed with its size and tenderness, commented ""Wow! This okra is large enough to stuff! This changes everything we know about okra.""
Chef Kristian Niemi commented that he had never tasted such a sweet okra. And Chef Sean Brock referred to the pearl-like seeds as he pressed them from a large pod that ""this is okra caviar!"" Now, after close to three quarters of a century, the Bradford family is making this fabulous, rare okra available again! This is a very limited release this year. Don't miss out!
Approx. seeds per packet = 90 Packet $3.95 Packet weight 6 grams
|Average Seed / oz||Seed / 100' Row||Average Yield / 100' Row||Days to Harvest|
|420||1 oz||30 lbs||60|
|Planting Season||Ideal Soil Temp||Sun||Frost Tolerance|
|After Last Frost||70-90°F||Full Sun||Frost Sensitive|
|Sowing Method||Seed Depth||Direct Seed Spacing||Seeds Per Packet|
|Mature Spacing||Days to Sprout||Production Cycle||Seed Viability|
Okra is a frost sensitive annual that requires full sun and well-drained soil. Okra will tolerate a wide variety of soils and once established is heat and drought tolerant.
Okra has a thick seed coat and does not germinate easily. Soak seeds in water at room temperature overnight and/or nick hard seed coat prior to planting for improved germination. Direct seed after the danger of frost has passed and soil has warmed to 62˚F. Sow seeds 1/2" deep and 3-4” apart in rows that are 3-6 ft apart. Seeds will sprout in 7-15 days. Thin seedlings so that mature plants are 12" apart.
Okra is ready to harvest in approximately 60-70 days. Depending on the variety, pods are best eaten when 2-3" long. If left on plant too long, pods become tough and fibrous. To increase productivity of plants, harvest every two days to promote further pod production.
Okra flowers are perfect and self-pollinating, but they are so large and showy they attract lots of bees to help get the job done. Okra needs at least ¼ mile to retain seed purity, but ½ mile would be best. Okra will keep producing as long as you pick, so it's best not to save pods from early flushes as you will be selecting for lower overall yields. Let your seed pod choices dry on the plant, and cut them off (wearing gloves!) with pruning shears or just grab the pod and twist. You can store the seeds in the pods until use, but for best long term storage, crack open the pods and store seeds in glass jars.
Peanut - Carolina African Runner
26 seeds per packet / approx 200 seeds in 1/4 lb
HEIRLOOM -Three years ago Brian Ward of Clemson’s Coastal Research and Education Center started building back up the population of this peanut which had been thought to be extinct since the 30's. 2016 was the first year Mr. Ward had enough stock to share, and chose 12 farmers to grow out the stock for sharing with the public.
We at Sow True Seed are lucky enough to be selling the stock that Nat Bradford, (of the watermelon fame) grew this year, as he was one of the chosen farmers! Originally brought to the US by West African slaves it the late 1600's, this peanut could be a contender for the first peanut on record in North America. The Carolina African slowly started to fall out of favor as gardeners and farmers preferred to grow the larger Virginia cultivars which were better for roasting.
While the Carolina African Runner Peanut may be about half the size of modern cultivars, but they are much sweeter and have higher oil content, making them not only a wonderful snacking nut, but great for cooking and oil pressing. While this variety does not have the resistance to disease that has been bred into modern ones, they do provide vital genetic diversity. Having been grown for many hundreds of years prior to their disappearance, they can withstand a wide range of weather and soil challenges. Grown by the backyard gardener, you can count on a good yield because of its sheer adaptability. For this reason, we think you should give peanuts a try!
Approx. seeds per packet = 26 Packet weight 14 grams~section~
Carolina African Runner Peanut An annual, flowering herbaceous legume, the Carolina African peanut is a runner variety peanut, spreading its vines while scarcely growing a foot and a half high. The yellowish flowers—with their distinctive pea bonnet configuration—form in clusters above ground. Self-pollinating, the flowers wither and the stalk at the base of the ovary, pushing it into the earth. There the seeds form in pods. To grow a good crop, you will need very loose, loamy soil. Amending with gypsum is recommended. We recommended growing in zone 6 and higher, due to its 130 day maturity requirement.
**Ground Nuts are a pre-order item and quantities are limited. Ground Nuts will ship in October/November**
Found in indigenous diets from Canada to the Gulf coast, Apios americana, also known colloquially as Indian Groundnut. This perennial from the pea family produces both edible tubers and podded beans. The vines can extend up to ten feet, with multi-colored flowers resembling wisteria from July to September. Fleshy tubers varying in size from one to eight centimeters are steamed, roasted, boiled, mashed, and can be dried then ground into a thickening powder for recipes. A bit sweeter than potatoes, but with lasting heartiness, possibly related to the high protein content -3x more than a standard potato. This tuber stock is the strain developed by LSU, LA85-034. The plant requires at least two years of growth to maturity. Approximately 10 to 15 tubers per ounce. Tubers will be around dime to nickle sized. Read our full blog post on Groundnuts HERE