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January 19th 2010    Tim Candler

    We missed out on okra in the garden last year.   One of those experimental efforts.   When the weather gets hot Okra takes on a vigor that suggested it could hold its own along a hot dry fence row.  I was wrong.  So this year, back into the vegetable garden it will go.  But this year,  I will nip out the tip to see how well it bushes.  

   I have been here before.  Last time I loitered through July into August and I know why I was never quite able to bring myself to nip out the tip.   In the morning there was a Toad, always amongst the Okra staring up at me.   In the afternoon I always knew the Toad was there even if I could not spot him.  So the Okra grew tall and ranging with large sometimes woody fingers.

    This year I will cast my own spell, and sometime in June or maybe July, I'll attack the young plants knowing that I am doing the right thing.   And this year when I take the shears to Okra I will explain to the Toad that a hedge of Okra will in the longer run give him a far better hunting ground.

    This of course is easy to say when the Toad is somewhere sleeping.   Then when I see him again, I'll start tiptoeing, desperate not to hurt his feelings.  And probably by September Okra will be seven foot tall and I'll have to find a footstool.

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