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An attractive fall wreath starts with a disliked vegetable

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Courtesy of Fairegarden blog

(Read caption) Okra isn't a universally popular vegetable, but its dried pods make a good-looking fall wreath.

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Since I'm from the South, you might think I’d like the taste of okra. But you’d be wrong. Southerners aren't necessarily born with a gene to let okra slide down their throats with ease, and like it. I suppose it’s an acquired taste, but my view is, why bother?

On several occasions, feeling as though I wasn’t worthy of my Southern roots, I would try okra again -- only to be reminded why I don’t like okra. Gag me with a spoon. Shiver. Pass me an oyster any day, but don’t pass the okra.

I’ve tried okra in stews, pickled, and fried. Other than okra, I can’t think of a single food I don’t like fried -- pickles, Snickers, Oreos, Coke, Twinkies, butter -- you know, the usual stuff -- and I might even like fried ants, but I’ll wait on that until I absolutely have to.

If the day comes when my diet must rely on ants, say, after some nuclear wintering perhaps, I’ll eat ants first and trade my okra pods for a memory of the North Carolina State Fair, where I could eat my way from one end of the fairgrounds to the other.

In addition to the fair food, I’ve eaten other stuff I’m not particularly proud of, mostly animal body parts Northerners ship down South, but no sirree bob, I will not eat okra. I’d rather eat roadkill.

Non-culinary uses for okra

With that attitude, this may come as a surprise to you -- but I grow okra.

Now there's a difference between me and someone who doesn't eat but does grow tomatoes, for instance. A tomato isn’t much good for anything other than eating, so there's no reason to grow tomatoes if you aren't going to eat them.

Okra, on the other hand, has a beautiful flower [see second photo above; click on arrow at right base of first photo] and pods worthy of fulfilling a crafty fix.

The pods are interesting looking. Very architectural. They can be used in their natural form or painted fall or Christmas colors and used as decorations. Fill a bowl, make "fingernails" with them to complete your Halloween costume, or add to a Christmas garland.

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