HDB Farming: Growing And Harvesting Lady’s Finger / Okra

Lady's Finger flower singapore

Isn’t the flower of my lady’s finger / okra plant absolutely gorgeous? 😀 I have two okra plants in my HDB community garden plot and I’m trying to enjoy the beauty of this stunning plant before the aphids and diseases like the powdery mildew take over. Because this plant grows easily from seed, and you don’t have to do much, fellow gardeners LOVE growing okra too. And therein lies the problem: once a plant gets attacked by pests or diseases, the spread happens quickly. 😦 It makes me wonder just how much pesticide is used in commercial farming of okra since the plant is so susceptible to pests and diseases.

Here’s my other lady’s finger plant. It’s really productive, as you can see. You have to watch the pod growth closely and harvest once it’s ready, or else the pod hardens and you won’t want to eat it after that.

ladies finger grown in HDB community garden singapore

So this leaf I’m holding was cut off one of my plants. It has that white powdery mildew setting in, which is so annoying. Next to it is my neighbor’s okra plant, which also has the same disease, and looks visibly worse off.

lady's finger disease

And in this next photo below, I show you the underside of one otherwise healthy leaf I cut off the plant today as it has this white pest – aphids, I believe – setting up home here.

Ladies finger aphids

Sure, I can go get neem oil and try to save my plants but ultimately, it’s going to be futile if my neighbors aren’t taking extra care with their plants. So I’m probably going to harvest a few more lady’s finger pods and then remove the plants entirely. (@_@)

~

If you want to read about what else I’ve grown in my HDB Community Garden plot, click on the images below:

HDB farming

Community Garden Singapore

HDB Farming: Growing, Harvesting and Cooking My Own Kailan :D

Community Garden Singapore

This morning, I harvested my Kailan plus some Caixin from my personal plot at the community garden. (This is the 2nd blogpost in my HDB Farming series. The first was about Caixin which you can read by clicking here) I find it such a privilege and a joy to be able to grow my own vegetables despite living in a tiny pigeonhole of an apartment that we call an HDB flat. For many people overseas, having a garden might be something they take for granted. But to me, it’s truly a privilege. And may I add that the vegetables you “ownself grow, ownself cook” are really the best!

Here’s why:

  1. Peace of mind. I don’t use any pesticides so the vegetables can be eaten, really, after just a quick rinse to get rid of the soil residue.
  2. No wastage. I used to have veggies rotting in the fridge because I don’t cook and eat them fast enough. Now I simply harvest what I’m going to wash, cook and eat immediately. And if there are any scraps (yellowed leaves and all), they can head into the compost bin, and become fertilizer for the next batch of veggies.
  3. Super fresh. The veggies are so crisp that sometimes I have trouble breaking off the bottom part of the stem in order to get rid of the roots. Then I’ll have to use a pair of scissors to do the job.

If you have kids, I’m sure it’ll be easier to convince them to eat their greens if they had actually played a part in sowing the seeds, watering the plants, and harvesting the produce.

I’m usually all sweaty after I do my gardening. I’m sure I’m also inadvertently getting a good dose of Vitamin D from all that sunshine. Some people enjoy buying one of those fancy grow kits for use at home – you can grow tomatoes and strawberries even with those lights installed – but where’s the sunshine? Where’s the sweat and the toil? What comes easily often goes unappreciated. Also, we spend too much time indoors, in an air-conditioned environment. If you’re able to spend a small part of your day outdoors, in nature, getting your hands dirty and your back sweaty, and can return home with something you’re going to cook for your next meal, you’ll certainly note an increase in your ‘happiness level’.

I steamed the veggies with some garlic. ‘Cos I’m having a cold, I’m eating more veggies, garlic, onions, etc. Too bad for Queen Elizabeth that she doesn’t enjoy garlic.

growing kailan in singapore

*I steam the veggies because some nutrients are water-soluble, so I eat the veggies and drink what’s left in the plate too. 🙂