On this week’s show, we explore backyards, balconies, and rooftops where folks are cultivating their own food. We begin with Big Okra. That’s the name that gardener Jack Sweeney has given to his over 15-foot okra plant towering over his New Orleans backyard. We visit Jack and the Okra Stalk on site – but what made it grow so tall? Was it the seeds that spawned this Guinness World Records-worthy plant? We hear from the man who gave him those seeds: Jack’s dad Neil, a Baton Rouge attorney who keeps his own garden behind his office.
Then, we speak with Tamar Haspel, author of To Boldly Grow. The new book chronicles Tamar and her husband’s adventures as they adopt a more active approach to their diet – raising livestock, growing vegetables, and even hunting their own meat. Recounting tales of their successes and failures, Tamar fills the pages with practical tips and hard-won wisdom for those looking to cultivate their own food.
Finally, we explore one of the South’s favorite backyard crops – the mirliton – a local favorite that was on the verge of extinction at the start of the 21st century but is now making a comeback thanks largely to the efforts of Dr. Lance Hill. We hear from the good doctor before exploring the pronunciation of the iconic squash with David Hubbell.
For more of all things Louisiana Eats, be sure to visit us at PoppyTooker.com.