Rains Okra - In Defense of Okra Okra

Rains Okra

I grew Rains Okra in 2017. The pods tended towards stubby and had bristles, so not a raw eating okra. However the taste was very good and the plants were short and sturdy. I inter-planted this crop with cow peas (variety: Southport NC) which climbed and grew all over the okra in a jungle-esque fashion.

This variety came from Seed Savers Exchange and they provide the following member narrative:

The Seed Donor Data Log indicates that Dorris Smith of Fort Payne, AL is the donor. Correspondence in 2012 with Dorris’ daughter, Wanda Yates, yielded that many generations of Dorris’ father’s family have grown this variety. John Rains (b. 1759, d. 1835) (Original Source) grew the variety in Virginia. John’s son, Robert Rains, (b.1815, d.1909) raised the variety in the Forks of the Creek (this is near Grove Oak, AL) in DeKalb County, Al. (Forks of the Creek references two creeks named Sauty Creek and Black Oak Creek). Robert’s son, Newton Rains, (b.1863, d.1942) raised the variety in the Forks of the Creek. Newton’s son Hubert O. Rains, (b.1899 d.1985) and wife, Mary Hood Rains, (b.1902 d.1984) raised plants in the Forks of the Creek and Chavies Community (near Rainsville, Al) in DeKalb County, Al. Hubert and Mary’s daughter, Dorris Rains Smith, (b.1926 to present) raised the plants in the Chavies Community, DeKalb County, Al. Dorris’ daughter, Wanda Burns Yates, (b.1952 to present) raises plants in the Bethlehem Community (between Fyffe, Al and Grove Oak, AL) in DeKalb County, Al and also raised these plants in Stanton, TX in Martin County.

Chris Smith

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