Years ago when we lived in the sticks we grew our own veggies, including okra. While it’s admittedly an acquired taste (the slime inside will eventually cook out), if you let the pods get no bigger than the first joint of your thumb they can add a tasty texture to soups and stews.
One summer around mid-July we had a bumper crop of them, and I mentioned to our two young sons that okra will get longer and more wood like as the season goes on, soon reaching the point they become inedible. At that both my boys got the idea of letting one little okra go, just to see how long it would get.
And did it change? Sure did. Summer waxed and waned, and we harvested everything in that garden…except for that mutant hell-pod. Each day it became more distended and grotesque, until I half-expected a terrified Kevin McCarthy to come up screaming and pounding on our car windows, “You’re next!!”
Came October, a couple days before a predicted killing frost, and by mutual agreement we cut the thing at last. By then it was two feet long, as thick as a bratwurst, and covered with spines and knots.
We dried it, and the kids used it as a sword.