Malcolm and Delphine Beck bought their new farm in Comal County
in 1968 there was an old garden fenced rabbit proof by the previous
old farmer and his wife. In that garden were some remains of vegetables
they grew, among them were giant, tall okra stalks with some big
fat pods. Becks kept the seed and replanted the following spring.
soon as the first pods were ready Delphine picked and noticed how
they readily and easily snapped off. Most okra required a knife
for harvest. At the supper table the family all raved about the
flavor. Beck searched all the seed catalogues but it wasn't
specialists at the Ag extension had never seen it either. The old
farmers wife said someone gave seeds to her aunt and it was brought
over from the other country. Other than that it’s previous
home was a mystery.
Time went on, The Becks
grew loads of the mystery okra on their vegetable farm. No one had
seen it before. The Becks even saved and cleaned 740 lbs. of the
seed for a company to put it for sale into small packages. But before
any sales were made the seed company went broke and the Becks never
got a cent for all their work and the whole 740-lbs. were destroyed.
The Becks named their
farm Garden-Ville and soon became known far and wide for their organically
grown fresh vegetables but the okra got the most attention.
One day a bright yellow
convertible drove up, a short, red faced elderly gentlemen wearing
a big panama hat got out looking over the freshly harvested vegetable.
All of a sudden in a loud surprised voice said, "Beck you got
that okra," he then told how the owner of the Buck Horn Saloon
when traveling in Germany discovered the okra and attempted to bring
it home but customs wouldn't allow so he hid some seeds in
The old gentleman with
the classy convertible and big hat identified himself as Colonel
Lullelyn, a personal friend of the Buck Horn owner who offered him
seeds. The Colonel said seed was also given to a Mister McGlothlin
who owned a hardware store on south Presa St. in San Antonio.
It was later learned
Mr. McGlothlin owned and live on a small farm only 2 miles from
the Beck’s Comal Co. farm.
Beck’s Big Buck Horn Okra
Free seed have been distributed
far and wide by the Becks over the last 33 years. Many home gardeners
now grow it. Some call it the snapping okra because of the way it
easily snaps off when ready to harvest, if it doesn't easily
snap off you know it will be a little to hard to fry.
Most people call it Beck’s
Big Okra. However, the Becks kept the seed alive and made it and
them famous but if it hadn't been for the Saloon owner it
wouldn't even be here. A better name could be “Beck’s
Big Buck Horn Okra” or “Buck Horn Big Okra”.
Seed can still be picked
up free at the Garden-Ville store on Evans rd. one mile west of
Nacogdoches rd. North East of San Antonio.