How does his garden grow?

Published 6:30 am Thursday, October 11, 2007

By By ERIKA PICKLES / Niles Daily Star
NILES – Carl Briggs of Ferry Street has been gardening all his life. He loves peas, fried green tomatoes and the other great fruits and vegetables that come from his own backyard.
He uses no special sprays or soil that promise to make your vegetables larger than they should be. "I just use the earth, the soil in the ground and plenty of watering. It's all natural," Briggs said
This year was his first time planting okra. "There's nothing better than fried okra," he said. He didn't plant a few seeds here and there, instead, Briggs planted one row of okra seeds in his garden, which he has enjoyed this summer. There's just one problem, "they won't stop growing!"
Briggs' okra plants just can't seem to give up. The plants have tripled their normal size, which is usually around 4 feet tall. Briggs has one plant alone that stands more than 8 feet tall.
Briggs, who stands just over 5 feet t, said he doesn't know what's going on. His other plants in the same row have also soared past their normal height, standing 6 to 7 feet tall.
"Everybody always asks, 'what are you doing? what's your secret?' There is no secret. I don't have an answer. They just want to keep growing. I don't use anything in my garden, I don't like too. Maybe just a little manure, but that's all natural anyway," he said.
Briggs purchased his seeds from Niles Feed and Seed on U.S. 31. He said he will definitely be going back to purchase more seeds.
"I just can't believe it. Everybody talks about it. I have never seen anything like it, but I'm not complaining. It's neat and they are very tasty," he said.
Briggs' aunt, who lives just around the corner, also has a garden, but no 8 foot plants rest in her soil.
"My whole family likes to garden. It's good food, it's natural, it's good for you. I'll keep gardening as long as I can – and hopefully keep getting big okra plants because this is something," he said.