"The tragic reality is that very few sustainable systems are designed or applied by those who hold power, and the reason for this is obvious and simple: to let people arrange their own food, energy and shelter is to lose economic and political control over them. We should cease to look to power structures, hierarchical systems, or governments to help us, and devise ways to help ourselves." - Bill Mollison

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Eggplant

This summer we once again grew Black Beauty and Long Purple eggplant. Both did great, the long purple always perform well in our normally cooler garden conditions and the black beauty does OK if it is warm enough, and it was this year. Newcomers included Thai Long green and Apple green, they were amazing. The round green eggplant came on extra early and produced numerous amounts of little apple sized fruits. The long green were my favorite, not only did they produce well but even the ones that got away from us, getting a little too large, still had the most tender skin. Both of these varieties are supposed to be able to withstand light frosts, although we didn't wait to find out if this was true or not.

We harvested them toward the end of September, just before frost set in. They now reside on our porch and should be good into late November or longer if the temperature is kept at around 40°. The skins will eventually start to wrinkle a bit but the eggplant themselves still taste great as long as we are diligent in weeding out any that might spoil. We love using them breaded and fried (baked) alongside zucchini, in omelets, stir fries, or even as a pizza topping as we did last night.

Breaded and baked zucchini and eggplant, I surely gained 5 lbs from eating these all summer.

18 comments:

Ruralrose said...

thanks for sharing variety and storage information, invaluable, hope you are enjoying the rest of hibernation - have you ever considered selling seeds? i would be first in line - peace for all

randi said...

this was very encouraging to read as eggplant has been notoriously difficult for me here...when I lived in southern New England we grew carefree bushels without a second thought..here in the hills a whole different story so looks like I'll be giving some of your suggestions a whirl...thanks again Mike.

LynnS said...

The colorful basket of your harvested eggplants is gorgeous!

This was a first year for a white eggplant for us. I wasn't impressed, but we had a wetter and cooler summer than normal, so I suppose I shouldn't be too quick to judge. Love the long eggplant -- that looks to be a great one to try!

Eggplant topping for pizza is a great idea...too bad we've eaten our eggplants for the year because it's pizza-night here.

Mr. H. said...

Ruralrose,

Once you get the temperature and humidity part of the storage equation down it's pretty amazing how long some crops will store. Last year we were eating the last of our eggplants just before Christmas.

As far as seeds go, we didn't have much luck saving seeds off these eggplants this year because I got such a late start on it...next year I will do better.

Mr. H. said...

Randi,

We just love eggplant so I have been trying a new variety every year for a while now. So far the best ones have been the long green and purple as well as the apple green. All of the other types I've grown have been rather hit and miss depending upon the weather.

I still remember the first year we grew them. Big beautiful plants full of flowers and not one single eggplant. Variety made all the difference for us.

Mr. H. said...

Lynn,

We tried growing white ones last year and a few little red ones the year before without any luck. I think we got on tiny white eggplant. When I saw the two green types in a seed catalogue last winter I just knew they would do well for us.

For whatever reason the green crops always seem to surpass their colorful counterparts, in our garden anyway. For us, that especially seems to hold true for various lettuces and even Swiss chard.

Accidental Huswife said...

That's great to know about storage. It's amazing how long so many veggies can last with a little attention to removing spoilage.

Stefaneener said...

Well, I have tentative plans to grow a white Italian variety, but if it doesn't work I'm good. I just don't like them unless they're fried, and I don't need any extra pounds!

Roasted Garlicious said...

LOL this is too good! i have 2 little Eggplants from my garden and i was just about to look for a recipe to cook them and decided to check out here first!! thanks for the heads up on the different varieties! my Oval ones did better than the long purple ones, but the green ones look interesting as they might be for forgiving in more extreme weather... thanks again for a great write up...

Mr. H. said...

Accidental Huswife,

Yes it is, if you read about eggplants they will tell you one or 2 days in the fridge before they go bad. In reality, properly stored it's more like two months.

Mr. H. said...

Stefaneener,

☻ They do tend to go with best in high calorie dishes.

Mr. H. said...

Roasted Garlicious,

I'm glad this post was of assistance. I have a feeling that eggplant is one of those crazy crops that you have to experiment with before finding the perfect variety for ones particular location. That's what makes it fun though.:)

Silke said...

Mr. H, your comment on my blog made us laugh out loud... Well, eggplant - one of my favorite vegetable! We eat at least two eggplant dishes every week - they are so good. Unfortunately, the eggplants in our garden did not do very well - I think it was altogether too wet for them. We'll have to try again. Last year, they did just fine.

When I get back home, I'll have to read your post on celeriac, something I grew up eating lots of! :) Silke

Naomi said...

We grew Black Beauty last summer, and had a great crop (but we are warmer than you ;) ) and we also grew Lebanese Finger, which are very similar to the Long Purple - Will have to try the green varieties though, I love putting eggplant in everything, and green is another option to hide it lol!

Mr. H. said...

Silke,

I think you had a rainy cool summer...not the best conditions for eggplant. Twice a week, that's a lot of eggplant. Believe it or not they are actually pretty darn healthy.

Mr. H. said...

Naomi,

I'll have to look up Lebanese Finger eggplant, I need at least one new variety for next year.

Yes, with the green eggplants they will never even know what they are eating.:)

Anonymous said...

I don't grow eggplant - it seems to serve mostly as a medium to soak up fat. But maybe I just haven't met a variety that is tasty enough.

Considering that they are so much work and not big producers I think that I'll pass.

EJ

Mr. H. said...

EJ,

I suppose they are not for everyone. I still remember how strange I thought they tasted the first time I tried them.

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