Friday, August 1, 2008

First Eggplant

Today was a fabulous day in the garden. The little chipmunk only decided to eat one cherry tomato. And (drum roll please) it was the day to pick my first ever eggplant. This is not the first eggplant of the season, but the first I've ever grown. Slim Jim produces a small little eggplant, only about 5" long and just over an inch thick. Such a pretty purple. There are so many more to come. This is a photo of one of the plants. Currently it has set four more eggplants and the blossom cluster has many more blooms on it - not to mention the other clusters of blossoms that are open. Not one flower so far hasn't set fruit, which is surprising. These poor plants were totally shredded by the June hail. Two of the four are now robust and fruiting. One is almost recovered and one is on its last legs.

My problem is what to do with it. I don't eat eggplant - yet. It is another crop that I feel I ought to learn to like. Since I've never cooked it, which recipe to pick? Eggplant Parmesan is probably the safest. All the coating and the sauce and cheese would cover up anything, so I stand a good chance of liking it. But the little eggplants are the right size for a stir fry. Hmm I'll have to think about it. I may go for safe. Eventually I'll have to try ratatouille, which combines both zucchini, eggplant, and tomatoes - at least if my chipmunk lets me eat any of the big beefsteak tomatoes.

My beans are producing like crazy. I really like having them on a tepee since you can see the beans easily to harvest. Next year I'm thinking of a three sisters plot, so I won't have the ease of a tepee anymore. I'll miss it.

The photo is of my Kentucky Wonder beans. My Fortex beans just aren't producing at all. I've gotten a few beans, but not much. And we won't discuss my asparagus beans that have pretty much died. I'm so glad I planted more than one variety. I get more than I really want to eat from just the Kentucky Wonder. I put the extras in my pickle juice after blanching, then eat them in my salad the next day. I should add some dried beans for a three bean salad, however the one bean salad is doing it for me, even if I do cheat by adding sweet onions and bell peppers.

I also got to pick a tatsoi. It really was full size already. I sometimes pick the outer leaves, but with the slugs, they go for the outer leaves and leave the middle alone. So I've been growing them full size then pulling the whole thing. I'll eat it slowly over the next week in my salads.


  1. Sounds like you a great day in the garden. See I told you tomorrow was another day. Those eggplants are too pretty not to eat. :) I'm not crazy about eggplant either, but I do like Eggplant Parmesan. And I love the teepees for the gb's. I plan on having a designated veggie bed started soon, how tall do you make your teepees? My son loves gb's so I will definitely have to grow them.

  2. Everything in your garden looks so good! I'm not an eggplant eater either, although I've always wanted to be :P Those purple plants are just too pretty to not want to eat them ... but I'm just not brave enough to try! I might go with stir fry, because then you can always pick them out if you don't like them, lol

  3. WOW! everything looks really great. Fantastic pics and yummy looking eggplant.

  4. Thanks for the tip on this particular eggplant. Looks like a definite possibility for our Jungle next year. We love eggplant and little ones for stirfry or stews and soups would be perfect.

    We would like to suggest a solution to our squirrel problems: get a Shiba Inu. Believe us when we say that the Shibaboyz keep our neighborhood squirrels and raccoons at bay quite effectively. And look at how cute they are!!

  5. Perennial Gardener: My tepees are too small. They are about 5' long, though at a steep angle so not as tall. They cover my lettuce right now to shade it.

    Lacey: I know. I love the look of the plant itself and the fruit looks so wonderful. How could I not like them. I confess, I haven't had any since I was a young child. I hated it then, but I hated a lot of things then.

    Outer Banks Mom: Thanks. I hope it is as yummy as it looks.

    Shibaguyz: Well we have a dog, and she chases the chipmunks. She has never caught one though. My last dog was good at catching squirrels, but he never got the chipmunks. They are wile devils. I'm thinking a cat might work, but my husband is allergic.