Today has the dubious title of “First Day of Spring”. Ta-Dah! Spring… right? It appears that Spring has, once again, “Rickrolled” us by applying back-to-back blizzards with massive piles of snow neatly placed on top of the already deep layer of hilariously slippery ice. Sigh.
But we are going to be rebellious. Ha! Eggplants! Eggplants must be the thing that will surely break this “Winter is Forever” spell? We will plant a nice flat of fancy and beautiful Eggplant seedlings. You hear that so-called Spring?….. Summer IS coming.
Eggplants, like peppers and tomatoes, like it hot. They are tropical and they generally will not produce their absurd and fantastic fruits in our negligible Summers. At least, not with the abundance that we would like. So we apply a few tricks: we sow the seedlings extra early on top of hot water bottles, we keep them inside under lights for months, and finally when they do go out we surround them with mini-greenhouses made from plastic covered wire circles. Phewf! But they are really worth it. Lovely shiny Eggplants to add to roasted vegetables, to all kinds of Greek dishes and to make a most excellent Eggplant pickle. We are growing a bunch of different Eggplants for the market this year: Japanese eggplants that are long, pink and mild, a neat little stripy number as well as a couple varieties of the more usual dusky purples. Crossing fingers.
Funny story… We grew some fabulous and fantastically super-extra gorgeous Eggplant plants a few years back. The crop came in all lovely, on tall healthy and truly beautiful plants that had wanted for nothing. These plants had been fed and watered to their hearts content and they repaid this pampering by producing a truly huge crop of very pretty and bright orange Eggplants.
Unfortunately, they were the most horrible Eggplants ever grown. Horrible! The “Turkish Orange Eggplant” it seems can be a wee bit variable in terms of bitterness. These were on the “Why on earth did you let me put that in my mouth?!” end of the scale. Pretty… but most definitely NOT at all edible. Gaaahhh!
There is actually a similar little white Aubergine that we would like to grow. So very pretty and exotic looking but lingering fear from the “Tiny-Pumpkins-Of-Death” still hangs in the air. Maybe next year.
Oh, and also doesn’t Aubergine sound nicer? I do think so… Aubergines.