I make a killer fried eggplant.
I make it with homemade cheese, homegrown garlic and fresh basil from the garden.
And I grow the eggplants too.
Eggplant aren’t just delicious, they also provide some healthy goodies too. Eggplants contain impressive amounts of fiber, potassium and folate. In addition to these, eggplants also boast vitamins C, K, and B6, phosphorus, copper, thiamin, niacin, magnesium, and pantothenic acid. Source
Before you can make my fried eggplant, you need to grow some eggplants.
Eggplants are easy to grow as long as the bugs don’t find them.
Bugs love eggplant leaves.
Before you begin your adventure as a first time eggplant mommy or daddy, you need to be sure you have a long enough growing season to pull these off. They need a long summer to do their thing.
If you can grow peppers, you can grow eggplant.
Plant your eggplant seedlings after the threat of frost is past.
When you transplant them from their pots into the garden do not plant them any deeper (like you would with tomatoes or peppers). Just keep the soil at the same level. Space plants 18-24 inches apart.
A good rule of thumb is to plant one eggplant for every person in your family. That is if you all like eggplant.
The little plants will grow and get pretty purple flowers on them. So stinkin’ cute.
The bug situation:
You have 2 main culprits when it comes to keeping eggplant alive:
- Flea Beetle: I’m not sure what a flea beetle is, but I’m pretty sure they found my eggplants. These are ground dwelling beetles that love to eat the leaves of the eggplant.
- Potato Beetle: Colorado potato beetles will also destroy your eggplants.
To protect your baby plants you can sprinkle a little Diatomaceous Earth on them to deter some of the unwanted visitors. More on Diatomaceous Earth here.
Harvest when fruit is shiny, large and ripe. To tell if your eggplant is ready for picking firmly press your thumb into the fruit. If the thumbprint bounces back quick it’s done. If it is too firm leave it. If it doesn’t bounce it’s overripe.
Store eggplant at cool room temp or in the refrigerator. Enjoy within a week for best flavor & nutrition. They should stay firm and fresh for 2 weeks in the refrigerator.
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