Eggplant, or Aubergine comes from the nightshade family , known as solanaceae. They are native to India and were discovered growing wild thousands of years ago. From there the Chinese discovered them. They became popular in Europe in the 18th century. The originals were very bitter, due to the high content of phytonutrients and antioxidants. Today, the more modern varieties are less bitter, especially our selection of mini varieties. They are very productive, sweet, more cold tolerant and grow very well in containers. The skin colours are very unique and the flesh is creamy white.
The nutrition and health benefits of this fruit are often overlooked. Eggplants are low in saturated fat and sodium, high in fibre, a good source of Vitamin C, Potassium, Calcium, Magnesium, Phosphorus and B Vitamins. The high antioxidant content plays a very important role in the prevention of many diseases, with antiviral and anti-tumour properties. They also help in lowering cholesterol and balancing blood sugar.
Cooking with Eggplants is easy and delicious. They can be sliced and grilled for sandwiches, baked in casseroles, steamed and blended for dips, added to soup or roasted. Eggplants are ready to eat when the skin is bright and shiny. If you press the skin with your thumb, it will spring right back. They keep for a long time on the plants and store in the fridge for about a week.
Culture is similar to tomatoes and peppers, start indoors near mid- March, plant ¼ inch deep in small containers in a warm location. Germination can be slow. Transplant to larger 3-4 inch pots when plants have true leaves and are about 3-4 inches tall. Feed regularly every 2 weeks with fish fertilizer; kelp liquid is ideal for trace elements. Transplant again into 1 gallon pots and hold off moving to your garden until it is warm at night. Find a sunny spot, with rich soil conditions in the garden or place into 2 or 5 gallon pots. Use a good organic based fertilizer in your planting holes and your larger pots .If you have compost, be generous ! Feed an organic liquid bloom food product at the bloom stage every 2 weeks for heavy fruit production. Wash your plants regularly and check for pests under the leaves to avoid infestations.
Please check our Blog on this site to find our favourite recipes for this versatile fruit. Seed packets average 15-20 seeds.