Posts Tagged ‘eggplant’

Eggplants Bounce Back

Thursday, August 27th, 2015
Three Good Looking Eggs

Three Good Looking Eggs

Here are three beautiful eggplants. We’ve already enjoyed some of my favorite eggplant Parmesan and our eggplant harvest is going to be very good.

Leaf Damage from Flea Beetles

Leaf Damage from Flea Beetles

Our eggplants are looking pretty good and giving us some beautiful fruit, but six weeks ago, I really thought the crop was lost. The plants were infested with flea beetles and the leaves riddled with holes. I was pretty sure they would die, but I put out some sticky traps to try to slow down the beetle activity and hoped for the best.

Eggplant

Eggplant

A few of traces of the damaged leaves are visible near the bottom of the plants, but the new growth is thick and damage free. Even the Japanese beetles, which are really bad here this year, seem to be leaving the eggplant alone.

As often happens with plants, if they can survive an initial insect onslaught and start putting out some healthy new growth, they can overcome the damage. That’s what happened here. Just a month ago Judy said that it looked like we wouldn’t have much in the way of eggplant this year, but they are back strong and we will have all we need.

Anticipating the Main Harvest

Tuesday, July 24th, 2012

Here Come the Tomatoes

With this year’s warm weather, we’ll be picking things from the garden a lot earlier than most years.  I’m often late getting things started, but I did a good job of getting the tomatoes, peppers, and cole crops into the ground before the end of May.  The early start coupled with the hot weather is giving us veggies in July that we normally don’t start harvesting until August.  All in all, it appears we will have a good harvest as we go into late summer and fall.

Hot Peppers

This small bed holds most of the hot peppers.  In the foreground are Serranos and behind them are cayennes and some various Asian hot peppers.  Judy likes to freeze Serrano peppers.  She should have plenty.  The cayennes are exceptionally large this year and the pepper plants, in general, are taller than what I usually get.

Sweet Peppers

In front of the asparagus is my second pepper bed.  The small plants in front are Poblanos.  They are loaded with fruit.  The rest of the bed contains various sweet peppers.  I have a lot of Nardellos, the American-Italian heirloom that we like a lot.  Those too are very heavy with peppers.  Behind and to the right of the peppers are two potato beds, one red and one yellow.  Both are doing well.  I’ve already snitched a few red ones.

Sweet Potatoes

The sweet potatoes are loving the heat.  I can’t see what’s going on down below the vines, but I’m hoping for the best.  I’ve been covering the vines with ag fabric to keep the deer from munching on them.  The deer love sweet potato leaves.

Sweet Corn

We ate our first sweet corn, yesterday,  I only have one bed this year.  Most years I get two beds planted.  I’m inter-planting the corn with two heirloom pole beans that have traditionally been grown using corn stalks for trellises.  One bean is called Turkey Craw, the other is Missouri Wonder.  The beans in the corn have a long way to go, but they look just fine.

Leeks, Pole Beans, Tomatoes, and Onions

Here is my main bean crop, with leeks in the bed to the left, tomatoes, tomatillos, and eggplants in the bed to the right of the beans, and onions to right of the tomatoes.  You can see another bed of tomatoes in the back right and in front of those are two blue barrel rings holding some fingerling potatoes which I just planted.  It’s my plan to keep adding soil to the rings as the potatoes grow to try to get a larger yield.  I haven’t done this before, so we’ll have to see if it works.

The pole beans in the front of the picture are trellised onto four tripods.  Behind them in the same bed are bush beans.  They are just flowering but I expect good production.  Last year we had a similar size set up that got somewhat eaten by deer and we still had a huge harvest.   I expect a lot more beans this year.  We are getting Japanese beetles in the beans, but I’m able to keep ahead of much damage by cleaning off the beetles using my funnel trap, which you can read about here.

Ripening Egg Plants

I went overboard with the eggplants, I just didn’t have the heart to cull out the nice seedling starts, so we have 16 eggplants.  I normally grow four to six.  They are looking great.  We’re trying to figure out the best way to freeze them – any suggestions?

Three Cabbages

Here are three good looking cabbages in one of two beds dedicated to cole crops.  The other bed is under ag fabric.  Most of this bed was used to grow kohlrabi and we’ve already harvested about half the planting.  Judy talks about using kohlrabi in her recipe post.  I’ve been spraying my coles with a neem oil, soap, and seaweed mixture and that seems to have really made a huge difference on damage from  cabbage moths.  The moth eggs hatch but the caterpillars die when they eat leaves  containing neem oil.  While the neem spray hasn’t done much for the squash it seems very effective in the coles.

Zucchini #2

Here is our second zucchini.  We picked the first, yesterday.  We’ll have lots, I’ve got five healthy plants.  The squash, melons, cukes, and zukes all got a late start.  While the zucchini are doing well I’m really having some major problems both with cucumber beetles and squash vine borers.  I’m definitely going to lose a few squash and melon plants.  I always tell people starting out in gardening to grow a lot of different stuff.  Some will always succeed and even if you lose an entire crop of one vegetable you’ll still have plenty of the others.

Mammoth Sunflowers

These Mammoth Sunflowers are already ten feet tall and they aren’t done growing.  Their stalks are like tree trunks.

Unfortunately, this could be a year without basic root crops.  No carrots or beets in the ground, yet.  It’s not too late for either for a fall crop if I can get to it, but in any case, we’ll get plenty from the garden, this year.

Eggplant Parmesan

Monday, October 18th, 2010

Our eggplant harvest was prolific this year.  The extremely hot summer we had in Wisconsin probably had something to do with that!  Eggplant is a great addition to pasta sauces and veggie sautés’ but our all-time favorite is eggplant parmesan.

The original recipe came from the The Vegetarian Epicure by Anna Thomas.  Over the course of many years our recipe has changed a little but the basic concept is the same.  Sauté breaded eggplant slices and place in a baking dish, layer on cheese and pasta sauce, top with parmesan and bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.  This dish could easily be made into a vegan dish with a couple of minor changes.

1 medium eggplant, sliced into 1/2” thick rounds (we peel the skins)

Flour – unbleached or soft whole wheat with added salt and pepper

1 egg beaten with milk  (Vegans:  1 cup soy milk beaten with 1 T. Dijon mustard)

1 cup cornmeal mixed with 2 T. sesame seeds, salt & pepper & flour leftover from tossing

Note:  Leftover breading mix can be frozen for use on the next batch.

Olive or canola oil

½ lb. swiss, mozzarella or farmer cheese, sliced, or your own favorite dairy or vegan cheese

Pasta sauce – your homemade sauce is best

1 cup freshly grated parmesan, asiago, or vegan substitute

Toss prepared eggplant with flour mix in a brown paper bag, dip in egg or soy milk mixture, and then dip in cornmeal mix (may use breadcrumbs or mix of your own choosing).  Sauté in hot oil for about 2 minutes on each side or until browned.  Put in baking dish, lay sliced cheese on top, add 2-3 T. sauce and sprinkle with the freshly grated parmesan.  Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.

We usually serve our ‘little pizzas’ with linguine and extra sauce.  Soba noodles work nicely too.

FYI – I did try baking the breaded eggplant (using bread crumbs) on parchment paper in lieu of frying.  I haven’t totally perfected that method to my liking yet but we ate the results with salsa as an appetizer.  That’s called ‘not enough time’ for the complete meal!