Sunday, July 5, 2009

Artichoke Bloom, Eggplants, and my Sidewalk Crack

Yesterday my artichoke started to bloom. I had forgotten how long it takes to open. It is only beginning to open.
Today I harvested 2 ichiban eggplants. This one is shown still on the vine. Under the ichiban I have siam queen basil, leeks, and lemon gem marigolds growing. These underplants are one reason why I have pruned the extra leaves and offshoots.
I believe that in most browsers that these Turkish eggplants below are shown slightly larger than life. I cannot wait until I can harvest one. When will I know that these are ready? They are starting to show green stripes. They are supposed to turn orange. I've never seen an orange eggplant. What will it taste like? I know that white eggplants are sweeter than purple ones.

I have offered a couple nice neighbors that walk by eggplants in the future in anticipation of an eggplant overload. Really, the 1st year I grew them I both came to appreciate them much more than I ever had because homegrown eggplants really are much, much better than store bought, but I also got tired of them. One neighbor seemed scared by the prospect of eating a non-large purple egglant.

I will assure anyone out there that if you like regular large eggplant you will LOVE ichiban. I think today I might do eggplant Parmesan. I think I will try many eggplant recipes this summer. Hopefully I will find recipes that correspond with the variety I am growing. Any good Turkish eggplant recipes out there?

My test recipe for new eggplants is to simply slice, salt, and fry in olive oil which has some onions and garlic browned in it. Last year my eggplants were not as productive but this year looks much better.

These 2 planters already look very productive. I have them rigged to be self-watering. I consulted How To Make A Self-Watering Container from video jug. If you go to that link you'll see that I had a comment. Nobody there addressed my questions, ahem! Uh, anyway, I ended up doing things a little bit differently. The watering tube is unnecessary and if your pot is outdoors you need a drainage hole that sits where the reservoir meets the soil, or perhaps slightly below that line. In the United States we don't call things 'LECA', I found 'hydroton' though I suppose that plain pebbles or sand might do instead and cost considerably less. I used hydroton though it took some research to find it and to even find out what I was looking for.

That is a problem with international things. Even if you are speaking the same language, some things are not the same and I do strive to be understood by everyone speaking English. If you have any questions feel free to ask and I will try to answer them. Anyway, I think self-watering containers work well with eggplant.

As long as I am going off on tangents I feel I oughta mention a website that helped guide me in my eggplant pruning. AVRDC Extension Materials has a lot of growing information for vegetables I have never heard of. Like I never knew that cleome was eaten in any way.
Here is my next sidewalk plant, love lies bleeding. Last year many passersby loved this plant. I am glad that purchasing seeds has been unnecessary.
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frazzledsugarplummum said...

Hi Gabrielle,

I have never seen an artichoke plant or flower before. Yours is beautiful. I love vegetable fruit and foliage even without the eating benefits. Wonderful eggplant. How was it? I think you already do the roasted or burnt on coals or the stove then mushed with crushed garlic and salt,lemon juice and tahini. Yum Will have to see if I can get Ichiban here in Oz. Thanks for the link. Very interesting name lies bleeding.

Gabrielle Marsden said...

I still love my eggplant, it's delicious. I cook them lots of different ways, indeed I do love baba ganoush.

love lies bleeding has been around since victorian times I think, very romantic yet slightly sad but it only makes me smile.