Saturday, August 4, 2012

Hansel and Gretel and Patrick

My hand holding the eggplant hybrid
I never grew Hansel eggplant until this year. Since my little garden is so limited, I thought I would try a miniature variety. After dainty purple flowers bloomed, the fruit came in looking like  dark purple grapes, then fingers, and now  an eggplant that thinks it’s a cucumber. I had a feeling this  variety was a real find  when I came upon it at Meadowview Farms  in Southwick, MA this spring.

According to one garden site , Hansels (Solanum melongena) tend to be less seedy and less bitter than the orb types. The fruits are ready to pick when finger size or about 3" long. They grow in clusters of 3-6 fruits and mature relatively early in about 55 days from transplanting.

Come to find out, just today, that there's a Gretel variety with the same characteristics, except that it's all white.
 I planted my single hill (made up of six seedlings) the first week in June and this weekend, the harvest is popping. What's really nice about eggplant Hansel is that if you don't get around to harvesting the fruits at 3" or 5" or 7"- as so often happens with me - they will remain tender and non-bitter up to about 10" in length. This was the right summer for such an amenable plant  - with my brand new grandson Patrick about an hour away (you knew I couldn't write a blog without mentioning him - didn't you?) and my writing directing me to Danbury CT a few days this week and Florida last month.
Haven't been as faithful to my little veggie patch as I would have liked to be. If my plants were babies, they'd be very cranky, with me not having been able to get myself into a gardening routine the last couple of months. Luckily, my daughter and son-in-law are better at infant parenting than I am at tending plants . Even though this is Em and Ry's  first stint, they've got Patrick  into a routine that rivals the phases of the moon. Nice going Mom and Pop.

No comments:

Post a Comment