Back in May, I planted eggplant and tomatoes in my EarthBoxes and I’ve been enjoying half of the fruits of my labor for the last few months. The two eggplants have been producing like crazy, sprouting beautiful purple bulbs since July.
The tomatoes, not so much. Carla Crownover from Austin Urban Gardens
ruled that my patio doesn’t get enough sun for tomatoes. I was able to harvest a few cherry tomatoes, the couple that I picked before the blankety-blank squirrels got them, but that was it. Oh well; it was worth a try.
But the eggplant…the eggplant LOVE the porch. I’ve been picking two to three pounds of eggplant every week and I’ve also received eggplant every two weeks in my Farmhouse Delivery box. It is a good thing I REALLY like eggplant.
It’s even become a joke with my friends, some of whom are now calling me the Eggplant Lady (let’s hope this doesn’t stick.) My friend Sandra has even created her own version of the Bubba Gump Shrimp speech from Forrest Gump, “Pan fried, deep fried, stir-fried. There’s pineapple eggplant, lemon eggplant… .” You get the picture.
The challenge has been what to do with it. Since I’m single, I freeze a lot of what I cook and eat it later. Not all eggplant recipes freeze well. I also wanted a little variety – I didn’t want to make my four eggplant standards (caponata, ratatouille, baba ganoush and grilled eggplant) every week.
What do you do when you’re swimming in eggplant? You start playing with your food and begging your friends for recipes. Here’s what I’ve come up with so far:
Eggplant and tomato pasta sauce – I made this one up as I went along, like I usually do for red sauce, so no recipe. It did freeze really well and is very tasty.
Eggplant and sweet potato greens stir fry– Again, this was a quick weeknight stir fry and I was looking for a way to use the sweet potato greens from Johnson’s Backyard Garden. I added some garlic and made a sauce from Hoisin & soy sauce.
Green curry eggplant – Delish thanks to the guidance and tutelage of Jam Sanitchat from Thai Fresh.
Eggplant and beef stew– I found this recipe in one of my favorite cookbooks, Great Good Food. Organized seasonally, I turn to this book a lot for ideas. It was written in the early 90’s and some of the ingredients/techniques are a little dated, but it’s a great starting reference
With the produce drawer once again full of eggplant and another eight ripening on the vine, I’m heading in to the kitchen again this weekend. I had eggplant, squash, peppers and tomatoes in my FarmHouse box this week so I’m going to finally make ratatouille and I’m going to try my hand at eggplant enchiladas, a recipe that Stephanie McClenny of Confituras found for me.
With at least another few weeks of eggplant coming in, I’d appreciate links to any of your eggplant favorites.
I’m looking forward to new fall crops. I pulled up the tomatoes and have planted broccoli in the other Earth Box. The broccoli is the first thing I’ve ever planted from seed. It was pretty darn exciting to see those first little shoots poke through the dirt. When they eggplant finally give out, I’ll probably plant lettuce again. I enjoyed being able top pick lettuce whenever I liked last winter.
If you are interested in gardening, and remember that you don’t have to have a yard to garden, there are several upcoming gardening and farming workshops that can help you develop or build your skills.
Fall Citizen Gardener Sessions
Want to learn about Austin’s unique growing seasons, climate, soils, plants, and water resources? Want to raise safe, nutritious food for your family, and want your children to know and enjoy gardening? Don’t have a lot of time, money, or space, but want food and want it to work, now?
Each Citizen Gardener session consists of two Saturday morning classes and one Wednesday evening class, for a total of 10 instruction hours. You’ll learn the basics of Central TX organic food gardening in this hands-on course. Join us to get all the information/experience you need to design, build, plant, and enjoy your own back-/front-yard garden this fall.
Initial cost is $30, due on the first day of class (cash or check made out to “Sustainable Food Center”). $10 dollars will be refunded if you complete 10 volunteer hours at one of our Citizen Gardener partner gardens.
Session 17: Saturday mornings, September 11th and 18th, and Wednesday evening Sept. 15. The Rock Methodist Church: 2001 W. New Hope Road, Cedar Park
Session 18: Saturday mornings, September 25 and October 2nd, and Wednesday evening September 29th. Location TBD.
For more information about Citizen Gardener, go to For questions, firstname.lastname@example.org
Master Gardeners of Travis County Plant Sale and Garden Talks
The Travis County Master Gardener group will be conducting their fall plant sale at the SFC Farmers Market Downtown this Saturday, September 11, from 9 am to 1 pm. Learn about roses, fall planting, and more in the free talks that will be given at the market by leading master gardeners who know how to grow in Austin, Texas, one of the most challenging regions in the country. All free.
Check the chalk board for speaker schedules and topics in the southeast corner of the park by the speaker’s tent! All presenters as master gardeners are part of the Texas AgriLife Extension Master Gardener education and outreach programs in Travis and surrounding counties.
Slow Food Austin Fabulous Gardening Workshop
Saturday, September 11, 9:00 am – 12:00 pm at Green Sprout Preschool, 1019 Reinli Street, Austin, TX 78723
Itching to plant your own garden? Would you like to learn some hands-on gardening installation techniques from the experts at Austin’s Resolution Gardens while also supporting a local pre-school?
Slow Food Austin is hosting a garden installation workshop where participants will help install a raised-bed garden for Green Sprout preschool and gain practical skills to start a home garden. Once the garden is complete, we’ll all enjoy a meal together- lunch provided by blu African: http://www.bluafrican.com.
Bring the family to learn about home gardening and support a local pre-school’s garden education program. Cost to participate is $5 for Slow Food members, $10 for non-members (children under 12 are free).
Attendance is limited so buy your tickets today. Questions: email email@example.com Buy your tickets at:> http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/123782
See you at the seed store!