[Market-farming] Eggplant Question

Karen Sutherland & Roots Farm rootsfarm at marpin.dm
Thu Jul 28 11:46:43 EDT 2005

Eggplant is one of our specialties and we grow more than 20 varieties.  
The Asian varieties that I know (apart from the green Thai types and 
some long white varieties are quite firm) vary in softness but are all 
considerably softer and have shorter shelf life than the usual 
supermarket fare.  They are also more delicate in flavor and rarely get 
bitter before seeds develop.  (A good eggplant, Lynn, to start tasting 
-- you may end up liking.)

We make sure the eggplant is picked at shiny stage, totally dry, and if 
we need to hold for longer than overnight, refrigerate in thick plastic 
bags.  Even the soft varieties will hold well for close to, sometimes 
more than a week (although we wouldn't market any that had been held for 
more than a few days because of their expected reduced life.  Instead we 
would enjoy or convert to value-added product baba ganouj which can be 
frozen and held.)  It is important that the eggplant not be in the 
coldest part of the fridge as there will be damage if they are too cold. 

By the way, some of our customers have marked preferences for age/size 
of eggplant.  We make sure we have a variety -- which happens  anyway 
when we are picking mostly once, maybe twice a week. 

All best wishes,


*Karen Sutherland **
**Roots Farm**
Organic Produce : Fruits, Roots, Vegetables & Herbs*
Cockrane, Dominica
rootsfarm at marpin.dm <mailto:rootsfarm at marpin.dm>


robert schuler wrote:

>Lynn you are doing everything right. Some varieties are softer than others.
>You harvest and display them like all eggplant on the stand away from direct
>sunlight. They tend to hold for two days in firm condition then get soft and
>wrinkly. When they get soft I toss them. I try to only pick as much as I can
>sell in a day often I will pick twice a day to insure freshness and quality.
>Whatever you do don't put them in the cooler...Bob.
>Sunny Meadow Farm
>Bridgeton, NJ.
>Lynn Wigglesworth wrote:
>>I don't know much about eggplant (don't like it much so I rarely grow it).
>>I'm growing several varieties in my market garden this year because a
>>couple people asked for it. The long oriental type are soft...should they
>>be that way? I harvest them at about 8-10" long. The big dark purple ones
>>in the store are hard as rocks, and my other varieties are firm but not
>>hard. Is 'soft' normal for long orientals or are they under/over ripe?
>>Also, should they be refrigerated? I normal leave the veggies out in the
>>farm stand during the day and refridgerate everything except tomatoes at
>>night (I'm only open 3 days a week and harvest fresh every week...give
>>away or feed any excess to the sheep after market days)
>>Lynn Wigglesworth
>>Peasant Farmer
>>Tioga County, PA
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