Eggplant, Shimoda (Organic)
Solanum melongena. Purple. 70 days.
Small, oblong, brilliant dark purple eggplant form on compact bushes. The 4-6″ long fruit are best harvested small and have a nice white edging around purple stems for an attractive appearance. Skin is thinner than other eggplant varieties. This, along with a mild sweet flavor and dense flesh, make Shimoda suitable for eating cooked or raw. They are most often used in Nasu no Tsukemono (Japanese Pickled Eggplant), of which one variation is a quick pickle in salt and sugar. A traditional Japanese variety of eggplant dating from pre-1860, originating from the city of Shimoda located about 60 miles southeast of Tokyo. Our foundation seed came to us via the Culinary Breeding Network’s affiliation with Stacey Givens of The Side Yard Farm and Kitchen in Portland, Oregon, whose ‘Seed to Plate Tour’ of Japan connects urban farmers in Portland with farmers in Japan. Received as Shimoda Nasu, nasu means eggplant in Japanese.
Sow indoors in flats with good potting soil as early as February, but no later than April. Keep warm and well watered. Up pot seedlings into 4” pots when they have their first two true leaves. Transplant into the garden after danger of frost has passed, typically late May in western Oregon.
Collect seeds from fruit that are past typical harvest stage, ripened to a dull yellowish color. Place seeds in a jar then add water to float non-seed debris. Decant and rinse seeds to clean. Dry seed before storage. For seed purity, isolate from other eggplant varieties by 500 feet.