Eggplant, Shimoda (Organic)

 Solanum melongena. Purple. 70 days.

Small, oblong, brilliant dark purple fruit 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 this variety 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 annual ‘Seed to Plate Tour’ of Japan connects urban farmers in Portland with farmers in Japan. Received as Shimoda Nasu, nasu means eggplant in Japanese.

SizeClear

Sow indoors in flats with good potting soil as early as February, but no later than April. Keep warm and well watered. Transplant seedlings into 4” pots when they have their first two true leaves. Transplant into the garden after danger of frost has past, typically late May in western Oregon.

Seed Saving

Collect seeds from fruit that are past purple stage, ripened to a dull yellowish color. Place seeds in small jar, add water. Decant to clean. Dry. Isolate from other eggplant by 500 feet.

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