Lavender Frog Egg (Eggplant)
Preferred for their small size, tenderness, and productivity, these gorgeous fruits are grown by the Karen refugee farming community of South Philadelphia to eat fresh and dip raw into Chin Baung (cooked roselle leaves with chiles and little fishes) and other sauces.
Days to maturity: 75
Seeds per pack: 60-70
Germination rate: 89% on 01/17/2023
Planting / harvesting notes
Sow seeds indoors 8-12 weeks before the last frost and transplant into the garden well after the danger of frost. 1/4" deep. Keep seedlings moist but do not overwater. Transplants should be initially watered in well, and plants will be most productive with regular irrigation and full sun. Harvest when fruits are small and tender, with fewer seeds. This variety is very seedy!
Seed keeping notes
Eggplants are generally self-pollinating, though we isolate different varieties of the same species by at least 50 feet (if not 300!), in hopes that flying insects will not cross pollinate them unexpectedly. Eggplant seeds are ripe when the fruits get far past their edible stage, and have turned another color, in this case a golden yellow. The best indicator, however, is when the stem easily comes off the fruit. Cut the fruit, scrape out seeds (perhaps through a heavy-duty screen) into a vessel, add a little water (1-2" is probably plenty) to your seeds and pulp to keep them from drying out, and allow them to ferment away from direct sunlight. Fermentation is not necessary with eggplants, but it makes seed cleaning a bit easier. Ideally, you will stir the concoction every day for 3-5 days. In the end, add more water to fill the vessel, stir one final time, and allow to settle. Pour off the floating material and then strain the seeds through a strainer. Sometimes, you will need to add more water and pour off the floating material several times until the water is clear and you can see the seeds sunken at the bottom. Squeeze dry the strained seeds in a towel, and then lay out to dry on a labeled screen or paper product in a ventilated place away from direct sunlight for a week or two.