Early Eggplant

green patch of thick leaves, blossoms, buds, and darkening yellow to deep purple round fruits

Location: 36th Avenue South & East 31st Street

When less accomplished folk such as myself are barely seeing buds on our eggplants, neighbors Masha and Ian have tall plants showing buds, blossoms and fruit together. They both love gardening, and their yard is striking when viewed from the street, with 5-foot eggplants, overflowing cucumbers, hugely tall tomato plants which will require a ladder to pick, and even a pollinator garden in the driveway. Their secret? Lots of compost, 55-gallon barrels, and an early start, sheltering the plants under contraptions made of plastic and filled with water.

Photo: Jane Strauss