I had a go at growing aubergines this year. Outdoors. It was a bit of an off-hand effort, having spontaneously bought a packet of 40p seeds, with incomprehensible instructions, in Lidl. I love aubergines, but I know they really need a greenhouse. What was I thinking?
I didn’t expect them to germinate, but they did. I potted them on and kept them on a chilly windowsill. I expected them to rot, but they didn’t.
When I came to plant out the tomatoes, I put the aubergines in the same south-facing bed in the front garden. I put them closest to the house; furthest away from the shade of the hedge and where it would be most warm and sheltered. I forgot about the shade that would be cast by the growing tomatoes in front of them and as a result the aubergines were soon plunged into darkness. I realised my mistake early on, but not early enough to move them. I left them there for the bees to enjoy the purple flowers. I gave up on the idea of home-grown aubergines.
Then, a couple of weeks ago, I dismantled the blight-attacked tomatoes and was about to pull up the aubergine plants too when I noticed that there were some fruits! Not big, but the plants were healthy and we were having a bit of a heat wave. I decided to leave them to see if they’d grow in the sunshine.
Well, they have. Not in girth, but in length. This evening I noticed something was starting to munch on one of the aubergines, so I picked and cook a couple for supper.
Nothing fancy, just drizzled with olive oil, sprinkled with rosemary, and baked in the oven.
My daughter and I really, really enjoyed eating those aubergines.