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Old July 22, 2016   #1
gorbelly
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Default Any Aswad fans?

This is one of the varieties I'm growing this year. As expected, it's late, and it's a HUGE plant and very sturdy. But it looks like it's going to be pretty prolific. It's producing a lot of flowers and in small clusters (unlike mitoyo, which produces mostly single flowers) and in clusters in which all flowers have a thick pedicel capable of thickening to support fruit (unlike Thai long green, which produces lots of flowers, often in clusters, but only a few have a thick pedicel). I have at least one fruit already set and growing on all three plants. Largest two are tennis ball size. The rest are mostly golf ball size and still mostly hidden by the calyx. Anyone have experience with it? Trying to get a feel for what to expect in terms of taste and production.
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Old July 22, 2016   #2
Patihum
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I grew it in 2013 and was very pleased with it. I got 6-8 off of each plant and they weighed 3-4 lbs each. Taste and texture were both very good. Only problem I encountered was flea beetles that loved it too.
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Old July 23, 2016   #3
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Wow! Looking forward to seeing what I get from my plants. Thanks for the notes, Patihum.

Flea beetles aren't bothering my Aswad as much, but I think it's because they're in new beds. The flea beetles have been chowing down on my Thai Long Green eggplants in my established beds and to a lesser extent on the Mitoyos right next to them.
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Old July 25, 2016   #4
HudsonValley
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I haven't grown it, but would like to in the future. (I studied the Arabic language and am fascinated by plants with Arabic names; "aswad" means "black.") Did you grow yours from seed, and if so, would you mind sharing your source? I haven't seen seeds for this variety on any of the sites I've visited/ordered from.
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Old July 25, 2016   #5
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Hudson, I got my seed from Baker Creek. Or if you can wait until then, PM me this fall, and, if I've managed to successfully grow them and save seed, I'll be happy to share (although be forewarned that this will be my first time saving eggplant seed, so success is not guaranteed).
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Old July 25, 2016   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gorbelly View Post
Hudson, I got my seed from Baker Creek. Or if you can wait until then, PM me this fall, and, if I've managed to successfully grow them and save seed, I'll be happy to share (although be forewarned that this will be my first time saving eggplant seed, so success is not guaranteed).
Thanks, Gorbelly! This year marks my first real effort at seed-saving, too, so if we're successful, maybe we can trade. I'm saving a bunch of tomato seeds, two types of pepper, tomatillos, and ground cherries (fingers crossed). My friends and I went in on a seed order for eggplants this year; I think all of them are hybrid varieties, so I can't save those.
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Old July 26, 2016   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HudsonValley View Post
Thanks, Gorbelly! This year marks my first real effort at seed-saving, too, so if we're successful, maybe we can trade.
Would love to. Let's PM one another at the end of the season.
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Old July 27, 2016   #8
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Originally Posted by gorbelly View Post
Would love to. Let's PM one another at the end of the season.
Will do, Gorbelly!
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Old August 3, 2016   #9
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My Aswad plants are loaded with fruit. I have one that is probably a good 2 pounds, but it's still maturing. I give it a squeeze every day, but it's still hard. These are going to be big eggplants.
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Old August 6, 2016   #10
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This one is actually larger than it looks in this photo. It's huge and extremely heavy, but still not ripe.


...and despite the size of that fruit, the plant has two other maturing fruits on it.


Here's another plant with three growing eggplants. I'm pretty sure there are two flowers up top that have set tiny fruit, too (hard to tell with eggplants because their calyxes are so big), though I'm not sure they won't abort.


I'm kind of amazed so far. It's a late variety, but wow. My season should be plenty long enough to get some huge eggplants off of these plants.
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Old August 8, 2016   #11
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Patihum, do Aswad ever get to that "bouncy" phase that other eggplants get to when ready to pick? My largest one is huge and just sitting there hard as ever. Should I just be more patient, or are Aswad really just supposed to be super firm?
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Old August 9, 2016   #12
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So I noticed the big Aswad fruit was getting a little lighter purple and less shiny, even though it still felt pretty hard, so I picked it last night.



It came in at 2 lbs. 7 oz.

As I feared, it had started getting seedy inside. Despite that, the texture was still very meaty and there was no bitterness at all. I dipped it in panko breadcrumbs and fried half of it and baked the other half. Delicious, despite the fact that I probably should have picked it much earlier. Nice umami flavor. Would make a FANTASTIC grilling eggplant. Very pleased with this variety.

And now I know to go ahead and pick them earlier, even if they're still hard, as they don't turn "bouncy" when ready like other eggplants.
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Old August 9, 2016   #13
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Eggplant seed is pretty easy to save- you use a blender! Sounds awful to use a blender, but it works well and makes it so easy.


http://www.rodalesorganiclife.com/ga...de-seed-saving

Cut the ripe eggplants in half and pull the flesh away from the seeded areas. If you want to save more than a few seeds, use a food processor or blender to mash the flesh and expose the seeds. Process (without peeling), and put the pulp in a bowl. Add water, let the good seeds settle, and then pour off the water and debris. Repeat until only clean seeds remain. Add a bit more water and pour the mix through a strainer with a mesh fine enough to catch the tiny seeds. Dry the bottom of the strainer with a towel to absorb excess moisture and dump the seeds out onto a plate to dry.
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