We planted two varieties of eggplant this Saturday. One is Nadia, a zaftig, Rubenesque traditionalist from southern Europe. The other: Mangan, a darker, more svelte and modern variety from eastern Asia.
Both are beauties; and each has her fans. Both are also prima donnas. They abhor cold soil. So Nadia grew to seedling state in a greenhouse over at Waltham Fields, a few miles southwest of us, while Mangan got her start at Busa Farm, just over the town line in Lexington.
According to studies we found on the net, these two varieties should enjoy an interesting competition this growing season. Mangan is the speedy one. She should flower in as little as 4 weeks, then produce her first fruit 2 weeks after that. Nadia unfolds at a slower pace. She should lag Mangan by a couple of weeks in coming to full flower and another 3 weeks in bearing fruit.
But her fruit will be bigger, their shape more fetching to the eye. Pound for pound, Nadia should also end up producing more edible flesh per plant, though Mangan should best her in the number of individual fruits produced.
All in all, for those of us attending these two, this should be a lively competition to watch.