by Sadge, at Firesign Farm
As our cold weather season approaches, the warm weather crops must be harvested before the first frost. Dealing with the resulting glut of fresh veggies takes many forms around our house. The tomatoes picked green, set out on a table and covered with newspapers, will eventually ripen enough to be canned or otherwise processed; the cucumbers are pickled or fermented; the winter squashes and onions cured for storage.
Many gardeners don't realize eggplant, the big round Italian types, can be stored for a couple of months in the pantry. Pick your eggplants at the peak of ripeness, when the skin has a glossy sheen. Once in the house, trim the stem as close as possible to the top of the fruit, without cutting into the flesh. Lift and break off the "petals" of the green cap so the spines won't pierce the wrapping, taking care not to break the flesh. Then wrap the fruit as snugly as possible in plastic wrap, and store at room temperature, or a bit cooler. A shelf in my pantry works best in my house.