EGG PLANT. Solanum melongena. The Solanum family furnishes two of the most valu able plants for the use of man, the potato and egg plant. The tomato was originally classed as a Solanum, but now is classed as a Lycopersicum, The cultivation of the egg plant is of very ancient date. It was a plant of southern Asia, and the Indian Archipelago, although said not to be found there wild. Its cultivation was known to the Romans, and from them spread over the entire southern portion of Europe. It has been knbwn in America since the eighteenth century. Being an inter-tropical plant, the least frost completely kills it, and eves cold winds so reduce its vitality, that it should not be trans planted to the open air, until the days and nights are permanently warm. The seeds must be sown, in the North, in a hot bed, about the first of March, and have .a strong heat and •continuous moisture, until they germinate, Thenceforward they must have plenty of air, but be kept from chilling winds. When two or three inches high, they are transplanted into another hot bed, at a distance of four inches apart, and kept steadily growing, until they fairly cover the spaces.
Then they are transplanted into six inch pots, or better, into troughs, made by nailing a back of siding on a bottom of inch boards, six inches wide. These are made three feet long for ease of handling. When placed in the beds, the back of one trough makes the front of the next. Thus, a distance of six inches apart, they make strong plants, often coming into blossom before going into the open air. In transplanting, the balls of earth are carefully preserved, and placed in the ground entire, a little water is given them, and dry earth is then drawn over the ball, covering it about one half inch deeper than it stood in the trough. By this plan they are scarcely checked, and will grow and perfect their fruit of a size for cooking, by the first of August, in the North. The egg plant is cooked in a variety of ways; sometimes by baking, but gen erally by paring, slicing one half inch thick, and frying soft and brown in .butter. Persons accus tomed to their peculiar flavor, become very fond of them.