Nov 4, 2021

Garden to Table: In the Kitchen with Susan

Hi! My name is Susan Roghair, and I’m a friend of Marissa’s, and of Shell’s too.  You may remember me, in pre-COVID times (B.C. – Before COVID) I taught people how to use the EarthBOX at Shell’s on-site workshops.

I’ve hijacked Marissa’s blog today because I wanted to share with you one of my many garden to table experiences that I create each day at my home in Tampa.

I want to share it because I truly believe that we can be healthier and live better and longer when we grow our own fresh organic vegetables and eat them at every meal. And it really is easy.

<I’m actually here at her request, there’s nothing hinky going on, I promise!>

I own 35 EarthBOXes and have them set up in my back yard to grow all my own organic produce.  You can see a picture of it below.  I’ve been a vegan for 34 years, my husband for over 50 years, and I love to cook with fresh ingredients I pick from my garden.

Susan's EarthBOX garden

I wanted to share my EarthBOX story and my journey of growing my own food and then preparing it for myself and my husband to eat. I’ll have a recipe for you to follow too – and you’ll love it if you love Indian food!

First I’ll start with a little bit about why I use the EarthBOX instead of raised beds or community gardens.  There’s nothing wrong with either of those options, but the EarthBOX works best for me. I live in the city, and my back yard is almost all paved. 

The place that gets full sun in my backyard is all concrete ground, so I had one of my friends make me some great wood stands for the EarthBOXes I have to bring them up to my height for easy use. I set the EarthBOXes on the stands – and I even have a couple of the EarthBOX brand stands too! – and let them do all the work after planting.

Susan's EarthBOX garden 2

The EarthBOX makes growing easy for the whole season. No weeding, no extra fertilizer feedings throughout the growing seasons, and I can use the same potting mix for 4 years before I have to replace it. It’s amazing! 

Now, I really love leafy greens, they’re truly in almost every meal I eat, but today I wanted to talk about these beautiful Black Beauty eggplant I grew from seedlings I got at Shell’s.  These gorgeous eggplant are so easy to grow in the EarthBOX.

Eggplant in my EarthBOX

Here’s a recipe I made just this past week from my harvest, also from last week!  It’s Brinjal Curried Eggplant, and it’s just delicious.  And it’s easy to make too!



Indian Brinjal Curried Eggplant


2 tablespoons sunflower oil
1 large eggplant (or 2 medium)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

3 tablespoons sunflower oil
3/4 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 red onion, quartered and thinly sliced
3 plum tomatoes, diced and sauted to a pulp
4 cloves garlic, grated
1 tablespoon ginger, grated
1 1/4 cups spring water
3 tablespoons coconut milk

Curry Spices:
1/4 teaspoon cardamom powder
1/4 teaspoon ground clove
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
2 teaspoons coriander powder
2 teaspoons cumin powder


Some Ingredients for Eggplant Curry

Cut eggplant into 1/4-inch x 1/4-inch x 3-inch sliced batons.

Place in large bowl, toss with oil and pepper.

Spread on a parchment paper lined baking sheet (don’t worry if they stack on top of each other) and roast for 20 minutes at 450F.

Turn, roast for a further 10 minutes so edges caramelize and are soft inside, but not shriveled up.

Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add mustard seeds, let them sizzle for 15 seconds.

Add curry powder for 15 seconds.

Add onions, cook 5 minutes until golden brown.

Add pre-cooked tomatoes, cook for 1 minute, stirring.

Add garlic and ginger, cook 2 minutes.

Add Curry Spices and cook for another 3 minutes. It will be a thick paste and may stick to the bottom of the pot, don’t let it burn.

Stir in water, and then add the eggplant.

Gently stir, partially cover, reduce heat to low and simmer 30 minutes.

Stir in coconut milk.

Serve with basmati rice and fresh coriander leaves.

Eggplant Harvest from my EarthBOXes

Thanks for reading Marissa’s blog today.  If you like Vegan or Vegetarian dishes, would you join my Facebook group where I share all my veggie-cooking secrets? 

And if you want to know more about my EarthBOX obsession, you can join this group of mine as well: Susan’s Vegetable EarthBOX Garden. also featured me in their customer section – yes, I’m that obsessed – so go see that article here.

I hope to see you in my groups, and I do hope you’ll continue to shop at Shell’s!  Supporting local business is so important, especially when they can help you grow your own food!

~Susan Roghair

P.S. If you want to learn more about EarthBOX, definitely check out Marissa’s blog about it: 5 Reasons You Want An EarthBOX Garden Today


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