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Purple Food: why?

When we started growing food on our allotment one big question was what to plant.

Many books tell you to plant easy things and this is good advice to start with.

But I don’t like radishes.

They may be quick but I don’t like them.

We began with standard veg. Red tomatoes and beans, the ubiquitous courgette. That has to be the best crop ever!

But somehow it felt a bit dim growing vegetables that were readily available in the shops. You can’t help but feel like a disappointment when your own misshapen attempts are such a sad imitation when compared to Tesda’s finest.

Then my cousin gave me a new gardening book. Bob Flowerdew is a celebrity gardener on the BBC.

And at last I got inspired. He said ‘Don’t bother growing what you can buy in the shops! ‘ What’s the point?

And that for me was a green flag! Or should I say purple.

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Since then as it’s more than just my favourite colour but more of a lifestyle choice, I make it my business to track down vegetables and fruits from lavender to violet from indigo to plum.

The most memorable was the carrot.

But carrots are orange I hear you shout?

Turns out they’re not meant to be orange at all. Inflight magazines will tell you that the originally Afghan roots were purple but had an orange tinge. The Dutch chose to focus on orange in their strains to recognise that famous royal emphasis from the House of Orange.

The Netherlands is awash with orange much of the time.

Carrots come in all different colours really from red to white.

I’ve grown (or attempted to grow) purple sprouting broccoli, purple beans and peas, purple cauliflower, purple kohl rabi, purple Brussels sprouts, purple chillies, plums, lavender …..

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And best of all beautiful, purple truffle potatoes. They are a gorgeous hue right through the middle and keep their colour after cooking.

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Purple heaven on a plate!

I won’t be growing radishes any time soon!

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38 comments on “Purple Food: why?

  1. lindaswildlifegarden
    March 22, 2014

    I believe you can get a purple radish if you wanted it http://www.rareseeds.com/purple-plum-radis/

    Like

  2. litadoolan
    March 22, 2014

    Oh wow – purple truffle potatoes! They look delicious too. Good point not to grow veg that does not inspire. May try a grow bag and put some potato seeds in. Beautiful photos.

    Like

    • lizard100
      March 23, 2014

      I think the potatoes are the best crop. It’s like digging up gold. When you see them in the dirt I can never quite believe it.

      Like

      • litadoolan
        March 23, 2014

        Oh I’m so in! It will be like little gems in the earth! I’m excited to have a go at this crop! I grew radishes once too. Did get a good ‘harvest’ (from a tub) but then ate one and it nearly blew my head off! So strong!

        Have a great Sunday. Hope the sun is shining on your allotment.

        Like

      • lizard100
        March 23, 2014

        Radishes are certainly weird. We should have a purple potato posting!

        Like

      • litadoolan
        March 23, 2014

        ah yes. I’m sure there are some interesting tales about such a cool coloured veg! I’m not much of a chef but I can imagine they would make a good looking dish!

        Like

      • lizard100
        March 23, 2014

        For sure!

        Like

  3. naptimethoughts
    March 22, 2014

    yum. here in New Jersey, positively everything you can grow yourself is exponentially better than anything you can find in the store. I try to grow everything I use regularly… and I think some purple potatoes are going in the ground now as well. those look fantastic.

    Like

  4. Jenni
    March 22, 2014

    Purple potatoes – I mean purple all the way through not just the skin? Get out is it a particular type or did you have to add something when planting and growing? Honest I really want to know ’cause purple potatoes – that’s just cool.

    Like

    • lizard100
      March 23, 2014

      The ones we grow are violetta and they are purple through and through even after cooking. You can also make potato chips with them. Bizarre!

      Like

  5. silverbells2012
    March 22, 2014

    Do the purple potatoes taste the same as yellow ones?

    Agreed – good idea to grow what you can’t in the shops!

    Like

    • lizard100
      March 23, 2014

      The weird thing is they taste exactly the same but psychologically it’s impossible to believe they will.

      Like

      • silverbells2012
        March 23, 2014

        Must be a strange sensation in the brain when you’re eating them then! If they are purple, they might have different micronutrients, though?

        In China the carrots are red, which was a surprise after being brought up with the idea they are orange.

        Like

      • lizard100
        March 23, 2014

        I’ve heard of red but wanted to assume they were just photographed oddly!

        Like

      • silverbells2012
        March 23, 2014

        Ni, they are red. As far as I remember they taste the same as orange ones, though.

        Like

      • lizard100
        March 23, 2014

        I shall see if I can get some!

        Like

      • silverbells2012
        March 23, 2014

        Not seen any seeds but good luck!

        Like

      • lizard100
        March 23, 2014

        Might have to go online to my strange Dutch suppliers.

        Like

      • silverbells2012
        March 23, 2014

        That’s probably the best place!

        Like

  6. Sam Sin
    March 22, 2014

    You’re right about the radishes. I started growing my own vegetables a few years ago and grew radishes but it was total waste of time since we don’t eat them! I’m looking forward to seeing your exotic vegetables later on in the year πŸ™‚

    Like

  7. quarteracrelifestyle
    March 22, 2014

    We don’t eat radishes here either lol. I would love to try different coloured veges but have yet to persuade my husband to give them a go, to him carrots are ONLY orange πŸ™‚

    Like

  8. Rambling Woods
    March 23, 2014

    I am learning new things…always a good thing…thank you

    Like

    • lizard100
      March 23, 2014

      It’s great to share and learn at the same time!

      Like

  9. cheergerm
    March 23, 2014

    Go purple carrots! Our youngest lad loves ’em but only eaten raw.Crazy things they are….after many years of radish loathing I have to say I am slowly coming around to them. Slowly….

    Like

  10. lizard100
    March 23, 2014

    Raw purple carrots, sliced or grated would be very pretty too! Will have to try that.

    Like

  11. Pingback: Marvellous Monday: Bees, seeds and chickens! | Green Lizard's Blog

  12. Capt Jill
    June 1, 2014

    gardens are always fun, it’s so neat to see something grow to where you can eat it. I agree it’s got to be more interesting to grow things you can’t find in the store.
    I’m trying to find things to grow that can make it on their own. I tried a regular garden, but even when I used to have room-mates, I was the only one to tend to it.
    Now I have to find things that can last for months on their own. So far, I have a lime tree with orange limes. The tree is very productive and the limes are very juicy. The only thing is, they’re orange instead of green. πŸ™‚

    Like

    • lizard100
      June 1, 2014

      Perennial plants are the way to go. They just keep coming back.

      Like

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