The planet is our home; we need to be more responsible. Here's what I do.
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.
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 …..
And best of all beautiful, purple truffle potatoes. They are a gorgeous hue right through the middle and keep their colour after cooking.
Purple heaven on a plate!
I won’t be growing radishes any time soon!
a blog by a multilingual expat-since-birth, linguist, researcher, mum of three, living in the Netherlands and writing about bilingualism, multiculturalism, parenting abroad, international life...