Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Purple In The Garden

It's been a particularly crazy time on Crandall Hill the past couple of weeks because both of us have stolen some time away from the farm. I spent a transformative week at the Chautauqua Institution with a group of dear friends. Arthur returned yesterday from a 10-day fishing trip to Alaska. Our vacations overlapped a few days which kept us from the Potter County Farmers' Market only one week. Last week I did two Markets on my own which kept me quite busy!
This post has been rattling around in my brain since early last week when I snapped the pictures you see below.
Royal Burgundy Snap Beans in blossom
These beans are purple until they begin to cook and turn green.
 The garden and high tunnel feature a riot of color this time of year. From the bright sunny blossoms on the squash to the more subtle blossoms on the potato plants to the many red hues on the tomato plants, it's truly a feast for one's eyes.
Purple is not necessarily a color you'd expect to see in the garden but it's the one that really captured my attention last week.
It also turns out that purple foods have their own special health benefits.

Coming soon ... Purple Cabbage
Purple foods contain anthocyanins, health-promoting chemicals that act to protect and heal cells. They play a role in promoting heart and eye health and may decrease the rate of cancer cell growth. In addition to being found in vegetables, they are also in teas, honey, fruits, nuts, olive oil, cocoa and wine.
Some vegetables are bred specifically to have additional anthocyanins.  Feast your eyes on this assortment of purple growing right here at Metzger Heritage Farm and look for this great stuff at the Potter County Farmers' Market in coming weeks.

Czech Black Peppers
A delicious heirloom from Czechoslovakia.
Mild, jalapeno-shaped fruit with
fruity, cinnamon flavor
Two varieties of eggplants
share a bed in the high tunnel
These carrots are purple
on the outside
and organge on the inside

Indigo Rose Tomatoes
A favorite of Chef
Butch Davis
The Indigo Rose tomato which I first grew last summer is touted in the seed catalog as being the darkest tomato bred so far, exceptionally high in anthocyanins. The catalog description goes on to say that in the early stages of fruit development, Indigo Rose develops a dark purple pigment when exposed to direct sunlight. Green when unripe, purple-red when ripe, the cocktail-size tomatoes have good flavor with plummy overtones.
Purple Beauty Bell Pepper

Purple Basil
Mild, aromatic and ideal for garnish, sauces & dressings
And how can I forget the beautiful All Blue potatoes we've been growing for our gourmet potato assortment? They deserve a post all their own!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I bought some of those deep purple tomatoes at the Farmer's Market last week and they were amazing. I'll be back for more!