Purple reigns in the vegetable garden

Thu. Dec. 21, 2017

Click below to listen to my 2 min Garden Bite radio show:  Purple reigns in the vegetable garden

Taking Pantone’s color of the year for 2018 is Ultra Violet, aka purple, into the vegetable garden!

According to the USDA, purple antioxidants, or anthocyanins help fight cancer, have anti-aging benefits, reduce obesity and protect the heart!  WOW.  AND purple food promotes mental health.  So what purple foods will work in our northern gardens?

Let’s start with beets.  As a kid, I only ate pickled beets my mom made.  I thought that was the ONLY way to eat them.  As I got older and started planting my own vegetable garden I realized how absolutely delicious homegrown beets are fresh from the garden.  I now heat them in the microwave with some butter and salt and pepper and I’m a happy camper.

Eggplants are another good choice.  When cooking, they pick up the flavor of just about anything you put with them.  Here’s a little cutie called ‘Barbarella’ 

Eggplant ‘Barbarella’

I grew ‘Purple Dragon’ carrots, they are really tasty and fun with a purple outside and an orange inside.  A new purple carrot is called ‘Purple Elite’.  There’s also Purple Haze, Purplesnax….

Carrot ‘Purple Elite’

Oh and there’s purple cabbage and purple sweet potatoes and FRUIT!  Ahhh, fruit like blueberries.

There are some great cultivars for northern gardeners.  The caveat is that the soil needs to be more acidic than many of us have in our landscape.  Click here for more information on Blueberries in Minnesota and Wisconsin

Blueberry – Razz

If you’ve hiked through the woods, you’ve likely spotted some wild Black raspberries, they also offer some great nutritional value.  There are also some great cultivars.  ‘Royalty’ is one that you can pick red or wait until it’s ripened to purple for more sweetness.

This Wisconsin forager who talks about wild berries including the darling little black raspberry and blackberries too.

black raspberry

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