Last year, my sister gave me some tomato plants for my greenhouse as my seedlings had not enjoyed my watering apathy. Gratefully, I popped them in the ground and paid little attention to their labels. Late summer, when the fruits appeared, I could no longer ignore them, for nestled in the hairy fronds, rather than the glorious, juicy red I was expecting, were some deeply odd-looking tomatoes.
We are urged to “eat the rainbow” knowing that green vegetables are loaded with vitamin K and folates, orange and yellow fruits are usually full of vitamin C and red ones full of vitamin A but purple, when you read the facts, are extraordinary! The term “superfood” is applied to more purple fruit and vegetables than any other and now an increasing number of plants are being bioengineered to have this special hue.
They help keep a healthy heart, lower blood pressure, aid brain health, enhance calmness, boost mood and strengthen the immune system…and they look beautiful. A display of beetroot, aubergines, purple sprouting broccoli, purple cauliflower, figs, grapes and blackberries cannot fail to stop you in your tracks.
They bring to mind a wonderful quote from Alice Walker’s book “The Color Purple”:
“I think it [upsets] God if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don't notice it. People think pleasing God is all God cares about. But any fool living in the world can see it always trying to please us back.”
And why am I so obsessed with purple this month? Well, it’s the official colour of the Platinum Jubilee and we at Fabulous Farm Shops have been decorating our Headquarters with purple fruit and vegetables.
The logo of the Jubilee, designed by 19-year-old Edward Roberts, features a continuous platinum line (representing Queen Elizabeth’s 70-year long reign) on a purple background which is a nod to the rich, velvet Coronation robes worn by the monarch after he/she is crowned.
It is a colour that has long been associated with royalty but is also a shade that is universally complimentary… so if you are dark, blond, red-headed, grey or bald - you can wear purple and if you are large, small, old or young, you should be getting it on your plate and in your mouth!
Let’s raise a glass of blueberry juice and salute the Queen. We hope you had a very Happy Jubilee!
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