Gardening The Rainbow: The Color Purple, Eggplant Bacon and Purple Okra!
Color me happy! Harvesting a Cosmic Purple Carrot from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds is a beautiful way to start a morning. I discovered an actual carrot had formed and not the just carrot thinnings that I’ve been doing for a couple of weeks. I could have let it get bigger, but I was too excited.
My garden used to be shades of mostly yellow, red and green, but I love color, and because I have had so much success with my Garden Anywhere Boxes, I decided to plant more of the rainbow.
I decided on the color purple.
I saw some eggplant starts at the home improvement store. I’d never grown eggplant before, but decided to give it a try. I grew the long slender eggplant and the Black Beauty eggplant.
We did a presentation at the Sierra Club of OKC earlier this year. A couple bought some boxes from us because the man wanted to grow eggplant, and I am here to tell you, I definitely had a great deal of success growing eggplants in my boxes.
What surprised me was how fast the plant grew, about six inches in just three days! Another thing that surprised me was how prolific the plant was. I had so many eggplants this summer that I didn’t know what to do.
That’s when I learned about “eggplant” bacon.
I love the internet. There is a wealth of knowledge at my fingertips! Who ever would have thought of making bacon out of eggplant? But someone did.
Here is another eggplant bacon recipe for comparison. It recommends salting your eggplant strips for a couple of hours to release excess water and then rinsing your eggplant before you marinate. That is what I did and my bacon was crispy.
Eggplant bacon was one of my cool discoveries this summer. It is very easy to make. You can marinate it using whatever seasonings you are in the mood for. Spicy or sweet or both. Put it in the dehydrator to dry. When it’s finished, it’s crispy just like bacon. Make an “ELT” instead of a BLT. Yum!
A fun discovery for me this year has been purple basil. I grew Genovese basil and made pesto. Toasted Walnut Basil Pesto to be exact. It was yummy. When I saw a purple basil plant, I wanted to add that to my garden.
Another purple addition has been Burgundy Okra. It’s not really purple, more of a red-violet. It’s made a pretty addition to my basket, too. It hasn’t been as prolific as the green okra, but it has been beautiful.
I recently planted Red Leaved Hyacinth Bean, It has lovely little purple flowers and purple seed pods. This is my first time growing this bean. We’ll see how it does.
I almost forgot to mention Kohlrabi. I only had one plant this year, but it did great. I am definitely going to grow more next year.
So, here is my Magical Mystery Tour of purple in my garden! Hopefully, this will inspire you to add the color purple to your garden next year.