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I’m sure there has been research done on how the colour of food affects our attitude to it. If it looks good then it hopefully tastes good too, but who wants to eat blue potatoes, purple carrots or orange cauliflowers?
When it comes to salads I want a plate offering more than green leaves, so a mix of colourful lettuce, red-veined beetroot, thinly sliced circles of white radish, red tomatoes and diced yellow peppers really hits the spot. You can really let your creative, artistic side take over when it comes to composing on a plate. Grated, sliced or chopped – preparing veg in different ways also makes a difference, but I digress.
We all want colour in our gardens, so what about colour in our veg plots and allotments? Flowers play their part, but crops can be colourful too. Just looking round my own garden this morning I was struck by how glorious the crops really are looking, and many wouldn’t be out of place in the flower garden.
Ornamental appeal may be in the eye of the holder, but golden trumpets bursting open at tip of yellow courgettes are pure beauty – and yes, they are good enough to eat (deep fried in a tempura batter sounds appetising).
Flowers adorn climbing beans, squash, tomatoes, aubergines, chillies, garlic chives and many more. Some crops are deliberately left to bolt, developing flower stems and running to seed (which I collect). Mizuna, watercress and rocket have already set seed, and lettuces are starting to extend – forcing flower heads upwards.
Choosing lettuces and salads that help me create a patchwork of colour is all part of the fun of ‘growing your own’. By choosing crops that provide a full eating sensation – colour, texture, sweetness, flavour – you can take your veg-growing to new heights, and enjoy home-grown produce even more.
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