Grow Indigo Rose tomato and other blue food

Blue tomatoes

Indigo Rose deep purple where the sunshines. The fruit is red/orange where a leaf or stem shields the fruit from the sun.
Indigo Rose deep purple where the sunshines. The fruit is red/orange where a leaf or stem shields the fruit from the sun. | Source

Indigo Rose tomato

Indigo Rose tomatoes are just bigger than a cherry tomato.
Indigo Rose tomatoes are just bigger than a cherry tomato. | Source

Old and new blue too

Grow something new in the garden this year. Like a blue tomato or a blue and ivory bean that looks like a modern art project. Or, grow a beautiful blue heirloom eggplant, possibly grown by your Italian great, great grandmother.

Try a new Blue Indigo tomato, only released a couple of years ago. Dragon Tongue beans are flat and curly, strange enough to even bring a kid to the table. Rosa Bianca eggplants are one of the most beautiful and mild.

Eat blue food

Choose eggplants when small. Pick beans when they turn ivory.
Choose eggplants when small. Pick beans when they turn ivory. | Source

The new blue food: Indigo Rose tomato

This is a new tomato. Indigo Rose organic tomato is an open pollinated, indeterminate. It's a small tomato which usually ripens in 70 days. Indigo Rose is a new release from Oregon State University.

Jim Myers, dept of horticulture, OSU has been working on this selection for ten years. He is using traditional plant breeding techniques for this organically grown indeterminate.

These dark fruits are 1-2 ounces each. Nichols offers Indigo Rose as the first high anthocyanin tomato. This tomato is still under study and offspring of Indigo Rose will have additional traits.

What are Anthocyanins?

Anthocyanin pigments are responsible for the red, purple, and blue colors of many fruits and vegetables. From fighting cancer to fighting wrinkles, anthocyanins are regarded as one of the best reasons to eat deep colored fruits and vegetables. Food scientists and horticulturists are interested in these compounds because of their importance to the color quality of fresh and processed fruits and vegetables.

Indigo Rose was the first ripe tomato on the table. Ripe Indigo Rose tomatoes are beautiful. These little tomatoes are about 1 1/2 inches across. The tomatoes turn dark blue where the direct sun shines on them. The shaded side of the saladette tomatoes is orange.

End of season - As foliage declined and more of the tomato was exposed to the sun, the bluer the tomatoes turned. The final few I picked, were as blue as blueberries.

The novelty of a blue tomato is why I grew it. Perhaps I am spoiled from all the old fashioned taste of the heirlooms I grow.

Another similar sized tomato with rich tomato flavor is Riesentraube - Best heirloom tomato from seed.

The first high anthocyanin tomato

Source

Find tomato seed here

Buy a packet of tomato seed, it will last for two or three years. Or, buy plants and save your own seed at the end of the season. There are many other companies offering Indigo Rose plants or seed. I only mention these because I've done business with them, service was prompt. I got what I paid for.

Nichols Garden Nursery is in Albany, Oregon. Phone - 800-422-3985. Nichols Garden Nursery is an independent family business serving home gardeners for more than 60 years.

Johnny's Selected Seeds helping families, friends, and communities to feed one another by providing superior seeds, tools, information, and service. Call us toll free at 877-Johnnys (877-564-6697).

Other blue or lavender produce

Dragon Tongue snap beans wispy lavender stripes on creamy colored bean pods are as tender and tasty as any green bean.

Rosa Bianca Teardrop shaped eggplant. An old Italian heirloom.

Rosa Bianca Eggplant

Prolific and the added bonus: gorgeous  blooms.
Prolific and the added bonus: gorgeous blooms. | Source

More blue vegetables: Rosa Bianca eggplants

One of the prettiest blue foods of the season is Rosa Bianca eggplant. Despite the foliage being savaged by flea beetles all summer and fall.

An Italian heirloom that has passed down garden to garden for generations. It may become a regular in your garden. Each eggplant grows to 5-6 inches long. Fruits are plump, tear drop shaped and very mild tasting.

Rosa Bianca eggplants are tender and not bitter. The tear drop shaped fruits can be used up in a meal or two. A much better choice for a small family than those big black beauties.

To Grow: start indoors or direct sow seed 1/2 in deep into full sun location.The plant produces creamy white with lavender eggplants from midsummer to hard freeze in the fall. Plants grow to 2 1/2 feet tall and should be planted about 2 1/2 feet apart.

To Serve: Try roasting with herbs instead of frying in the eggplant parmesan recipes. Perfect for ratatouille.

I will grow these eggplants again. They are tender and not bitter. The tear drop shaped fruits can be used up in one small dish, a better choice for a small family than those big black beauties.

Where to buy Rosa Bianca seed

Are you a blue food fan?

Why do you eat blueberries?

  • I eat blue berries because I like the taste.
  • I eat blue berries because they are good for me.
See results without voting

Very green "beany"

Good as a stringless snap bean or a light brown dried bean with dark speckles.
Good as a stringless snap bean or a light brown dried bean with dark speckles. | Source

Dragon Tongue bean

This is not just a novelty. However, I first bought these Dragon Tongue beans (Dragon Langerie) at the local Farmers Market but doubted the raves of other customer. It was so good, I'm growing more in my garden this year.

Dragon Tongue is tender and tasty eaten fresh as a snap bean. A little over two feet tall, it is easy to pick and so tender and tasty. If they get past the snap stage, Dragon Tongue beans are also good as dried beans. Some gardeners grow the light brown beans only as a shell bean.

To Serve: Harvest flat snap beans when they turn from lime green to soft yellow with bright purple stripes. Use in any recipe just as you would green beans. To dry, allow pods to fully mature.

Dragon Tongue is very highly rated among home gardeners and market growers. This is an old French heirloom, but it was new to me. I'm glad to have discovered it.

Where to buy seed

Eat blueberries to reduce blood pressure

If you regularly eat blueberries your chances of suffering from hypertension (high blood pressure) may be reduced by 10% because of their bioactive compounds – anthocyanins.

Grow healthy food

Mara des Bois Strawberries produce fruit all summer. The long runners and fruit hanging over the basket is part of the charm of this French sensation.
Mara des Bois Strawberries produce fruit all summer. The long runners and fruit hanging over the basket is part of the charm of this French sensation. | Source

Anthocyanins may lower blood pressure

Anthocyanins provide the bright red-orange to blue-violet color found in fruits and vegetables. They are the natural plant compounds found in the form of glycosides. Glycosides occur when an anthocyanidin molecule is paired with a sugar molecule.

The most abundant source of these compounds are found in berries such as black currants, elderberries, blueberries and strawberries and in their juices. Anthocyanin-rich foods include blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, plums, red cabbage, red onion and blood orange juice.

According to researchers in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. If you regularly eat blueberries your chances of suffering from hypertension (high blood pressure) may be reduced by 10% because of their bioactive compounds – anthocyanins.

One in every three adults in the USA has hypertension. People with high blood pressure have a greater risk of developing heart disease and stroke.

Anthocyanins are part of a parent class of molecules called flavonoids, which are odorless and flavorless. They give foods a moderately astringent sensation.

Flavanoids are present in many teas, fruit juices, dark chocolates and red wine, and have been shown to reduce risk of cardiovascular disease.

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Comments 40 comments

KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

KoffeeKlatch Gals 16 months ago from Sunny Florida

I need to look for these foods in the super colors. I have never seen a purple tomato. Terrific information.


rebeccamealey profile image

rebeccamealey 17 months ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

Good to know! I just ate eggplant today. I would love to find the blue tomatoes. I've never heard of them. Thanks!


Patsybell profile image

Patsybell 19 months ago from zone 6a, SEMO Author

This is a new tomato. It does not have the layers of flavor found in an heirloom. Try them in the market before you grow them. They are comparable to most popular hybrids.

Thank you so very much for the Angels.


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 19 months ago from sunny Florida

Thanks for the great information. They are gorgeous. I have seen them at the market but have never grown them. Do they really taste yummy?

Angels are on the way to you this evening ps


Kristen Howe profile image

Kristen Howe 19 months ago from Northeast Ohio

That's so cool, Patsy. You're very welcome.


Patsybell profile image

Patsybell 19 months ago from zone 6a, SEMO Author

It won a "Best Taste" award last year in Oregon. Thank you for your vote. It makes all the difference.


Kristen Howe profile image

Kristen Howe 19 months ago from Northeast Ohio

Pretty cool, Patsybell. I never heard of blue tomatoes before, unless it's a hybrid plant. I wonder how it tastes. Pretty useful and beautiful at the same time. Voted up!


Patsybell profile image

Patsybell 21 months ago from zone 6a, SEMO Author

Or, really surprise her and just serve her a blue food dinner! Thanks for reading my hubs. You made my day. I hope your wife knows that you are feeding her blue and red food to encourage longevity.


poetryman6969 profile image

poetryman6969 21 months ago

I will be sure to tell the wife I am going to grow her some really smurfy food!


Patsybell profile image

Patsybell 22 months ago from zone 6a, SEMO Author

peachpurple It's a new tomato, only about 3 years old. Here is a funny thing. One year I said I did not like it, and that same year it won Best Tasting Tomato in an Oregon tomato contest. It's a beautiful tomato.


peachpurple profile image

peachpurple 22 months ago from Home Sweet Home

i have never seen indigo tomato in my life! I thought it was baby brinjals, voted up


Patsybell profile image

Patsybell 22 months ago from zone 6a, SEMO Author

ChitrangadaSharan, These little tomatoes were developed by the University of Oregon and just made available about 3 years ago. Before they did not exist. I am honored that you read my hubs. I appreciate the sharing.


ChitrangadaSharan profile image

ChitrangadaSharan 22 months ago from New Delhi, India

I have never seen blue tomatoes, but the information you provided is very useful. Its interesting to know about their health benefits also, besides they look so beautiful.

Thanks and voted up!


Patsybell profile image

Patsybell 22 months ago from zone 6a, SEMO Author

Phyllis Doyle, Indigo Rose tomatoes are attractive and they are a saladette variety, meaning they are small, just bigger than cherries. Ideal for salads, your best bet is to start Indigo Rose from seed because they may be hard to find as plants. Also, plant a big red or yellow juicy beef steak type tomato for the best flavor. Thank you for reading my hubs.


Phyllis Doyle profile image

Phyllis Doyle 22 months ago from High desert of Nevada.

Those Indigo Rose tomatoes are beautiful, Patsy. I must try growing some. I think my patio gets enough sunlight for them. And I love blueberries. I did not realize blue fruits and vegetables are so good for us. Thanks for writing this very useful hub.


Patsybell profile image

Patsybell 22 months ago from zone 6a, SEMO Author

colorfulone, thank you. I buy Indigo Rose tomato seed from Nichols (nicholsgardennursery.com) Its great to grow such healthy and good food.


colorfulone profile image

colorfulone 22 months ago from Minnesota

Patsy, you have introduced me to superfoods that I had not heard of before. This is truly an interesting hub.


Patsybell profile image

Patsybell 22 months ago from zone 6a, SEMO Author

I love company in the garden and can hardly wait for those tulips and daffodils to pop up. Thank you. I appreciate you.


ezzly profile image

ezzly 22 months ago

Wowzer beautiful photos and fantastic article , bet you have an amazing garden !


Patsybell profile image

Patsybell 23 months ago from zone 6a, SEMO Author

These blue super foods are most often served fresh and raw. For example, Indigo Rose tomatoes will lose their blue benefits when the tomatoes lose their peel in cooking or canning. Thanks for the Angels. Would love to hear what blue food you decide to grow.


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 23 months ago from sunny Florida

I will have to give these a try. I am familiar with anthocyanin properties in some foods and this would be another way to include them in foods we eat.

Thanks for sharing this with us.

Angels are once again on the way to you ps


Patsybell profile image

Patsybell 2 years ago from zone 6a, SEMO Author

pstraubie48, Thank you for reading my hubs. There are unlimited red and green varieties. You will never run out of different red tomatoes to try. This year I am growing a lot of big, sweet, yellow heirloom tomatoes. (Working on the ub now.)


Patsybell profile image

Patsybell 2 years ago from zone 6a, SEMO Author

rebeccamealey

You wrote "I have been looking for purple potatoes and yellow carrots." Renee's Garden has yellow carrots. They are beautiful, "Sunshine Orange and Yellow" carrots. There are enough seed in one packet to save and use for two or three years. Also in the spring, she offered some potato varieties that included blue. I grew and wrote hubs about those carrots.


Patsybell profile image

Patsybell 2 years ago from zone 6a, SEMO Author

incomeguru, I would gladly send you some seed, but I do no know if it is legal or if there are rules about mailing seeds to another country. What kind of tomatoes do you grow now? Thank you for reading my hub. Perhaps we can trade garden information.


Patsybell profile image

Patsybell 2 years ago from zone 6a, SEMO Author

Peggy W, Don't let wild life make you give up gardenig. Put your plants in a wire cage. Build one and use it and reuse it forever. Mold the wire mesh around a trash can as a model. Or can you stretch a wire screen to block off an area of the porch - like you might put up a baby gate to keep a baby in or a pet out. If I have your permission, I will write a hub about keeping animals at bay. May I use your comments in the hub?


rebeccamealey profile image

rebeccamealey 2 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

Very interesting Patsy Bell. Those are some strange looking beans. I have been looking for purple potatoes and yellow carrots. I've read about them and can't find them anywhere! This reminded me of that.


incomeguru profile image

incomeguru 2 years ago from Lagos

I love to have some of these tomotoes in my garden but I'm not so sure if it will do well in Nigeria. Thanks for sharing.


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 2 years ago from sunny Florida

They are lovely to look at but I just think green tomatoes or red tomatoes will have to be the ones on my plate.

Thanks for enlightening me tough.

Angels are on the way to you ps


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 2 years ago from Houston, Texas

Looking at those tomatoes had my mouth watering! Sadly I can no longer grow eggplants in our yard because prior to being able to harvest them the opossums and squirrels get to them first. What interesting looking beans! Up votes, and happy to tweet, G+, pin and share.


Patsybell profile image

Patsybell 3 years ago from zone 6a, SEMO Author

I appreciate your comments. You mad my day.


Patsybell profile image

Patsybell 3 years ago from zone 6a, SEMO Author

Now is the time to order seed, or put your order in for plants. If you've never grown tomatoes from seed, this might be the one to try. Save your extra seed, it can be used for 3 or 4 years.


seh1101 profile image

seh1101 3 years ago from Wisconsin, USA

I really want to grow some blue tomatoes this year after reading this. I'll keep this hub in mind. Very useful!


Patsybell profile image

Patsybell 4 years ago from zone 6a, SEMO Author

I'm starting my seed indoors in another week or two. Then transplanting them outside when the ground is warm. Usually sometime around mid May.


instantlyfamily profile image

instantlyfamily 4 years ago

These are gorgeous! What a beautiful addition these would be to our garden this season. Thanks for sharing.


klanguedoc profile image

klanguedoc 4 years ago from Canada

Very interesting. Can they be grown indoors?


davenmidtown profile image

davenmidtown 4 years ago from Sacramento, California

My problem is that I have 12 varieties already started... hmmm what's one more? lol. Good advice.


Patsybell profile image

Patsybell 4 years ago from zone 6a, SEMO Author

Last summer Rose Marie planted these tomatoes and collected seed. You might not want to wait to order this seed.

I'm just sayin.


davenmidtown profile image

davenmidtown 4 years ago from Sacramento, California

Patsybell: What a great hub. Not only full of good information but you have mentioned one of my favorite nurseries: Nichols! I will bookmark this hub for next springs tomato selection! voted up and shared.


lisa.bom 4 years ago

Interesting, thanks for sharing.


Patsy Bell Hobson 4 years ago

This is an all new superfood you can grow in the back yard.

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