I’ve always been a sucker for anything colorful. Art, food, clothing…you name it…if it pops I’m probably gonna be drawn to it. It’s possibly why I am a huge nature junky. I absolutely love the colors. Every season, there is this bursting display of colors sweeping through the mountains and valleys of SWPA. It’s so cool to hike thru and watch the colors change with the seasons. And of course this color change is all because of these crazy little things called plants. I mean from mosses and algae, to trees and vines, plants paint the canvas of nature.
Of course, nature always has a reason and a motive for her ways. Turns out how, where, and when those colors occur in nature tell us so much more about what’s happening all around them then what we ever really realized. Ever wonder what makes tomatoes and peppers turn red? Ever wonder why poison ivy grows right next to its remedy plant jewelweed? Believe it or not, it has everything to do with colors.
Colors are nothing more than light bouncing from a surface. Those bounces occur from the elements and their shapes. Plants get these elements from soil. All this is old news. The new fun stuff comes from how those elements get into the plant and how that plant uses it. And it turns out…it’s all about the base…the base of roots.
Roots systems are these magical, semi-demonic, arms that extend down into the soil. Plants can’t use these roots to dig, so instead, they inject acid like fluid into the soil to melt their “food”. The roots then use the water to suck up the needed nutrients into their cellular, leaf system to produce a strong health body. Every plant, just like people, have their likes and dislikes, and use each other to help them get as much nutrients from the soil as easily as possible. That’s right, plants actually work together. What one plant puts into the soil is used by the plant next to it, and so on and so forth. Tall plants help short rooted plants with deep bedded minerals. Moss and algae help break down dead stuff to turn into soil. And this cycle continues on. In essence, plants are the large ecosystem unto themselves.
Farming by colors means you utilize this knowledge to your advantage. Like planting tomatoes and pepper together. The height of the plants are different, but they both use one very important chemical to become ripen: ethylene. Ethylene is a colorless, odorless gas, but is used by both tomatoes (and newly found peppers) in their ripening process. The plant creates the ethylene from rich carbon and nitrogen soil and emits the gas and uses its leaves to keep the gas around the plant. If you have too many tomatoes too close together your plants will wilt, get root, and die faster than those where air can circulate, even though you will have ripe fruit on the vine. This is because tomatoes rely on the breeze to carry used ethylene (and sometimes over production of ethylene during storms) away. Planting peppers with the tomatoes helps to naturally circulate this gas because of the varying plant heights. This means, both tomatoes and peppers grow better with tastier, more nutritional fruit.
So, that old cliché you eat with your eyes might actually come into play here. 🤓😇 Pick the prettiest, most colorful fruit and veggies you can find…they probably came from Happy plants and are filled with great minerals and vitamins! And it definitely will make you a happy consumer and a healthier one!