Pea Pod Painting

Aquaponic Ink from Purple Snow Peas

When life hands you pea pods, make ink!


Pea Pod Ink Catfish - One of our aquaponic catfish in pea pod ink

It's a much-loved family story that my no-nonsense grandfather wrote his love letters to my grandmother in lavender ink. So when I noticed that our purple snow peas were staining my hands with bright purple juice, I immediately wondered if we might be able to make ink out of them.

Our purple snow peas (capuciners) yielded nearly a kilo of delicious peas last week. We saved the pods as well, and after cutting them into small pieces, we put them in our slow juicer and pressed out the purple. After straining through a coffee filter, we ended up with about 150 ml of dark purple pod juice.

I tested the juice out by painting some signs for our vegetables.

We were also curious what would happen if we combined the juice with different substances. I tested vinegar (acid), detergent (basic) and salt, to see if any of these would cause changes in the color. The acidic test became slightly more red, while the alkaline test turned a golden brown. Salt produced no apparent change.

Before calling and end to the experiment, I wondered what we might actually do with our aquaponic peapod ink. I decided that one of our catfish, painted with plants, would be totally appropriate.