Here with some tips on how to get your kids out of the house and in the garden this summer is April Newton of Metroparent Magazine.
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Learn how to dye your own Greek Easter eggs using all natural ingredients from the garden.
Gardening Australia host, Costa Georgiadis, and some friends demonstrate how easy it is and how much fun you can have making your own Easter eggs.
HOW TO … DYE EGGS WITH PLANTS
If you can, select a variety of eggs – they’ll produce a range of tones.
These are some of the best plant choices for the dyes:
Brown or yellow onion (Allium cepa) skins produce a deep, rusty, orange
Red or purple onion (Allium cepa) skins create a vibrant purple
Red cabbage (Brassica oleracea var. capitata) unexpectedly gives a grey-blue
Turmeric (Curcuma longa) creates a bright yellow
Purple beetroot (Beta vulgaris) yields pink or burgundy eggs.
Have a separate saucepan for each colour.
Cut up your vegetables and pour just enough water to cover them over your chosen plants.
Allow to simmer for at least half an hour. If you leave it to steep overnight you will get an even richer colour.
While the dye is simmering …
Create patterns on the eggs’ surfaces by covering them with leaves and flowers from the garden. Start by hunting in the herb patch!
Wrap the eggs in foliage and flowers, embalm them in onion skins or cover them with stickers and stars.
Hold everything in place by putting the decorated eggs in with a stocking, secured with a twist tie.
Strain the dye and add 1 tablespoon of vinegar to every cup of dye mix. Let it cool slightly to avoid cracking the eggs.
Carefully lower the wrapped (room temperature) eggs into the dye pots.
Simmer for no more than 20 minutes. Cool the eggs in the dye for a richer colour.
Rinse the eggs in cool water, removing the flowers and foliage to reveal the patterns!
NOTE: Coating the eggs with a little vegetable oil will make them even more vibrant.
Garden Plants to Avoid Using to Dye Food
Make sure you know what you are picking to avoid poisonous plants such as oleander, euphorbia and foxglove. Avoid:
Belladonna Lily (Amaryllis belladonna)
Oleander (Nerium oleander)
Princess Lilies (Alstroemeria species)
Tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum)
Tulips (Tulipa species and cultivars)
For a full list of poisonous plants common in Australia, please see the Poisonous Plants Index
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