Joined: May 23, 2010
Location: Foothills north of L.A., zone 9ish mediterranean
We've got several gallon jugs of reddish-brownish-purplish liquid sitting here on the kitchen floor. Not sure if these are technically purple bacteria.
They were made by taking leftover water from rinsing brown rice before cooking - this provides both a source of food for bacteria, and bacteria themselves. Adding sea salt. Shake and bask in the sun.
The method comes from Iyama Ichiro in Japan. He says as long as there are naturally ocurring lactobacillus, the photosynthetic bacteria will also be present - they have a symbiotic(?) relationship. The growing tips of plants cut just before sunrise have the highest concentration of lactobacilli and other beneficial bacteria. Mugwort is supposedly near the top of the list for natural sources.
Not sure if it's the same thing, but the water in my sourdough cultures when it separated out used to get deep, dark purple. I feared irgot and dumped them whenever it happened, but after awhile it seemed to happen pretty predictably. It creeped me out and that's when I quit making sourdough bread.
Joined: Jan 10, 2013
Location: Zone 4b
I was introduced to PNSB's (purple non sulphur bacteria) in learning about EM cultures (effective micro organisms). PNSB's are one of the three main groups of micro organisms contained in commercial "EM-1" (google) cultures along with yeasts and lactic acid bacteria (LAB). The latter are easy to culture and are predominantly used in the home made versions of commercial EM-1 as direct substitutes for the bottled product. As far as I know, I've never heard of anyone other than lab coats having the ability top culture them. From that literature, it seems far from trivial. Anyways, I found it very interesting in my research that PNSB have the ability to clean up toxic wastes and are also being explored for their ability to produce hydrogen energy... Very interesting stuff even for the layman like myself.