an everyday photo, every day | photography • art • poetry

Posts tagged “farmer's market

Poem for Saturday: Road Trip, Late July, Western Pennsylvania

"Summer", pastel, 12" x 24", 1998 © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

“Summer”, pastel, 12″ x 24″, 1998 © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

I’m a little late with this, considering it’s the first day of August, but July slipped by so quickly—and even in August, you’ll see these same things. A little trip on the highway on a perfectly beautiful summer day brought this all back.

Road Trip, Late July, Western Pennsylvania

Green, green waves ahead
diminishing to blue over the northern horizon
exalted rises and shadowed valleys gradually made plain
to rolling hills and misted hollows
interstate unrolled as ribbon
around hill and following valley,
signs noting unseen destinations
bearing hopeful small town names:
“Freedom”
“Prosperity”
“Harmony”
little hamlets of Pennsylvania coal being crushed to diamonds,
glittering in the vales;
a gauze curtain of rain shower flows across hills
soaking opposite side of road
but the sun shines brightly ahead,
occasionally a sudden cluster of official orange obstructions
gives instructions to change directions
slowing pace to allow a close and careful study
of native plants along the roadside,
a stately brick farmhouse, a skull with empty windows, abandoned,
its outbuildings only roofs in the tall grass
as if melting back into the earth from whence they were created;
then a curving exit that leaves the noise of four lanes behind a rise,
a sojourn on a quiet two-lane three-digit backroad,
once the lifeline before the interstate, now empty;
clusters of buildings at intersections, one traffic light flashing yellow,
old farms and equipment,
rusted industrial structures,
a field gone entirely to Queen Anne’s Lace,
some cows on a hillside,
and everywhere roadside stands
celebrate the first flush of mid-summer bounty;
collect loose change from pockets and floor of car
and with the dole,
buy fresh homegrown sweet corn to feed thy soul.

Poem © 2006, B. E. Kazmarski

In December, 2006, two of my poems were chosen to be published on a section of the Prairie Home Companion website entitled “Stories From Home/First Person” for submissions of writing about the place we feel most familiar; this poem was one of those selected. I’m a long-time listener to PHC and reader of Garrison Keillor’s books as well as a daily listener to The Writer’s Almanac featuring news about writers and writing and of interest to writers as well as a poem, all compiled and read by Keillor himself. I was astonished to find my poems were among the first chosen from apparently thousands, and so happy to be able to share them with a potential audience of so many similarly inclined writers and readers.

Read more poetry here on Today or visit my poetry page to see more about my poetry and other writing, and to purchase Paths I Have Walked.

. . . . . . .

About the artwork above

“Summer” is an abandoned farm field on a high ridge which I passed regularly on the way to work each morning for six years, seen right after an early morning storm. I would reach this portion of my drive and pause to look at this field with the morning unfolding above it, different each day, take a deep breath, and go on. The site was developed a few years later, but I still remember that each time I pass by it, even now. It’s one of a four-part commission I painted years ago featuring the four seasons in Western Pennsylvania. Read more about the painting, “Summer”, above, and purchase a digital, giclee or canvas print from my Etsy shop.


poetry book

I’m proud to offer a folio of my poetry

Paths I Have Walked: the poetry and art of Bernadette E. Kazmarski

FROM FOUR ANNUAL POETRY READINGS AT ANDREW CARNEGIE FREE LIBRARY & MUSIC HALL IN CARNEGIE, PA

People who attended one or more of my poetry readings encouraged me to publish some of my poetry in a book from the beginning.

Once I completed my 2010 poetry reading, my fourth featuring the final piece of artwork in the “Art of the Watershed” series, I decided it was time to publish something and it should be those four poetry readings.

Poetry books are not best-sellers; it’s difficult to convince a publisher to risk effort on a beginning poet, and while self-publishing is the best option it’s not inexpensive and once you’ve got the book, someone’s got to market it. Plus, I’m a graphic designer and I designed books for years, and I want things my way.

All of this is a recipe for a little bit of trouble, but I decided the book was well worth the effort so I designed the book myself and had a set printed—no ISBN or anything formal, but it’s a start! I’m really excited to offer it.

Books are 4.25″ x 11″, 40 pages of information and poetry, with glossy covers featuring “Dusk in the Woods” and little thumbnails of all four pieces in “Art of the Watershed”.

$8.00 each plus $2.50 shipping (they are oversized for mailing first class).

You can order one on my poetry page, or in my Marketplace.

About the books and the poetry readings

My biggest inspiration for poetry, prose and artwork is the world right around me, and I enjoy the opportunity to share it from the perspective of one who walks and hikes and bikes and carries a camera, art materials and journal everywhere—even around the house—so the inspirations are fresh.

In December, 2006, two of my poems were chosen to be published on a section of the Prairie Home Companion website entitled “Stories From Home/First Person” for submissions of writing about the place we feel most familiar. I’m a long-time listener to PHC and reader of Garrison Keillor’s books as well as a daily listener to The Writer’s Almanac featuring news about writers and writing and of interest to writers as well as a poem, all compiled and read by Keillor himself. I was astonished to find my poems were among the first chosen from apparently thousands, and so happy to be able to share them with a potential audience of so many similarly inclined writers and readers.

My poetry readings and art exhibits were the vision of Maggie Forbes, executive director of the Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall, after learning of my publishing of those two poems. I owe her many thanks for encouraging me to present this combination of my visual and literary art, a first for me. I love that building, every inch of it, and the opportunity to bring people in to visit is an honor.


Poem for Sunday: Road Trip, Late July, Western Pennsylvania

Fence with queen anne's lace
Fence with queen anne's lace

Queen Anne’s Lace

I’m a little late with this, considering it’s August, but July slipped by so quickly—and even in August, you’ll see these same things. A little trip on the highway on a perfectly beautiful summer day brought this all back.

Road Trip, Late July, Western Pennsylvania

Green, green waves ahead
diminishing to blue over the northern horizon
exalted rises and shadowed valleys gradually made plain
to rolling hills and misted hollows
interstate unrolled as ribbon
around hill and following valley,
signs noting unseen destinations
bearing hopeful small town names:
“Freedom”
“Prosperity”
“Harmony”
little hamlets of Pennsylvania coal being crushed to diamonds,
glittering in the vales;
a gauze curtain of rain shower flows across hills
soaking opposite side of road
but the sun shines brightly ahead,
occasionally a sudden cluster of official orange obstructions
gives instructions to change directions
slowing pace to allow a close and careful study
of native plants along the roadside,
a stately brick farmhouse, a skull with empty windows, abandoned,
its outbuildings only roofs in the tall grass
as if melting back into the earth from whence they were created;
then a curving exit that leaves the noise of four lanes behind a rise,
a sojourn on a quiet two-lane three-digit backroad,
once the lifeline before the interstate, now empty;
clusters of buildings at intersections, one traffic light flashing yellow,
old farms and equipment,
rusted industrial structures,
a field gone entirely to Queen Anne’s Lace,
some cows on a hillside,
and everywhere roadside stands
celebrate the first flush of mid-summer bounty;
collect loose change from pockets and floor of car
and with the dole,
buy fresh homegrown sweet corn to feed thy soul.

Poem © 2006, B. E. Kazmarski

Read more poetry here on Today or visit my poetry page to see more about my poetry and other writing, and to purchase Paths I Have Walked.


poetry book

I’m proud to offer a folio of my poetry

Paths I Have Walked: the poetry and art of Bernadette E. Kazmarski

FROM FOUR ANNUAL POETRY READINGS AT ANDREW CARNEGIE FREE LIBRARY & MUSIC HALL IN CARNEGIE, PA

People who attended one or more of my poetry readings encouraged me to publish some of my poetry in a book from the beginning.

Once I completed my 2010 poetry reading, my fourth featuring the final piece of artwork in the “Art of the Watershed” series, I decided it was time to publish something and it should be those four poetry readings.

Poetry books are not best-sellers; it’s difficult to convince a publisher to risk effort on a beginning poet, and while self-publishing is the best option it’s not inexpensive and once you’ve got the book, someone’s got to market it. Plus, I’m a graphic designer and I designed books for years, and I want things my way.

All of this is a recipe for a little bit of trouble, but I decided the book was well worth the effort so I designed the book myself and had a set printed—no ISBN or anything formal, but it’s a start! I’m really excited to offer it.

Books are 4.25″ x 11″, 40 pages of information and poetry, with glossy covers featuring “Dusk in the Woods” and little thumbnails of all four pieces in “Art of the Watershed”.

$8.00 each plus $2.50 shipping (they are oversized for mailing first class).

You can order one on my poetry page, or in my Marketplace.

About the books and the poetry readings

My biggest inspiration for poetry, prose and artwork is the world right around me, and I enjoy the opportunity to share it from the perspective of one who walks and hikes and bikes and carries a camera, art materials and journal everywhere—even around the house—so the inspirations are fresh.

In December, 2006, two of my poems were chosen to be published on a section of the Prairie Home Companion website entitled “Stories From Home/First Person” for submissions of writing about the place we feel most familiar. I’m a long-time listener to PHC and reader of Garrison Keillor’s books as well as a daily listener to The Writer’s Almanac featuring news about writers and writing and of interest to writers as well as a poem, all compiled and read by Keillor himself. I was astonished to find my poems were among the first chosen from apparently thousands, and so happy to be able to share them with a potential audience of so many similarly inclined writers and readers.

My poetry readings and art exhibits were the vision of Maggie Forbes, executive director of the Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall, after learning of my publishing of those two poems. I owe her many thanks for encouraging me to present this combination of my visual and literary art, a first for me. I love that building, every inch of it, and the opportunity to bring people in to visit is an honor.


Market Flowers

market flowers
market flowers

Market Flowers

I don’t think I need to explain what my inspiration was for this photo; the photo says it all by itself. I’m thinking of all those of you who have expressed your love for flowers. Here they are!

. . . . . . .

Purchase a canvas or a print of this image

Canvas print

canvas print of flowers

Canvas print of “Market Flowers”

Such a huge variety of flowers in buckets at the market! This 14″ x 14″ canvas print is beautifully printed in archival inks on artist canvas and gallery wrapped around 1″ stretchers. Sides are finished in white. You can find it in my Etsy shop.

I can also prepare a print in a variety of styles and sizes.

You can also find it in my Fine Art America portfolio under Market Flowers. You can purchase an art print framed or unframed, a canvas print, metal print, greeting card and a few other options as well!


Poem for Saturday: Road Trip, Late July, Western Pennsylvania

Fence with queen anne's lace
Fence with queen anne's lace

Queen Anne’s Lace

I’m a little late with this, considering it’s August, but July slipped by so quickly—and even in August, you’ll see these same things. In truth, I’d wanted to do a photo slideshow and record this one, maybe for next year.

Road Trip, Late July, Western Pennsylvania

Green, green waves ahead
diminishing to blue over the northern horizon
exalted rises and shadowed valleys gradually made plain
to rolling hills and misted hollows
interstate unrolled as ribbon
around hill and following valley,
signs noting unseen destinations
bearing hopeful small town names:
“Freedom”
“Prosperity”
“Harmony”
little hamlets of Pennsylvania coal being crushed to diamonds,
glittering in the vales;
a gauze curtain of rain shower flows across hills
soaking opposite side of road
but the sun shines brightly ahead,
occasionally a sudden cluster of official orange obstructions
gives instructions to change directions
slowing pace to allow a close and careful study
of native plants along the roadside,
a stately brick farmhouse, a skull with empty windows, abandoned,
its outbuildings only roofs in the tall grass
as if melting back into the earth from whence they were created;
then a curving exit that leaves the noise of four lanes behind a rise,
a sojourn on a quiet two-lane three-digit backroad,
once the lifeline before the interstate, now empty;
clusters of buildings at intersections, one traffic light flashing yellow,
old farms and equipment,
rusted industrial structures,
a field gone entirely to Queen Anne’s Lace,
some cows on a hillside,
and everywhere roadside stands
celebrate the first flush of mid-summer bounty;
collect loose change from pockets and floor of car
and with the dole,
buy fresh homegrown sweet corn to feed thy soul.

Poem © 2006, B. E. Kazmarski

Read more poetry here on Today or visit my poetry page to see more about my poetry and other writing, and to purchase Paths I Have Walked.


poetry book

I’m proud to offer a folio of my poetry

Paths I Have Walked: the poetry and art of Bernadette E. Kazmarski

FROM FOUR ANNUAL POETRY READINGS AT ANDREW CARNEGIE FREE LIBRARY & MUSIC HALL IN CARNEGIE, PA

People who attended one or more of my poetry readings encouraged me to publish some of my poetry in a book from the beginning.

Once I completed my 2010 poetry reading, my fourth featuring the final piece of artwork in the “Art of the Watershed” series, I decided it was time to publish something and it should be those four poetry readings.

Poetry books are not best-sellers; it’s difficult to convince a publisher to risk effort on a beginning poet, and while self-publishing is the best option it’s not inexpensive and once you’ve got the book, someone’s got to market it. Plus, I’m a graphic designer and I designed books for years, and I want things my way.

All of this is a recipe for a little bit of trouble, but I decided the book was well worth the effort so I designed the book myself and had a set printed—no ISBN or anything formal, but it’s a start! I’m really excited to offer it.

Books are 4.25″ x 11″, 40 pages of information and poetry, with glossy covers featuring “Dusk in the Woods” and little thumbnails of all four pieces in “Art of the Watershed”.

$8.00 each plus $2.50 shipping (they are oversized for mailing first class).

You can order one on my poetry page, or in my Marketplace.

About the books and the poetry readings

My biggest inspiration for poetry, prose and artwork is the world right around me, and I enjoy the opportunity to share it from the perspective of one who walks and hikes and bikes and carries a camera, art materials and journal everywhere—even around the house—so the inspirations are fresh.

In December, 2006, two of my poems were chosen to be published on a section of the Prairie Home Companion website entitled “Stories From Home/First Person” for submissions of writing about the place we feel most familiar. I’m a long-time listener to PHC and reader of Garrison Keillor’s books as well as a daily listener to The Writer’s Almanac featuring news about writers and writing and of interest to writers as well as a poem, all compiled and read by Keillor himself. I was astonished to find my poems were among the first chosen from apparently thousands, and so happy to be able to share them with a potential audience of so many similarly inclined writers and readers.

My poetry readings and art exhibits were the vision of Maggie Forbes, executive director of the Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall, after learning of my publishing of those two poems. I owe her many thanks for encouraging me to present this combination of my visual and literary art, a first for me. I love that building, every inch of it, and the opportunity to bring people in to visit is an honor.


End of Season, 2011

empty farmer's market
empty farmer's market

End of Season

I got to the Farmer’s Market at the last minute on its last day, the Wednesday before Thanksgiving to find just three vendors. I got my half-bushel of Honey Crisp apples to last the winter, some cabbage and a few tomatoes, plus squashes and talked to them about next season as they packed up.

view of farmer's market

The farmer’s market in August.

I had thought it was a little busier this year, and the vendors agreed that while Friday night was about the same as always, other nights had picked up business with more people cooking at home perhaps and looking for good quality fresh produce, really fresh. I had also noticed many other ethnicities and their attire, saris, kaftans, colorful skirts, turbans, and guessed at the languages recognizing Ukrainian and Polish and Russian, also Hindi, Farsi, German, what sounded like Finnish or Norwegian, and dialects of English from the British Isles.

This Farmer’s Market is the oldest in the area, opening right after World War II, with 40 vendors three nights a week at the height of the season. Farmers come from seven counties to be there. I wrote another article about it in September when it was busiest, and here’s a photo of what it normally looks like.


Hot Peppers on a Cold Day

hot peppers at the market
hot peppers at the market

Hot Peppers at the Market

Cold rain fell on the peppers but didn’t dull their colors, a warming sight for a cold day. I applied the “fresco” filter in Photoshop to this photo; the original is below. The red chiles were so intense in the cool light that I couldn’t get the color under control.

hot peppers at the market

Hot Peppers at the Market, original photo.


At the Farmer’s Market, 2009

farmer's market
farmer's market

Arriving at the Market.

I shop at a very large farmer’s market in Gladden, “out in the middle of nowhere” as it were. It’s huge with 40 vendors at the height of the season and it’s open three nights a week from May until the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.

farmer's market

Deliberations.

I sat in the back seat of one of my dad’s vast cars as we drove there when I was growing up, and the drive out there and the market, and my enjoyment of both, haven’t changed much since then. A glimpse of horses or cows or a farmhouse lit by the golden early evening sunlight and nestled on the gently rolling hillsides is still just as exciting. Even now, the crowds of people earnestly shopping for their produce, the conversations flying back and forth over the tables of produce and products between the farmers and the customers, the smells of the cooked food and the sound of the clanging kettle at the kettle korn stand are so familiar that I miss it when it’s over and long for it in the spring.

farmers market

Full view of the market.

Even though the place is at a desolate intersection on a four-lane highway, beginning this year I’ve sat in line at the left-turn light for up to fifteen minutes to get in, even almost two hours after the market has opened for the evening. I don’t mind—in fact, I’m glad of it because it means more and more people are shopping there. For many years I couldn’t find any markets and couldn’t make it to this one very often at all, but now they’ve sprung up everywhere and seemingly every community has its market every week for most of the summer.

farmer's market

This is just one vendor!

I’m glad to see people taking advantage of good food grown locally, and it seems they take the food more seriously when it’s sold to them by the very people who planned the crops in the winter, planted and tended the plants through unpredictable weather, harvested and cleaned and packaged and brought it to the place for sale. I sometimes wonder how farmers do it, especially when they often have day jobs to make ends meet, as if farming isn’t enough of a day job already. I like to look at the person who’s done all that work mostly for my benefit and smile and say “thank you”, and if they think the thanks is just the formality of a small business transaction, I know better. Read about two of the oldest farmers I know of who have been there for decades.


Four Peppers, 2011

four sweet peppers in basket
four sweet peppers in basket

Four Peppers

These four colorful peppers in one end of  my basket were eye-catchingly beautiful and mouth-wateringly tempting. They’re not absolutely uniform, perfectly formed, evenly colored and even have a little bit of soil still on them from a rain earlier in the day. They are good, honest farmer’s market peppers, picked that day, sorted, washed and packed, driven here and put on display by the person to whom I handed my money.

I chose this particular basket because of the arrangement of these four peppers. Then, when I got to my car and set it down to open the door, I looked down to see this perfect photo and took it right there in the parking lot of the farmer’s market, in the warm evening sun.

The little bit of mud-splash left on them from a storm earlier in the day just confirmed their freshness. These four have already been grilled along with a big red onion and thick-sliced tomato and placed atop pasta with some freshly-grated parmesan. A good bit of the joy of food for me is what it looks like.

You can purchase prints of this photo up to 24″ x 24″ at my Fine Art America site, Four Peppers.


Nearing the End of A Long, Hard Career, 2010

two farmers at table of vegetables

A Long, Hard Career

The farmer’s market where I shop has 40 to 50 vendors at the peak of the summer, and while it’s open three nights a week, Friday is the happening night. It’s away from the city in a more rural area, but there’s a traffic jam at the intersection in the middle of nowhere on Friday night.

It’s been open since right after WWII, May to November, and several of the largest truck farms around are there as well as some of the smallest farmers. I enjoy shopping there, being part of the bustle and noise, looking at all the beautiful produce, buying something from as many stands as possible and saying a meaningful “thank you” to each one, knowing the person I’m paying is the one who picked the stuff today, cleaned and packed it for tonight, and is also the person who planted and grew it.

Whenever these gentlemen are there I can always find something to buy from them, and this Friday I found myself among a crowd of others who do the same. The two men are uncle and nephew, and the younger man, in the background, is in a wheelchair. They never have a lot of stuff, compared to the other vendors, but just enough to handle it seems.

The older man moves a little slowly and he can’t always make change well, but nobody minds, everyone is patient. He’s a little difficult to understand because he apparently has no teeth, and the place is so noisy, but we do our best. The other man tries to help him but he has some motor coordination issues in his hands. It’s no problem to wait an extra few seconds.

While we waited for him to pack peppers into a paper bag for another person at the table, the man in front of me asked him how much the peaches were: $2.50 per basket. He turned around to me and asked if I was getting the peaches too. No, I was getting some potatoes, neatly scrubbed and positively glowing in the evening light. I always buy from these guys when they’re here, I said. The man in front of me nodded, Me too.

The woman paying for peppers looked at us and nodded as well, and the man behind her. We looked around at others smiling and nodding—and I had nearly whispered it to the man ahead of me, but the message must have resonated with all of us waiting in line. What a wonderful thing to know.

Through the years I’ve learned little, but they’ve been coming here since the market opened. They are both veterans, of WWII and Viet Nam, and lifelong farmers, but I wonder how they manage to prepare and load crates of vegetables in the truck. I wonder where they find the strength to get up in the morning.

I don’t want to ask probing questions, but I looked at the older man’s hardened, thin body and gaunt face and I know he’s worked hard, physically hard, every day, in a way most of us would never stand up to.

And yet he is always, always smiling. When I point out the basket of potatoes I’d like and he picks up a paper bag, I hand him one I’ve brought that’s already open. Here, use this, save your new one for someone else, I say. He smiles even broader, Thanks, honey, he says.

What the heck is he thanking me for?

We all want to help these two in some way, knowing this evening gig is probably hard for both of them, but the best way to help them is by doing just what we’re doing—buying something from them.

I want to thank them, though, for growing vegetables so well, for coming there every week, for working so hard for so many years and providing food for thousands of people, for supporting our economy, for staying with farming when it’s so difficult, for serving in the armed forces, for being a symbol of so many things I’ve always seen as good about this country.

Thank you, I say as he hands me my change. I can’t stand there and thank him for all those things, but I can at least say “thank you”.

And I think he knows I don’t mean it’s just for the transaction. I think that understanding is what’s behind his smile.


Market Flowers: 2010

market flowers

Market Flowers

I don’t think I need to explain what my inspiration was for this photo; the photo says it all by itself. I’m thinking of all those of you who have expressed your love for flowers. Here they are!

If you like this image, I have it available in my Fine Art America portfolio under Market Flowers. You can purchase an art print framed or unframed, a canvas print, metal print, greeting card and a few other options as well!