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

Posts tagged “vegetables

September Salads

September Salads
September Salads

September Salads

A little extra leaf lettuce for when the weather turns hot, then cool, in a barrel so the critters can’t get it. I just planted the seeds on Sunday, they actually sprouted by Wednesday, this was taken today, Thursday. I had the seed packet tucked into the edge of the barrel, but apparently the cardinal didn’t like the way that looked and kept pulling it out and tossing it in the barrel. No matter, I can remember what’s planted there. Yum, can’t wait!

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All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, check my Etsy shop or Fine Art America profile to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms.


Past and Prologue

photo of dried parsley plant with seeds
photo of dried parsley plant with seeds

Past and Prologue

The dried, spent parsley plant from last season bearing the seeds for this season’s harvest and the shadow of such.

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For a print of any photo, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms. For photos of lots of black cats and other cats—and even some birds as I first published this post there—visit The Creative Cat.


Entertained by Brussels Sprouts

brussels sprouts in snowy garden
brussels sprouts in snowy garden

Entertained by Brussels Sprouts

I have no idea why they made me laugh, but these Brussels sprouts really make a statement against the snow.

Some plants have to be different.

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For a print of any photo, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms. For photos of lots of black cats and other cats—and even some birds as I first published this post there—visit The Creative Cat.


Winter Vegetables

winter vegetables
winter vegetables

Winter Vegetables

One brief stripe of sun
last chance
before sunset,
the pause to smile
when leaving,
turns onions and potatoes
to bronze, rubies and gold.

Another new poem, like the Winter Sunset haiku. Perhaps it is the sunset in these dark days that is so inspiring.

poem © 2014 bernadette e kazmarski

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For a print of any photo, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms. For photos of lots of black cats and other cats—and even some birds as I first published this post there—visit The Creative Cat.


Alien Life Forms in November Garden

brussels sprouts
brussels sprouts

Alien Life Forms in the November Garden

Plants can look very interesting after they’ve been frosted and snowed on a few times. It’s really just my erstwhile Brussels sprouts, which I’d planted a second set later in the summer to be sure to have some fresh at Thanksgiving. Sprouts are tough, and I’ve often picked them after the frost and even in the snow, and I’ve also cooked the greens which are very much like collards. But the sun’s angle is too low after August and falls behind the trees, so even though it’s temperate and great weather for a cool-season crop like Brussels sprouts, there just isn’t enough sun to make the little sprouts grow. But they made very interesting photo subjects.

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For a print of any photo, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms. For photos of lots of black cats and other cats—and even some birds as I first published this post there—visit The Creative Cat.


Sampler

vegetables in basket
vegetables in basket

Garden Sampler

A little of this and a little of that from the garden, broccoli, a sweet pepper, some tomatoes, ultimately they were marinated and grilled and tossed with pasta.

I was very closely supervised by a sleepy black cat while I harvested this basket.

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For a print of any photo, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms. For photos of lots of black cats and other cats—and even some birds as I first published this post there—visit The Creative Cat.


Eggplants Down the Line

eggplants
eggplants

On Down the Line

Not only is my row of six eggplants producing my largest crop of aubergine than ever, the six plants are still each producing lovely violet blossoms. Here you can see them in a row, new blossoms on plant number one, and the blossoms and eggplants on all the plants down the line. Not bad for having started out the year smashed by the top of my neighbor’s 70-foot maple tree that fell in a storm.

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For a print of any photo, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms. For photos of lots of black cats and other cats—and even some birds as I first published this post there—visit The Creative Cat.


Going Everywhere

eggplant blossom
eggplant blossom

Going Everywhere

The leaves and branches really are going everywhere, and in time, the young eggplant and the young eggplant blossom will go just about everywhere an eggplant can go. I really just loved the random shapes and edges in this image, and the gentle colors in the bright sun of midday.

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For a print of any photo, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms. For photos of lots of black cats and other cats—and even some birds as I first published this post there—visit The Creative Cat.


It’s What’s for Dinner

fresh broccoli
fresh broccoli

Broccoli

I almost feel bad about eating this broccoli tonight. We’ve been spending the past few weeks getting to know each other. But I treat my vegetables kindly, give them treats of composted manure and fishtank water, and talk to them and sing to them. Really, I do, I always have. I let each plant go to seed at the end of its season, and often I save and plant those seeds next year; they are open-pollinated, often heritage, varieties. Getting to know your food is an important thing to do.

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For a print of any photo, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms. For photos of lots of black cats and other cats, visit The Creative Cat.


Yellow Beans

basket of yellow beans
basket of yellow beans

Yellow beans beauty shot.

Four pounds of yellow beans today—the very first thing from my garden after a late start, extended cool weather, excessive heat, heavy rains, and a 70-foot maple tree falling on a portion of it. Yellow beans are like green beans, but better, sweeter, more tender, less of that stringy starchy nature beans get when they’ve been hanging on the plant for too long. I’ve grown them for so many years that I’m surprised when I find other gardeners don’t know about them, or think they are somehow exotic. They are just yellow beans, and lightly steamed and buttered they are a meal in themselves.

basket of yellow beans

Yellow beans in the garden.


Starfire

leek flowers desaturated

Leeks.

leeks in the garden

What leeks normally look like.

Nothing fancy, just a little work in PhotoShop on a very common vegetable. These are the flowers for leeks, a member of the onion family. They are biennial as onions are, growing greens and growing their bulbs the first year, which is when we usually pull and use them. If left to overwinter in the ground the second year the bloom in June with big spheres of flowers at the ends of long rays; these spheres can vary between 2″ and 5″ in diameter. The flowers are pale yellow with a pinkish tinge, but the rays vary from pale pink to bright magenta.

Seeing them in the garden they made me think of balloons on long strings, and abstract patterns. I photographed them from all angles trying for total darkness in the background, and then found I had to adjust some levels because of the contrasts of dark and light I had included in the photos, discovering how cool it looked with just the pink. So I desaturated the green and yellow and left the red, magenta and blue channels alone. Below is a closeup of them.

Leeks are also highly attractive to bees, which is one of the reasons I let them bloom in my garden. All kinds of bees large and small and all colors and shapes come to visit the leeks, bees I’ve never seen before. Here’s a photo of a leek flower with a few bees hanging onto it in Daytime Fireworks.

leek flowers

Leeks again.


Happy Summer!

oscillating sprinkler
oscillating sprinkler

Happy solstice.

Oscillating sprinkler spattering
hot morning sun
dripping tomatoes
summer.

Happy solstice! Today was a rare day for watering but necessary, and because I don’t have my drip hoses set up I used the somewhat wasteful oscillating sprinkler. Such a nice memory of other summer mornings from way, way back seeing the oscillating lawn sprinkler,  my parents’ original aluminum one, slowly waving back and forth in the sun, its funnel-shaped spray looking as if it’s arms were open and reaching to the early morning sky, the misty spray full of rainbows, the water droplets pattering all the leaves.

And below, just to make it complete, dripping tomato cages, happy tomatoes, happy lettuce, happy carrots, happy leeks, happy phlox, and happy me, behind the camera.

garden being watered

Happy garden.


Home-grown Tomatoes

tomatoes on deck rail
tomatoes on deck rail

Tomatoes

My neighbor balanced a few beefsteaks on his deck rail. Perfect composition; often the best are unintentional.


Objects, Abstract

red onion on green plate
red onion on green plate

Objects, Abstract

I photographed this everyday vegetable in my kitchen when the sun angled through the window, highlighting only that, but reflecting in a few other places. It wasn’t want I’d been intending, but I like it better than what I’d been literally shooting for. It’s a red onion, as you might guess from the little tail in the lower right. It’s on an olive green glass raised platter and I’d been trying to get the contrast between the maroon onion and the yellow green glass, but the sun moved before I got the full shot. It just looks like a collection of visual elements until you see the onion.


First Quarter Butternut

black and white photo of butternut
black and white photo of butternut

Butternut squash in first quarter phase.

I have some lovely butternut squash, but these are not those. I shot these black and whites with film about a decade ago using butternuts from my garden.

black and white photo of butternut

Butternut Squash, last quarter phase.

I love their shapes, so voluptuous and sensual, and reminding me so much of the moon in her phases.

black and white photo of butternut

Butternut, full of mystery.

And those twirling tendrils, both the tendrils and the shadows they cast, delicate but definite.

black and white photo of butternut

Butternut has landed.

I still scan my black and whites in full color, and they appear here in RGB, not grayscale, to maintain the integrity of all the gray values. At one point I had thought the resolution and detail of these scans was fine, but now I’m considering a negative scanner to capture all those black and whites.


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.


Homegrown Tomatoes

basket of tomatoes
basket of tomatoes

Homegrown Tomatoes

Only two things money can’t buy, and that’s true love and homegrown tomatoes (thanks Guy Clark).

From my garden. September tomatoes are the best, even if it’s only September 1.


Really Red

red flowers
red flowers

Really Red

It doesn’t get much redder than a scarlet runner bean flower.

Hummingbirds are frantic, still need to catch a photo of them.


Green

green tomato and green leaves
green tomato and green leaves

Green

Tomato just beginning to blush, all is green right now. I also liked the shadows on the tomato.


Peas

row of pea plants
row of pea plants

Pease.

The lead pea plant stands up to make an announcement.

“Today’s garden report shows that, despite the extreme heat and rainless weather, the peas have sprouted and are happily producing new leaves each day, some are even sprouting little tiny tendrils to help them stand when they are tall and mature and covered with pea pods.”

Really, doesn’t this pea plant look as if he is standing with a book open in his hands and he’s reading from it? Don’t know why he’s so much taller than all the others in his row, or in the entire pea bed, but I’m definitely going to keep an eye on him and save seeds if he continues as such an over-achieving pea!

I love each plant in my garden. Some mornings it’s hard to leave it and come inside.


Red Raspberries

red raspberries
red raspberries

Red Raspberries

They speak for themselves. Having a berry hangover from yesterday, especially seeing these berries at the market.


Starfire

leek flowers
leek flowers desaturated

Leeks.

leeks in the garden

What leeks normally look like.

Nothing fancy, just a little work in PhotoShop on a very common vegetable. These are the flowers for leeks, a member of the onion family. They are biennial as onions are, growing greens and growing their bulbs the first year, which is when we usually pull and use them. If left to overwinter in the ground the second year the bloom in June with big spheres of flowers at the ends of long rays; these spheres can vary between 2″ and 5″ in diameter. The flowers are pale yellow with a pinkish tinge, but the rays vary from pale pink to bright magenta.

Seeing them in the garden they made me think of balloons on long strings, and abstract patterns. I photographed them from all angles trying for total darkness in the background, and then found I had to adjust some levels because of the contrasts of dark and light I had included in the photos, discovering how cool it looked with just the pink. So I desaturated the green and yellow and left the red, magenta and blue channels alone. Below is a closeup of them.

Leeks are also highly attractive to bees, which is one of the reasons I let them bloom in my garden. All kinds of bees large and small and all colors and shapes come to visit the leeks, bees I’ve never seen before. Here’s a photo of a leek flower with a few bees hanging onto it in Daytime Fireworks.

leek flowers

Leeks again.