Here’s a jolt of color for ya!

17 02 2012

My friend Sonya is working on a diet/health-related design project and asked if I had any photos of produce in my archives that I could share. Here’s a photo that I shot at a local farmer’s market four years ago. Such intense color—just enough to perk me up on this drab, gray, cold winter day.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

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The fruits of Friday

11 06 2010

Just enough to make a single-serving salad, I know—but they’re the first harvest of 2010 and that’s cause enough for celebration! I bought this particular plant at a local plant stand and have planted several more plants that a friend gave me. (Thanks, Sophia!) There’s fruit on other vines, but not ripe just yet. We’re trying out the “Topsy-Turvy Tomato” gizmo this year—I’ll keep you posted on the results. No, you’re not imagining that the plate isn’t completely round—it’s a free form set of appetizer plates from Crate & Barrel. And yes, in fact, I do sing the song below when I pick my tomatoes. Love me some John Denver! 

Home Grown Tomatoes
Words and music by Guy Clark. Recorded by John Denver and first released on his album, Higher Ground. 

There ain’t nothin in the world that I like better
Than bacon ‘n lettuce ‘n homegrown tomatoes
Up in the mornin, out in the garden
Get you a ripe one, don’t pick a hard ‘un
Plant ’em in the spring, eat ’em in the summer
All winter without ’em is a culinary bummer
I forget all about the sweatin and the diggin
Every time I go out and pick me a big ‘un

Home grown tomatoes, home grown tomatoes
What would life be like without homegrown tomatoes
Only two things that money can’t buy
That’s true love and home grown tomatoes

You can go out to eat an that’s for sure
But there’s nothin a homegrown tomato won’t cure
Put ’em in a salad, put ’em in a stew
You can make your own tomato juice
You can eat ’em with eggs, eat ’em with gravy
You can eat ’em with beans, pinto or navy
Put ’em on the side, put ’em in the middle
Home grown tomatoes on a hot cake griddle

Home grown tomatoes, home grown tomatoes
What would life be like without homegrown tomatoes
Only two things that money can’t buy
That’s true love and home grown tomatoes

If I’s to change this life I lead
You could call me Johnny Tomato Seed
Cause I know what this country needs
Home grown tomatoes in every yard you see
When I die don’t bury me
In a box in a cold dark cemetary
Out in the garden would be much better
Cause I could be pushin up a home grown tomato

Home grown tomatoes, home grown tomatoes
What would life be like without homegrown tomatoes
Only two things that money can’t buy
That’s true love and home grown tomatoes

Photo © Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved. 





A plethora of pumpkins (squash and gourds, too)

5 10 2008

Yesterday, Michael and Regina and I went to Nalls Produce in Alexandria to see their huge assortment of pumpkins, gourds, and squash. We got there past the ideal shooting light and I shot most of these in the mid-day sun. Morning light would have been best, eliminating the hard shadows on some of the images, and intensifying the colors. I plan to go back to reshoot some of these for comparison later and will post the reshoot. All in all, I still like most of the images, despite the lighting. I especially want to get a good shot of BLUE pumpkins (which are actually a purple-grayish-blue)!

PUMPKINS
On the subject of pumpkins, did you know that Antarctica is the only continent where pumpkins won’t grow? While researching the myriad varieties of pumpkins, I also learned that:

• The Irish brought the tradition of pumpkin carving to America. The tradition originally started with carving turnips. When the Irish immigrated to the U.S., they found pumpkins were plentiful and easier to carve.

• Pumpkins are 90 percent water and were once recommended for removing freckles and curing snake bites.

• The largest pumpkin ever grown weighed 1,140 pounds and the largest pumpkin pie ever made was over five feet in diameter and weighed over 350 pounds. It used 80 pounds of cooked pumpkin, 36 pounds of sugar, 12 dozen eggs, and took six hours to make.

• The name pumpkin originated from “pepon”—the Greek word for “large melon.”

• Pumpkins are native to North America and have been domestically grown here for five thousand years.

Click here to see the extensive list of the variety of pumpkins that are grown.

For some really sophisticated and very imaginative patterns, check out Martha Stewart‘s site.

Check out Tom Nardone’s www.extremepumpkins.com site for all things pumpkin (including “pumpkin pyrotechnics!)

GOURDS
Wouldn’t you just know it, there is an American Gourd Society! It is located in Kokomo, Indiana. Learn everything you could ever want to know about gourds on the Wayne’s Word site. This site is dedicated to the gourd family and reports that the total number of species may exceed 700!

SQUASH
Nalls also had a wide variety of squash, both ornamental and edible. Click here for a squash glossary, recipes, and decorating ideas. Click here for more recipes and learn the difference between summer and winter squash.

Regina and I were really smitten with the beautiful variation of colors on the Indian corn. Click here to learn why the kernel colors vary in Indian corn.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Now that’s more like it!

11 08 2008

Over the past three days, I have picked 47 grape tomatoes from my garden. Now that is a harvest by townhouse garden standards! I photographed them in this beautiful ceramic bowl my friend Carmen gave me a few years ago. I also picked five more of the yellow tomatoes shown in this posting (a very meager harvest that day) and this posting.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.