Vegetables  –  Quotes, Poems, Sayings, Quips for Gardeners

Vegetables  –  Quotes, Poems, Sayings, Quips for Gardeners

Vegetables  –  Quotes, Poems, Sayings, Quips for Gardeners


Compiled by Michael P. Garofalo



Shall I not have intelligence with the earth? 
Am I not partly leaves and vegetable mould myself.
–  Henry David Thoreau



This cabbage, these carrots, these potatoes, these onions … will soon become me.  Such a tasty fact!
–  Mike Garofalo



The artist Arcimboldo drew a “Portrait of the Emperor Rudolph II as Autumn.” 
This Man made out of Vegetables and Fruits  is a delightful characterization of the real truth in this case. 

Vegetable Nirvana



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Digging potatoes is always an adventure, somewhat akin to fishing.  There is forever the possibility that the next cast – or the next thrust of the digging fork –  will turn up a clunker.
–  Jerome Belanger



“Of the two thousand or so species in the bulging genus Solanum, about 170 are tuber-bearers.  Of the tuber-bearers, only eight are routinely cultivated and eaten by people, and most of these have stuck pretty close to home in the Andes of Peru.  Only one has reached international stardom: S. tuberosum, commonly known as the potato.  The potato probably originated in Peru, where indications are that it was domesticated over six thousand years ago by high-altitude-dwelling 
ancestors of the Incas.”
–   Blue Corn and Square Tomatoes: Unusual Facts about Common Garden Vegetables.
By Rebecca Rupp.  Garden Way Publishing 1987. 

Francisco Pizarro found the potato in Ecuador and brought them to Spain in the early sixteenth century.  By 1633, John Gerard’s Herball included a whole chapter on the potato. 



In the night the cabbages catch at the moon, the leaves drip silver, the rows of cabbages are a series of little silver waterfalls in the moon.
–  Carl Sandburg




Karen Garofalo, Labor Day, 9/5/2011



Jokes, Riddles and Humor for Gardeners



Tomatoes and squash never fail to reach maturity.  You can spray them with acid, beat them with sticks and burn them; they love it.
–  S. J. Perelman



And he gave it for his opinion, that whoever could make two ears of corn, or two blades of grass, to grow upon a spot of ground where only one grew before, would deserve better of mankind, and do more essential service to his country, than the whole race of politicians put together.
–  Jonathan Swift, Gulliver’s Travels



Vegetable gardening might be considered one of the great conservative rituals.
–   David M. Tucker, 1993



Why do potatoes make good detectives?
Because they keep their eyes peeled.



Fruits and Nuts  –   Quotes for Gardeners



It’s difficult to think anything but pleasant thoughts while eating a homegrown tomato.
–  Lewis Grizzard



What do you get if you divide the circumference of a pumpkin by its diameter?
Pumpkin pi.



I am thinking of the onion again.  …  Not self-righteous like the proletarian potato, nor a siren like the apple.  No show-off like the banana.  But a modest, self-effacing vegetable, questioning, introspective, peeling itself away, or merely radiating halos like ripples.
–  Erica Jong, Fruits and Vegetables, 1971



It’s no use boiling your cabbage twice.
–  Irish proverb



As a whole, the temple represents a deified mountain – a place of creation, a source of life-giving water (such as a cave, spring, stream, or waterfall), and birthplace of the sacred maize plant.  The head of this mountain deity, which combines the attributes of both mother and father, is depicted on the lower central part of the roof crest, with a cleft in its forehead from which maize sprouts.
–  Mayan Temple in Copan, Mexico







Sex is good, but not as good as fresh, sweet corn.
–  Garrison Keillor



As for vegetables, I do not consider a plot of ground devoted to them worthy of the honorable name of garden.  Vegetables are, of course, a part of gardening, but the least, the last, –for those who do not have to raise them, the most dishonorable part.
–   H. G. Dwight, Gardens and Gardens



My Majesty made for him a garden anew in order to present to him vegetables and all beautiful flowers.
–  Offerings of Thutmose III to Amon-Ra (1500 BCE)



How can you tell a chili bean from a regular bean?
The chilly one wears a shawl.



The first gatherings of the garden in May of salads, radishes and herbs made me feel like a mother about her baby – how could anything so beautiful be mine.  And this emotion of wonder filled me for each vegetable as it was gathered every year.  There is nothing that is comparable to it, as satisfactory or as thrilling, as gathering the vegetables one has grown.
–  Alice B. Toklas



Sowe Carrets in you Gardens, and humbly praise God for them, as for a singular and great blessing.
–  Richard Gardiner
   Profitable Instructions for the Manuring, Sowing and Planting of Kitchen Gardens (1599)



Food – Quotes for Gardeners



The greatest service which can be rendered any country is to add a useful plant to its culture.
–  Thomas Jefferson



What vegetable did Noah not take on the ark?



Last night we had three small zucchini for dinner that were grown within fifty feet of our back door.  I estimate they cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $371.49 each.
–  Andy Rooney



Its bizarre that the produce manager is more important to my children’s health than the pediatrician.
–  Meryl Streep



He had been eight years upon a project for extracting sunbeams out of cucumbers, which were to be put into vials hermetically sealed, and let out to warm the air in raw, inclement summers.
–  Jonathan Swift



Zucchinis terrific!
Like bunnies, prolific!
–  Author Unknown



It’s a guy thing to plant vegetables in your front flower bed, but then again, it’s also a guy thing to put them out back in a big rectangle.  It’s a little radical to put them in front, a statement that you can do whatever you want in your own damn yard.
–  Warren Schultz



The trouble is, you cannot grow just one zucchini.  Minutes after you plant a single seed, hundreds of zucchini will barge out of the ground and sprawl around the garden, menacing the other vegetables.  At night, you will be able to hear the ground quake as more and more zucchinis erupt.
–  Dave Barry



I used to visit and revisit it a dozen times a day, and stand in deep contemplation over my vegetable progeny with a love that nobody could share or conceive of who had never taken part in the process of creation.  It was one of the most bewitching sights in the world to observe a hill of beans thrusting aside the soil, or a rose of early peas just peeping forth sufficiently to trace a line of delicate green.
–   Nathaniel Hawthorne, Mosses from and Old Manse




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Onion Garden
A Concrete Poem by Michael P. Garofalo
‘crete ‘oems: mpgarofalo



An idealist is one who, on noticing that roses smell better than a cabbage, concludes that it will also make better soup.
–  Henry L. Mencken



What did one bean say to the other bean?
How you bean doing?



Our vegetable garden is coming along well, with radishes and beans up, and we are less worried about revolution that we used to be.
–  E. B. White



Better to eat vegetables and fear no creditors, than eat duck and hide from them.
–  The Talmud



“In order to live off a garden, you practically have to live in it.
–  Frank McKinney Hubbard



What do you do when a tomato goes on strike?
You picket.  



Quotes for Gardeners
A Collection Growing to Over 3,500 Quotes Arranged by 150 Topics
Quotes, Sayings, Proverbs, Poetry, Maxims, Quips, Clichés, Adages
Compiled by Michael P. Garofalo



Let first the onion flourish there,
Rose among the roots, the maiden-fair
Wine scented and poetic soul
of the capacious salad bowl.
–  Robert Louis Stevenson



There’s no getting blood out of a turnip.
–  Frederick Marryat,  1792 – 1848



in the water bucket
          a melon and an eggplant
      nodding to each other
                –   Yosa Buson



Fine words butter no parsnips. 



Nature, at whose feet every one who does any gardening must sit and learn, settled the question ages and ages before mankind began to cultivate flowers, by creating the annual as the great filler-in of the vegetable world – the finishing touch to her handiwork. 
–  Benjamin Goodrich



The best hemp and the best tobacco grow on the same kind of soil.  The former article is of the first necessity to the wealth and protection of the country.  The latter, never useful.
–  Thomas Jefferson



The abundance of everything around was so great, that .. over-ripe fruit strewed the ground unheeded, while peas and beanstalks, still loaded, were blackening and yellowing in the sun; and vegetables running on all sides to waste.
–  Anne Marsh



Work – Quotes for Gardeners



I do not like broccoli. And I haven’t liked it since I was a little kid and my mother made me eat it. And I’m President of the United States and I’m not going to eat any more broccoli.
–  George Bush, U.S. President, 1990



Let my words, like vegetables, be tender and sweet, for tomorrow I may have to eat them.
–  Author Unknown



A garden, the, is a finite place, in which a gardener (or several gardeners) has created, working with or against nature, a plot whose intention it is to provide pleasure; possibly in the form of beauty, possibly in the form of cabbages – and possibly, beautiful cabbages. 
–  Abby Adams, The Gardener’s Gripe Book  



What do you call a stolen yam?
A hot potato.



When gardening, I have one gift
You won’t find in any manuals –
I know it’s strange, but I can change
Perennials to annuals.”
–  Dick Emmons 



Winter squashes are the forgotten vegetables.  Almost no vegetable is as easy to grow or keep.  With fertile soil, full 
sun and ample water, vines take off.   And after plants become established, they’re so carefree, it’s easy to forget them until fall when their rediscovery makes the harvest that much sweeter.
–  Andy Tomolonis 



For all things produced in a garden, whether of salads or fruits, a poor man will eat better that has one of his own, than a rich man that has none.
–  J. C. Loudoun







Most plants taste better when they’ve had to suffer a little.
–   Diana Kennedy







Cabbage:   A vegetable about as large and wise as a man’s head.
–  Ambrose Bierce







The greatest delight the fields and woods minister is the suggestion of an occult relation between
man and the vegetable.   I am not alone and unacknowledged.  They nod to me and I to them.
–   Ralph Waldo







What is a Honeymoon Salad?
Lettuce alone, with no dressing.






Garlic is as good as ten mothers.








To my favorite honeydew, do you carrot all for me?
My heart beets for you, with your turnip nose, and radish face.
You are a peach. If we cantaloupe, lettuce marry.
Weed make a swell pear.
–  Author Unknown







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The smell of manure, of sun on foliage, of evaporating water, rose to my head; two steps farther,
and I could look down into the vegetable garden enclosed within its tall pale of
reeds – rich chocolate earth studded emerald green, frothed with the white of cauliflowers,
jeweled with the purple globes of eggplant and the scarlet wealth of tomatoes.
–   Doris Lessing







Just washed,
How chill
The white leeks!
–  Basho







Quotes for Gardeners

A Collection Growing to Over 2,700 Quotes Arranged by 130 Topics
Quotes, Sayings, Proverbs, Poetry, Maxims, Quips, Clichés, Adages
Compiled by Michael P. Garofalo







Ripe vegetables were magic to me.  Unharvested, the garden bristled with
possibility.   I would quicken at the sight of a ripe tomato, sounding its redness
from deep amidst the undifferentiated green.  To lift a bean plant’s hood of
heartshaped leaves and discover a clutch of long slender pods handing
underneath could make me catch my breath.
–  Michael Pollan







Have you heard of the garlic diet?
You don’t lose much weight, but from a distance your friends think you look thinner.







The west wasn’t won on salad.
–   North Dakota Beef Council advertisement, 1990







An onion can make people cry, but there’s no vegetable that can make them laugh.
–   Anonymous







Each year the big garden grew smaller and Jane – who grew flowers by choice,
not corn or stringbeans – worked at the vegetables more than I did.  Each winter I
dreamed crops, dreamed marvels of canning  …   and each summer I largely failed. 
Shamefaced, I planted no garden at all.”
–  Donald Hall








    People are like Potatoes!   

    Some people never seem motivated to participate, but are content to watch others …
    They are called “Speck Tators.”

    Some are always looking to cause problems and really get under your skin …
    They are called “Aggie Tators.”

    There are those who are always saying they will, but somehow, they never get around to doing  …
    We call them “Hezzie Tators.”  
            –  From the laughalot-owner on the Net


   Some folks spent a lot of time sitting and peering into their garden … 
   They are called “Medi Tators.” 

   There are those that try to maximize their crop yields while reducing expenses …  
   We call them “Compu Tators.”
            –  Mike Garofalo







When is a cucumber like a strawberry?
When one is in a pickle and the other is in a jam.







Clichés – Quotes for Gardeners







A strawberry blossom will not sweeten dry bread.
– Buganda Proverb







The crooked little tomato branches, pulpy and pale as if made of cheap green paper,
broke under the weight of so much fruit; there was something frantic in such fertility,
a crying-out like that of children frantic to please.
–  John Updike








I came to love my rows, my beans, though so many more than I wanted. 
They attached me to the earth, and so I got strength like Antaeus.
–  Henry David Thoreau







What vegetable can tie your stomach in knots?
String beans.







Cabbages, whose heads, tightly folded see and hear nothing of this world,
dreaming only on the yellow and green magnificence that is hardening within them.
–   John Haines







Now in the east
the white bean
and the great squash
are tied with the rainbow.
Listen! the rain’s drawing near!
The voice of the bluebird is heard.
–   Navaho Indian Chant, Songs in the Garden of the House God







Grains – Quotes for Gardeners








The word ‘vegetable’ has no precise botanical meaning in reference to food plants, 
and we find that almost all parts of plants have been employed as vegetables – roots 
(carrot and beet), stems (Irish potato and asparagus), leaves (spinach and lettuce), 
leaf stalk (celery and Swiss chard), bracts (globe artichoke), flower stalks and buds
(broccoli and cauliflower), fruits (tomato and squash), seeds (beans), and even the 
petals (Yucca and pumpkin).
–   Charles Heiser, Seed to Civilization







Why is it not wise to tell secrets in a cornfield?
There are too many ears.








Can the garden afford any thing more delightful to view than those forests of asparagus, 
artichokes, lettuce, pease, beans and other legumes and edulous plants so different in 
colour and of such various shapes, rising at it were from the dead and piercing the ground
 in so many thousand places as they do, courting the admiration or requiring the care of 
the diligent Gardiner.
–  Stephen Switzer, The Practical Gardener, 1727




Life is like an onion: you peel off layer after layer 
and then you find there is nothing in it.
–   James Gibbons Huneker





As for vegetables, I do not consider a plot of
ground devoted to them worthy of the honorable name of
garden.  Vegetables are, of course, a part of gardening, but the
least, the last, for those who do not have to raise them, the
most dishonorable part.
–   H. G. Dwight, Gardens and Gardening, Atlantic Monthly, 1912







Pulling Onions
Observations and Quips of a Gardener







Tomatoes and oregano make it Italian; wine and tarragon make it French. 
Sour cream makes it Russian; lemon and cinnamon make it Greek.
Soy sauce makes it Chinese; garlic makes it good.
–   Alice May Brock







The garden should be adorned with roses and lilies, the turnsole, violets, and mandrake;
there you should have parsley, cost, fennel, southern-wood, coriander, sage, savory,
hyssop, mint, rue, dittany, smallage, pellitory, lettuces, garden-cress, and peonies.   There
should also be beds planted with onions, leeks, garlic, pumpkins and shallots.   The
cucumber growing in its lap, the drowsy poppy, the daffodil and brank-ursine ennoble
a garden.  Nor are there wanting, if occasion further thee, pottage-herbs: beets,
herb-mercury, orache, sorrel and mallows, anise, mustard, white pepper and
wormwood do good service to the gardener.
–  Alexander of Neckham, Of the Nature of Things, 1187







What is small, red and whispers?
A hoarse radish.






An ear of corn is 80% water.







  What was paradise, but a garden full of vegetables
and herbs and pleasure?  Nothing there but delights.
        –  William Lawson







Vegetable Nirvana





Completely dried up,
They’ve become beans.
–   Santoka Taneda, 1882-1940
Mountain Tasting, Translated by John Stevens




Let food be your medicine and medicine be your food.
–  Hippocrates








He who sows peas on the highway does not get all the pods into his barn.
–   Danish Proverb







Life . . . is an onion.  One peels it while crying.
–   Author Unknown








In our gardens, Lord Ganesha sends His power through fruits
and vegetables, the ones that grow above the ground, to permeate
our nerve system with wisdom, clearing obstacles in our path
when eaten. The growers of them treat it like they would
care for Ganesha in His physical form.
–  Hindu Deva Shastra, verse 438,  Nature Devas







Trees – Quotes for Gardeners








Native Americans all over the U.S. and Canada use a term they call the Three Sisters
to describe the Native American way of life through the gardening technique of
planting corn, beans and squash together on the same mound.  These Three Sisters – corn,
beans and squash supplement and compliment each other.  The vines of the bean plant
grow up the corn stalk.  The huge leaves of the squash vines keep the ground moist for
all of the roots.  The nutritious vitamins from each of the plants escapes into the soil
so that they each benefit from one another.
–  Deborah Champlain








In the right place at the right time,
tomato worms on tomato vines.
She is perfectly still, calm and concerned;
poised by the vines, hunting for worms.
–   Mike Garofalo, Cuttings







in my garden
            I pick a musk melon
       feeling like a thief
                     –   Yosa Buson








I believe that the energy of humans who touched those beans goes into
the beans as well.  They become vibrant because of the handling.  This
vibrancy is something that a machine or harvester doesn’t have.  From
my standpoint … I believe that if food is grown and prepared with love …
infused with love  … well, it can be the humblest of food, but because
it’s prepared with love, it’s special.
–   Valerie Phipps, Pescadero, California






Shadows from a slice of moonshine
Ripple round the sagging vines
Unburdened of their sweet red sex,
Withered, grotesquely bent, impotent.
Yet they live on, now as I:
Mouthfuls of wet seeds turned to chyme,
Reborn as muscles, eyes, and Mind.
–  Mike Garofalo, Cuttings: September








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Links and References




Asian Vegetables
  Dictionary, research, and great links.

The Best Gardening and Organic Gardening Sites


   Excellent selection of cookbooks for all needs and interests.

Chez Panisse Vegetables.
   By Alice Waters.  Illustrated by Patricia Curtan.    Harper Collins, 1996. 
368 pages.  ISBN:  0060171472.   Lavishly illustrated, highly informative, outstanding cookbook. 

Claire’s Italian Feast: 165 Vegetarian Recipes from Nonna’s Kitchen.
   By Claire Criscuolo.  
Plume Books, 1998.  224 pages.  ISBN: 0452278813. 

Corn Growers Guide Book

Elizabeth and Crow’s Awesome Organic Cybergarden

Fire Girl – Hot Chilis

The Heretic’s Feast: A History of Vegetarianism.
   By Colin Spencer.  University Press of 
New England, Reprint Edition, 1996.  ISBN: 0874517605. 

Howard Garrett’s Basic Organic Program

Gardening Naturally, The Natural Gardener

Herbs for Health – Juli Kight

Lynne’s Pepper Museum

Mike’s Pepper Garden

Native American Technology and Art

The Nature of Our Garden

No Time Productions
  Useful information on a variety of herbs, Latin terms, and many 
nice products: herbs, good books, pots, etc..  

Vegetable Research and Information Center.
   University of California at Davis. 

Vegetable Index.
  Oregon State University.  Excellent!

The Vegetarian Feast
.   By Martha Rose Shulman.  Harper Perennial Library, 1995.   
Revised Edition.  320 pages.   IISBN: 0060950013. 

Vegetarians in Paradise

Organic Gardening

Organic Gardening and Farming Resources

Plants for a Future

Rhubarb Compendium

West African Vegetables

Yahoo’s Links to Organic Gardening

Yahoo’s Links to Vegetables







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More Quotes





Spirituality and Concerns of the Soul


Weeds and Weeding

Simplicity and the Simple Life

Pulling Onions
Quips and Whimsy by Michael P. Garofalo

The Essence of Gardening

Working in the Garden

Garden Digest Links


Haiku Poetry  –  Links and References

Clichés for Gardeners and Farmers

The History of Gardening Timeline
From Ancient Times to the 20th Century

Short Poems by Mike Garofalo

Seeing and Vision

Beauty in the Garden

Seasons and Time

Comments about this Web Site

Jokes, Riddles and Humor





Quotes for Gardeners

Quotes, Sayings, Proverbs, Poetry, Maxims, Quips, Clichés, Adages, Wisdom
A Collection Growing to Over 2,700 Quotes, Arranged by 130 Topics
Many of the Documents Include Recommended Readings and Internet Links.
Compiled by Michael P. Garofalo





The Spirit of Gardening










Distributed on the Internet by Green Way Research

Compiled by Michael P. Garofalo

Ways to Communicate with Mike
Red Bluff, California


A Short Biography of Mike Garofalo


Vegetables  –  Quotes for Gardeners.   5.1
This document was first distributed on the Internet on January 1, 1999.
Green Way Research




The Spirit of Gardening

Quotes for Gardeners

Haiku and Zen Poetry

The History of Gardening Timeline


Cloud Hands: Taijiquan and Qigong




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