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Food, Glorious Food: Public Domain Images from the USDA

Posted by Laurie Frost on October 22, 2009


Here’s a great source for public domain images having to do with agriculture, and if you eat, you’re involved in agriculture. The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has an on-line Photo Library; this is its usage statement:

The USDA Online Photo Library offers more than 20,000 digital images that are considered public domain and, therefore, are free to use without violating copyright restrictions. Thousands of additional images are housed at the USDA Photo Library, and our photo editors are available to assist with your search.

Flameprince peaches

I had no success browsing the USDA Photo Library at large; I couldn’t find a way in. But the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Image Gallery is a different story. Its  2,000 digital images are organized in nine categories, including animals, crops, insects, plants, and so on. Our opening image is from the fruits & veggies division. Catalog ID numbers and photographer, if available, are listed at the end. Here’s a sample of the  640 pixel images you can download. All images courtesy ARS-USDA.

Hawaiian papayas, Carica papaya

Longans, Dimocarpus longan.

Longans, Dimocarpus longan.

pawpaw tree, Asimina trilboa

Latin American maize

Latin American maize

Autumn Royal grape

Strawberry. Photo by Scott Bauer. k9188-1.jpg

Flameprince. Photo by Keith Weller. K7721-7

Hawaiian papayas, Carica papaya. Photo by Scott Bauer. k7932-1.jpg

The pawpaw tree, Asimina triloba. Photo by Scott Bauer. K7575-8

Longans, Dimocarpus longan. Photo by Scott Bauer. K7891-1

Maize from Latin America. Photo by Keith Weller. k7743-13.jpg

Autumn Royal grape. Photo by Bob Nichols. K7721-7

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