Do you love your vegetables – and a good pun, too?

Well, then, “Beet the System” and do your part to “Squash Hunger.”

You can wear your heart – and your activism – on your sleeve with a “social action vegetable pun T-shirt” from Queen Beet Designs.

Laura Fralich of New Gloucester is the designer behind the clever T-shirts. Any farmer or gardener would love one, if you carrot all about them. (See? We can do it too!)

Fralich said the seed of the idea came to her when she was majoring in environmental studies at Skidmore College in New York.

“I did a lot of farming and gardening in college, and I had a lot of friends that did,” she said. “As a funny thing, we just started coming up with these vegetable pun jokes. We were all social activist people, so they all had some sort of social activist bent to them.”

A few years later, she started sketching drawings to match the puns. She enlisted The Arm Factory, a screen printing company in Portland, to print the shirts.

A mint green shirt urges you to “Stand Up and Take Chard!” A fist that is gripping greens is emblazoned “Kale Not Jail,” and a brown shirt with orange lettering features a carrot pun: “If you don’t carrot won’t happen.”

Fralich started selling the shirts at local shops and farmers markets, but then enrolled in graduate school to get a master’s degree in education. (She has also taught landscaping and gardening at PATHS and through Cultivating Community.) The T-shirt business took a back seat to studying, but now she’s ready to ease back in and start rebuilding her stock. She’s already got some new veggie puns growing in her head that she needs to match with designs.

“It’s thyme for a change.”

“Cukes not nukes.”

She sells the T-shirts, for $20 each, through her Etsy shop at

Take a look, who knows what might turnip?

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