The Vegetable Orchestra performs.

The idea of a concert where everyone plays vegetables sounds like a funny one-night-only joke. Still, the Vegetable Orchestra, out of Vienna, has played more than 300 concerts and released 4 albums over the past 25-plus years.

It all started when the group’s founder, Matthias Meinharter, had a silly idea in the kitchen. His friend had signed them up for an hour-long slot at a student festival and they wanted to perform non-traditional music.

“As we were making vegetable soup, we landed on the idea of cooking it on stage and performing a concert with the vegetables while we were doing that,” Meinharter told Atlas Obscura. “It all started as a joke,” he told the BBC. “We were brainstorming what we could do, and we thought: ‘What is the most difficult thing to play music on?’”

The big problem with playing instruments made of vegetables is that they rot. So before every performance, the group has a delivery of 200 to 300 pounds worth of veggies that they fashion into instruments. Getting the right sound from a carrot, leek, or lotus root can also be challenging.

“Vegetables are unpredictable,” Susanna Gartmayer, who plays over a dozen instruments including the carrot marimba and the radish bass flute in the group, told the BBC. “No two pieces of produce are the same. It’s a challenge.”

Following the performance, the leftover vegetables and cut-off parts are cooked into a soup and served to the audience.

Here is a performance of the song “Transplants” live at Volkstheater Vienna on February 11, 2013.

Worldwide one of a kind, the Vegetable Orchestra performs on instruments made of fresh vegetables. The utilization of various ever refined vegetable instrume...