When the mail brings good things

February 16, 2017

The start of the garden! Can't wait.

The start of the garden! Can’t wait.

Complain about the US Postal Service all you want. I love ’em. And UPS, and FedEx.

The proportion of my shopping that’s being done online is growing steadily, a trend that reflects the national move away from brick-and-mortar stores. I still do my grocery shopping in person (though I expect I’ll be using the Kroger ClickList function sooner rather than later, just for the convenience of it), but increasingly, everything else comes online.

Except shoes. I want to try shoes on before I buy ’em.

Anyway, one of the great things about online shopping is when you reach into the mailbox, or look out in the carport, and get that little frisson of excitement before you remember what you ordered. “Oooohh! Packages!” It’s like Christmas.

Today, my mailperson (he actually is a mailman, at least most days) brought me two food-related packages: the first of my garden seeds, and a collection of produce bags for storing the yield from said garden in the fridge.

First, the seeds. Given the small successes, even with a broken leg, of the garden last summer, I’m planning on a larger one this year. So I sat down recently, you may recall reading, and ordered a whole host of seeds. as well as a couple of trays in which to start seedlings indoors.

The first seeds came today: okra, carrots and radishes. I think those were the ones I forgot in the first order and ordered separately. I held them in my hand, and daydreamed a minute or two about how much I’m looking to enjoy gardening, harvesting and “putting up” this summer. Of course, there’s the small matter of fencing the garden, which I think I’m going to have tilled up separately from the two existing tomato patches, which I’ll have re-tilled so I can dedicate them entirely to tomatoes, as I ordered five kinds, and rabbits don’t seem to like tomatoes, and wow, that was a huge run-on sentence. The main garden, though, where the other veggies will be planted — well, I already know the damn bunnies love green beans, and I suspect they’d be even more delighted with lettuce, radish and carrot greens, peas, and who knows, maybe even okra!

So now I’m on the lookout for a bigger freezer.

It’ll be a costly business, this year, this gardening thing. But next  year, when all I have to do is get the plots tilled up again, it’ll be much easier.

Produce bags. Working my way toward sustainability, a little at a time.

Produce bags. Working my way toward sustainability, a little at a time.

On to the produce bags. You know how produce you get at the farmers’ market, or at the grocery, gets all … kinda slimy … if you leave it too long in the fridge, as I am wont to do? Yeah. Ick. Not to mention the money you wasted. But a lot of that is because you’re storing it in plastic bags, which don’t let it breathe. That’s why those specialty produce bags, which are a ventilated plastic, are a better option. Better still is a plain old cloth bag, like these, brought to me via the mail this morning by Mighty Fix, a monthly subscription program that sends me one thing every month that’s designed to cut down on my use of consumables that get used once and tossed, ending up in the landfill.

Sustainability. It’s important.

So these bags are cloth bags, with a drawstring, for storing your produce in. They sent me three of ’em, in three different sizes. If you had a sewing machine, it’d be easy enough to run up some of your own. The fabric is a relatively loose weave, very soft, I’m guessing 100 percent cotton. The closest I can come to it is “flour sack” fabric, or one of my Grandmama’s aprons after it had been washed a few hundred times. If you’re storing a produce that’s likely to dry out, you can wet the bags, wring them out and use them. I’m going to give them a whirl, and if I like them, go find me some flour sacking and make some more.

They remind me of nothing so much as my grandmother freezing shelled peas in a pillowcase.

I’m planning on trying to freeze more corn this year (though I have a good bit left from last summer; need to get busy eating that!), lots of fruit, lots of peas. And, of course, the ever-present chicken stock and beef stock. And the frozen dinners.

Comes the apocalypse, you ‘n y’mama ‘n ’em just go ahead and load up and come to my house.  Long as the power stays on, we’ll have plenty to eat.



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