Garden recycling

Larry G. Field
Thursday, November 21, 2019
This photo provided by the columnist shows how his family reuses common food packaging during harvest season for freezing vegetables and other foods.

This photo provided by the columnist shows how his family reuses common food packaging during harvest season for freezing vegetables and other foods.

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Many common items can be recycled for gardening, hobby, mechanical, etc. use. I have recycled for home use much of my life. One thing that I have learned is that the only thing that is certain is change. Society is constantly evolving, and with it the commodities that society uses. Every few decades something that was constantly available for 20, 30, 40 years suddenly vanishes.

My wife and I have utilized empty margarine cartons as freezer cups for our 51 year (and counting) married life. Recently these cartons have become much less available and the filling that comes in them has become so watered down that we have quit using mar- garine. We don’t like soggy grilled cheese sandwiches! They stack well in a freezer and the tapered round shape allows sub-freezing air to circulate thru a freezer full keeping the contents well frozen. We have checked garage and estate sales for years in hopes of replenishing our supply with no success.

Any small uniform containers can be utilized, things like tuna cans, Velveta cheese boxes, pop flats (no longer available), etc. I make chests of drawers from cheese boxes for long slender items such as drill bits, shop markers and carpenters pencils. I use two pop flats as box/lid for the accessories associated with any large tool such as wheel barrow, table saw, rock tumbler, etc.; placing the purchase receipt, owner’s manual, small spare parts etc. into the box, labeling the end and stacking them in alphabetical order in my shop. I also place uniform sized small containers into the pop flat box/lid to store small hobby and shop items. While such uniform containers are so readily available one doesn’t consider the fact that nothing lasts forever. If you find yourself utilizing such items, keep more than you think you will ever need because TO- MORROW, never announced ahead of time, they may disappear!

Again, when one grows up with a certain item it is difficult to realize that it may not always be available. For probably my first 40-50 years nearly every hardware store carried hardware cloth (coarse screen) in five sizes ranging from 1/8 – 1” sizes. About 30 years ago the selection was reduced to 2 sizes, 1/4 and 1/2 inch. I am in desperate need of a small amount of 3/8; for 20 yrs I have checked every possible source including farm sales without finding a scrap. I have given up the search and am trying to find enough time to make my own 3/8 inch mesh! That is what happens when you don’t think ahead about future needs.

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