Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Best Produce Bags You'll Ever Use.

I made these produce bags and quite a few more from a remnant purchased from my local fabric shop (not the big, chain place, the Mom & Pop place) for $2.70. Oh, how I wish I'd purchased more of it!

The fabric was a not very attractive looking mauvey-pinkey gauze with lots of space in the weave. Whatever it was intended for, in the pre-washed state it wasn't very pretty and was just a bunch of pulls waiting to happen. For all I know it might have been intended to be waste fabric, because it certainly couldn't have stood up to much. But one of my favorite things to do with fabric is to buy things that aren't intended for washing and wash them to see what I end up with. This turned into a lighter pink, seersuckerish gauze that makes a bag intended for a large bunch of carrots with the tops still attached weigh about .07 on my postal scale!

I didn't make them with concern for weight since their intended use was for our organic farm share pickups but once I discovered how well food kept in them I continued using them once the farm season was over. Cashiers often panic or get annoyed when they see them, thinking they have to take the produce out of the bag to weigh it for me. I solve this in two ways - use the self-service line and avoid the cashier totally or tell them right off that I'm using fabric produce bags (as well as fabric grocery bags) and that there is no need for them to remove the produce to weigh it. I had a young guy in his 20's get a little annoyed with me, trying to convince me they weighed too much and I shouldn't be 'charged' for them each time they were used. I told him how much they weighed on my scale and that I'd also weighed a store plastic bag and found a difference so small I was willing to take it.

Produce stays so much longer in these bags. The moisture that icks up produce in plastic bags is absorbed by the cloth bag, keeping the fruit and vegetable surface nice and dry. If the food isn't used right away, I'm told the moisture captured in the bag keeps it moist. Whatever it is, I love these bags! Just like my cloth napkins, they're tossed into the laundry allong with our towels. They take up next to no room in the wash and come out nice and fresh every time. They cost so little it won't bother me at all when it is time to toss one on the compost.

I haven't found that great fabric again, but I have invested in twenty yards of a similar fabric in white. I plan to make a good supply of these to offer to folks who might want to have some. Can anyone think of a fun drawing I might run here?

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