The farmstand is open 3–6 p.m. today with lots of awesome winter goodies: Sweet salad mix, baby spicy mix, baby arugula, microgreens, sweet corn, cucumbers, loads of cherry tomatoes, more slicing and heirloom tomatoes, radishes, lettuce heads, garlic chives, cilantro, dill, basil, lemongrass, chili peppers, passionfruit, and zinnia flowers!
We got a great question from a customer on our website this week. Read on for more about zip lock bags!
Know Your Farmer:
Q: Can I bring my arugula and greens ziplocks back to you for recycling?
A: While we are exceedingly careful to reduce the waste stream from the farm, the plastic salad bags are an unfortunate byproduct of the farm’s resource cycle. Because of the nature of ready to eat food products and health code regulations, we can only use new, plastic bags or other sterile packaging for the ready-to-eat processed products we sell to customers, and we can’t take back used salad bags from customers.
We do make an effort to buy heavy duty foodgrade ziplock bags for our products so that they can be reused many times over by the customer. While some growers use clamshell packaging for salad products, we found the ziplock bags to be the most reusable post-salad, and they also maintain superior freshness longer. As an added bonus, by gently compressing our greens in the bags, we are able to fit more pounds of product of greens per square inch of refrigerator space. This also helps reduce our use of WAPA power.
What our empty salad bags are truly awesome for is: replacing your purchase of new zipper bags for your home! We open ours up inside out on the kitchen counter and let them dry completely, and then shake out any dried flecks of leftover greens. Then we roll them up and keep them in a large pickle jar, ready for any personal storage adventures we may need to embark on. We use them for bagging up dried goods like pasta to store in the pantry, encasing paper flour bags that are going into the freezer, repackaging of bulk food items, handing out leftovers after a party or gathering, general home food storage… you can cut the tip off of a bag and use it as a cake decorating tool or as a funnel for refilling a small necked container. We use them to extend the life of leaky freezer packs as well.
We also keep a few in the car for use on the go. They are useful for keeping a wet bathing suit enclosed, produce shopping at the store, rain proofing your stuff during yoga on the beach, cleaning up dog messes, garbage bags…
One of our customers has discovered that our salad bags perfectly fit a letter sized piece of paper. They can be useful for “lamination” of a document, sorting tax receipts, and other office uses..
We hope this gives you a few extra ideas of how to streeeetch the life of, and reuse, these bags. If you are not interested in using them yourself, you could bag up a bunch of clean ones and bring them to the St. Croix Animal Welfare Center (animal shelter). They can use them (along with clean old towels, and newspapers) for cleaning up etc.
Thank you for being such a great customer that you’re having this solid waste problem! 🙂