"Self-sufficiency does not mean 'going back' to the acceptance of a lower standard of living. On the contrary, it is the striving for a higher standard of living, for food that is organically grown and good, for the good life in pleasant surroundings... and for the satisfaction that comes from doing difficult and intricate jobs well and successfully." John Seymour ~ Self Sufficiency 2003

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Recycling for garden use

I schlepped some junk along when we moved to our smallholding last year.  But, I reckon it was useful junk.

For instance, I have never yet successfully grown garlic, nor oranges.  And, when I purchase them at the shop they come in plastic net bags.  Which I keep.

Why would I keep them?


They're very useful :)

Here you can see the assortment that I've collected.
I can't throw these away - I'm not sure if they are
recyclable, and they would take ages to breakdown

if they landed up in landfill
Being of a tidy mind, I had to sort them by colour LOL  The I reserved one of each of the nets, and shoved the rest inside.  Tied off the open end, and there you have it - a perfectly usable scraper - be that for cleaning paint filled hands, dog bowls, or scraping clinging mud from garden tools or boots...
Recycled plastic net bags
... and stored next to my outside sink, I even use one to scrub the earth of freshly harvested vegetables - leaving all the mud and mess outside :)
I have always had an outside sink like this -
it's perfect for keeping the mess outside 

and / or for washing smelly dog blankets...
But, with my latest purchase of what I thought was local garlic, what did I spy at exactly the moment I was tossing the label into the recycling bin?
I didn't read the label properly - this has a potentially
ENORMOUS transport footprint.  Bloody cheek - the
ruddy packers are to shnoop to print separate local labels,
or at the very least, cross out that which doesn't apply
so that one knows exactly what one is buying from where.
Horrors - it says in bold print "PRODUCT OF SOUTH AFRICA", and then in smaller print below it continues... "and/or CHINA and/or SPAIN and/or ARGENTINA and/or EGYPT".


Thank goodness my first (hopefully successful) garlic crop is in the ground, and I should be able to harvest it at the end of the year.  I certainly don't need to buy any food that has such enormous food miles attached to it!


JaneofVirginia said...

Very good idea. I keep those kinds of things too. Yesterday, I kept the stiff cardboard it a sheets set. I will use it to keep documents protected when I mail.

Tami said...

The fine print always gets ya doesn't it? I've never tried garlic myself (don't use it much) but did you grow onions? Those net bags are good for storing those too. I love the scrubbies and I'm pea green with your outside sink!!!

Dani said...

Jane - Very clever - I like that too :)

Quinn said...

Oh, that label would make me mad!
One that always sticks in my craw is the website of a huge national chain here in the US, that lists the provenance of what seems to be every single item as:
"Origin: US or Imported"
So now we know this item is from Planet Earth. Soooo helpful.

Dani said...

Tami - We go through loads of garlic - it's good for the blood, and is a natural antibiotic :) Try oven roasting a whole garlic (in it's skin) - it's incredibly sweet tasting, without the bad breath effect.

Yeah - have got onions growing - in fact I transplanted my seedlings this morning LOL

Dani said...

Quinn - LOL Long may it only remain "planet earth" - can you imagine if they colonise Mars or somewhere arb - and then decide to import "unusual" foods from there... Imagine THOSE transport miles! But, yeah, what on earth happened to LOCAL food - especially in this country. I mean for goodness sake, WHY do we have to import garlic????

Crystal said...

That is incredible! I didn't even realise that was allowed. It's so vague that it might as well just say "product of The Earth"

Bee Girl said...

Glad to see I'm not the only one who saves random bags for future (usually yet undetermined) use! ;-)

Dani said...

Crystal - Quite honestly, neither did I, but I will certainly be on the lookout for it in future...

Dani said...

Bee Girl - Yup, guilty as charged. you should see my collection of paper bags, which I use to drain french fries, etc on... :)

Farm Fancies said...

LOL, DH calls me a hoarder but I don't hear him complain when one of my hoarded items comes in handy for something he needs it for! We have imported garlic from those countries in Australia but what really irks me is orange growers in my state have bulldozed hundreds of acres of orange trees into the ground in the last decade because of imported oranges, mainly from the USA, being dumped cheaply on our country, and our stupid government letting them, even though we are making lots of negative noise about it!
Cheers, Robyn xo

Dani said...

Robyn - A woman after my own heart :) RMan calls me a squatter, because of all the stuff I accumulate and re-use.

Seems to me that governments have lost sight of what is important - namely that countries become as self-sufficient as possible. Such a sad state of affairs...