Saturday, June 23, 2012

Mason Jars, Burlap and Smart Phones

I was pondering how much life is changing so fast, for everyone and it is hard to keep up with what is current.  There seems to be a feeling that if you don't participate in knowing and being involved in what is happening, you will be left behind.  What is the latest clothing fad; what is the most current shoe style; what is happening on TV shows; what sales are going on at the mall; what stores are opening; what stores are closing; should I have Dish Net; should I have Comcast. Oh so much to know.
Each morning I devote some time to view the news; read emails and blogs, and check my phone.  Frank and I have given each other a smart phone thinking we would use it occasionally, but are so surprised to find out how wonderful they can be in making contacts and receiving information immediately.  I can almost feel the need to keep the smart phone with me every minute of the day because I may miss a text or email.  I think I am "getting it"; the reason why you see people with the phone to their ear or in their hands; but resist because I am such a time management person.  Maybe because I feel I can become addicted to it and also because I still feel most of it is wasting my time when I should be doing something productive.  Is that my mother's voice talking to me from my past???
People love the idea of farming because I feel it gives people the sense that life here doesn't change, that the people who live on a farm resist modern, resist change, remain constant, remain close to the basics of life, take the time to chat instead of text; to value work more than play.  Much of those thoughts are true.  We are constantly asked if people can bring their kids to our farm to look at the chickens; or see the fruit on the trees; or see the old tractor Frank is restoring.  They want their children to not only see where food is grown, but also to feel a connect to the past, to a way of life that has always been there, in spite of all other changes.
There are two products that seem to become popular over and over again; come out from the basements or attics or barns every 10+ years.  One product is burlap.  I believe it originated in India, but has been an essential product in the agriculture field for centuries.  People used to receive feed in burlap bags and women would take the burlap sacks and make them into their curtains on the farms where the nearest town may take 2 days to take ride a horse to get there.  The strength of burlap is renowned, as it is hard to tear and can stand up to great pressure. Burlap is extremely weather resistant and can be dried over and over again after becoming moist. It is also available in many widths, weights and forms. Burlap is able to be colored, sewn, treated to protect against rotting and even laminated.  It is used in clothing, used to protect hillsides from erosion; used to protect trees from frost or shipping; the uses are endless.  For over 35 years, I raised canaries and each spring my daughter and I would cut small squares out of burlap.  And then pull the warp/weft of the fibers to end up with short burlap strings that I would place in the bottom of their cages.  The canaries would use them to build their nests.  We always have at least a bolt of burlap around our farm and re-use pieces for just about anything-it is a constant and dependable item on a farm.
The second product that is old yet keeps becoming modern is the Mason/Ball Jars.  John Mason invented the first canning jar with a screw top in 1858 with his patent expiring in 1879 which opened up the market to competition.  In 1884 Brothers Frank, Edmund, George, Luclus and Wm. form Ball Brothers Glass Mf. in New York State and start making mason jars.  In 1909 the first Ball Blue Book, a primer on home canning is published.  In 1933 the Ball Company does not lay off a single employee during the Great Depression.  A true, Made In America icon. I love Mason/Ball jars and use them in my pantry to store products; I can with them; I use them to store buttons; I put flowers in them in my CSA baskets.  On my Pinterest site, I have a category/folder for burlap ideas; and a folder for Mason jars.  It is unbelievable how many modern purposes are using old mason jars; or using a few yards of burlap to create a new purse or wreath for a door.
So turn the TV off; let the answering machine take the telephone call; leave the smart phone in the house and go outside to look and listen for yourself as to what is happening!!! 
Until next time-


Becka said...

Beautiful words, Paula.
It's the way I think as well.
I swore I would never have a 'smart phone', but just before Mia was born last Summer I ended up getting one (mostly at my girls constant nagging). When Mia was born in July and was in the NICU @ UCD for almost a month, it became my mainstay for staying in touch with, not only my daughter on the days I wasn't there, but keeping family and friends quickly updated. The NICU area did not allow cell phone activity, but you could access the internet on our phones just outside the doors.
Like you say Paula- A time for everything...
Hugs- Becka

Helen said...

Paula, it was fun to meet you today at the blogging luncheon. I will be visiting your blog again.

Windmill Farm said...

Thanks Becka. I didn't think of it but I went to a fabulous blogging class last week and learned so much. I know you are busy on your great blog. They plan to have another one in the fall, I will send you the information.

Windmill Farm said...

Thanks Helen: I really enjoyed the class and meeting so many talented and interesting people. I have my notes just need time to go through them along with being on my blog. I hope to do more linking parties; more linking of fellow bloggers; and change the look of my blog soon. Let's keep in touch! Happy 4th of July