It’s Time For the Fruit Harvest

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As summer winds down, the fruit you’ve been growing is most likely about to reach optimum maturity, which means it’s nearly time for harvesting. When you do begin to harvest your fruit, here are a few tips:

  • Make sure the fruit is mature and ready to be picked. If picked while ‘mature,’ your fruit will ripen after it’s harvested. ‘Optimum maturity’ is when a fruit has reached its best quality for harvest.
  • Start in the morning on a cool day. Picking the fruit while it’s cool and then continuing to cool it as soon as possible helps to ensure quality and shelf life. If the fruit is wet or moist, it will spoil more quickly.
  • Consider harvesting in stages. For example, plums can be picked as they ripen, whereas apple trees may need up to 3 different pickings.
  • Carefully pick the fruit from the tree. For most fruits, you’ll want to twist and lift up rather than pulling straight down from the branch. Also remember to hold the fruit gently in your palm with little to no finger pressure to avoid bruising, depending on the fruit.
  • Watch out for wasps! yes, they love our fruits, too. Wasps can create holes in the fruit from which to feed, so stay alert when reaching up into trees and bushes.
  • Delicately place in your harvesting container. Just as you’re careful in picking the fruit from the tree, you should also be careful in placing it. Dropping fruit into the container may cause bruising. When picking apples, use a large, soft bag.
  • Enjoy or store! Now that you’ve harvested your fruit, you’ll want to eat it as soon as possible, or preserve or freeze it, depending on what plans you have in mind for your crop.

When you’re ready for harvest, consider having Commercial Bag & Supply provide you with custom made fruit harvesting bags to make your fruit harvesting process even more simple.

Canvas and Burlap Home Goods

After you’ve cleared away the wedding decor, recuperated from the reception, and returned from your honeymoon, you finally walk into your new home but notice something a little…off. The place seems kind of big and empty.

Have no fear – we can help with that! We’re not just going to split after your big day, no way! Commercial Bag and Supply is here to help make your house feel just the way you imagined it would with custom canvas and burlap home goods.

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Whether you’re after that chic rustic feel, or something more prim and proper, our team is looking forward to working on your order.

Here are just a few of the home goods we’ve created in the past, but we’re always up for a new challenge.

 

Canvas Home Goods

  • placemats
  • curtains
  • furniture coverings
  • painting canvas
  • wall decor
  • drop cloths

Burlap Home Goodsdog-bone

  • tote bags
  • wall decor
  • curtains
  • silverware holders
  • decorative pillow cases
  • table cloths

When you’re ready to warm up your home, remember to give us a call!

Your Wedding’s Missing Something…

Wedding season is in full bloom with brides and their planning committees hard at work making sure their celebration is a special, one-of-a-kind event that guests will remember and those who fail to attend will regret to miss.

With endless bridal magazines, stores, and even conventions, the options seem endless. Color schemes, ceremony themes, location scouting, and invitation designs might all seem overwhelming, but we’re ready to help settle some of the debate with our customizable burlap.

Though primarily used in agricultural and industrial operations, burlap can give your wedding the rustic but chic style you’ve been looking for. We’ve already had experience in making burlap placements, table runners, and name banners.

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Here are just a few more of our burlap wedding decor ideas:

  • party favor bags
  • aisle markers
  • program holders
  • centerpiece wraps
  • bouquet wraps
  • wedding photo album
  • signs
  • boutonniere

Whatever ideas you have, we’re confident that our staff can make your big day even more special with your custom order – just contact us!

We’re Hiring! Industrial Sewers

 

Commercial Bag & Supply has an immediate opening for the following position at it’s Des Moines, Iowa facility:

 

INDUSTRIAL SEWING MACHINE OPERATOR/ DESIGNER
We are actively looking for an experienced industrial sewing machine operator. This person will be responsible for producing pattern templates and samples, as well as, product for orders received from customers.

Job Specifications:

  • Operating an industrial sewing machine and serger to complete sewing of orders in a matter that
    they meet quality standards
  • Have a passion for good design, creativity and innovation
  • Organized and self-motivated
  • Able to manage deadlines and multiple projects at once
  • Be able to work independently with limited supervision
  • For more information or to apply, please contact us.

Common Cotton

Cotton may easily be one of the most common textiles that’s taken for granted. Sure, you know that your comfy t-shirts are made from cotton, but what other household and day-to-day items come from the cotton seed?

But first, a little history: Remember Eli Whitney? Despite cotton’s very old age (as old as 4500 BC!), Whitney revolutionized the industry with his 1793 invention of the cotton gin.

 

19th Century Cotton Gin

19th Century Cotton Gin

 

Cotton gins made separating the cotton fibers from their seeds ten times faster. Thanks to this incredibly efficient machine, the cotton industry began to take off.

The earliest cotton seed in America was said to be planted in Florida in 1556, and five centuries later, the United States produces 19% of the world’s cotton, coming in second to China’s production of 24%. Over half of American-produced cotton is used in the manufacturing of apparel, but here are some lesser thought of, but just as common uses of the fabric:

  • wall coverings
  • medical supplies
  • book binding
  • bank/casino money bags
  • painter’s floor coverings
  • metal shavings
  • seed samples
  • mail bags
  • laundry bags

Cotton is an incredibly useful and durable fabric most often used in the industrial and agriculture industries, but you can’t forget its more common, everyday uses too, like carrying your son’s stinky sports practice clothes from his room to the laundry machine.

To best accommodate your requests, we purchase our cotton in bulk rolls so it can be cut and sewn to your exact specifications. If you’re interested in creating a custom cotton order, please let us know!

Why A Nursery Cover?

 

When moving your plants from one location to another, nursery covers will help ensure that your plants are transported safely. At Commercial Bag & Supply, we have a wide selection of fabrics for your nursery and garden supply needs; our burlap nursery cover has always been one of our most popular items.

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Protecting your root balls is always important when you’re about to transport your plants. A root ball is the bunch of roots at the base of your tree or shrub. Wrap this part in burlap fabric, and then wrap wire around the fabric for secure transport. This covering keeps your plant’s roots protected from the field to its final planting location.

We make our custom nursery coverings for root balls, plant coverings, and landscaping fabric out of durable, biodegradable burlap fabric. Since we purchase our burlap in bulk, every order is custom made in our Des Moines warehouse to your exact specifications.

In addition to custom nursery covers, you can also find sturdy tarps and coverings for your plant beds, fabrics for bundling your trees and shrubs, and fabric that can be used as a moisture barrier.

If you’re interested in finding out more about our wholesale nursery covers and other garden supplies, you can always get in contact with one of our trained specialists, or you can request a quote if you’ve already done your research.

The Right Bag For Food Storage

Dependable food storage is a must when your agricultural operations need to maintain the utmost efficiency. Commercial Bag and Supply is happy to provide customizable food storage bags in a variety of materials to best meet our clients’ needs. With our custom bags made from woven polypropylene, cotton, or burlap, you’ll find food storage to be more dependable and easier than ever. Whether you’re storing potatoes, beans, or rice, we have the right bag for you.

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Woven Polypropylene
Will you be storing heavy crops? If strength is of concern and you want the absolute strongest bags in the market, choose woven polypropylene. We purchase the highest quality woven polypropylene in bulk and then cut it down and sew the bags to your exact dimensions. This material can also be coated with a water resistant gloss to make sure your food stays dry.

Cotton
Clients looking for a lightweight fabric with an ideal strength will want to look into cotton food storage bags. These custom cotton bags are perfect for storing:

  • coffee
  • nuts
  • cured ham
  • flour

Burlap
All our burlap food storage bags are made to order and offer a number of custom enhancements to ensure your food bags meet your specific needs. Your bags can even be printed with your custom logo. Burlap food bags are ideal for storing:

  • coffee
  • peanuts
  • dried beans
  • potatoes
  • rice

If you’re interested in finding out more about our custom food storage bags, or if you’re ready to request a quote, please visit us here.

How To Care For Burlap

After you’ve received  your custom made burlap bags and put them to work, you’ll also need to occasionally clean them to make sure they remain in the most durable, helpful condition. Keeping burlap isn’t a hard thing to do, but you may want to follow a few tips.

Cleaning your burlap before storing it away for the season is critical as leftover residue on the fabric will attract insects, irreparably damaging one of the most helpful accessories in your gardening or agriculture operation.

To clean, begin by filling a (clean) sink or washtub with cold water. Warm or hot water might cause shrinkage. Machine washing your burlap isn’t advised, as the natural jute fiber in burlap bags will easily deteriorate in the harsh atmosphere of your washing machine. If you do choose to machine wash, your machine may experience problems in the future because burlap can produce large amounts of lint. Once you’ve filled the tub or sink with cool water, add a small amount of gentle detergent. Let the burlap sit, but for no more than five minutes. If the fabric sits too long, it may begin to fray.

After you’ve let the fabric sit, rinse well, and lay it flat between two towels to dry. Though you might think it will speed up the process, don’t wring the burlap, as twisting it can also cause damage. If your burlap bags have stains, blot (don’t rub or scrub) the fabric with a wet sponge, and blot the leftover dampness immediately.

Do your burlap bags smell after use? Sprinkle baking soda onto the fabric and lay it outside, but not in direct sunlight; a screened in porch is ideal. After a few hours, turn the fabric and apply more baking soda to the other side. For more persistent odors, let the fabric sit in (indirect) sunlight and apply vinegar or lemon juice. The acids in these liquids will help remove the odors without damaging the integrity of your fabric. After applying your chosen treatment, rinse the fabric as described in the steps above.

When you plan on storing your burlap bags, make sure they are clean and dry, following the steps we’ve provided. If you want to avoid creases or wrinkles in your bags, we suggest rolling them. Store bags in a cool and clean place, since burlap draws in moisture from the air and can mold easily. Your storing place should also not be in direct sunlight, as the bags will dry and fade, leaving them fragile and brittle when you need them next.

If you have more questions about how to clean and store your burlap bags, or how customized burlap bags might assist your operations, please don’t hesitate to contact us!

The Perfect Bag For Your Seeds

For years sustainable gardeners have saved seeds and reproduced the plants the following harvest season. Commercial Bag and Supply is happy to provide our gardeners and farmers with the necessary accessories they need for a successful year of saving, planting, and harvesting.

When you to plan to save seeds and use them in the following season’s harvest, you’ll need to follow a few steps.

First, collect the seeds. The seeds you’re looking for need to be reliable for growth, otherwise they may not germinate. Parent seeds are likely candidates for germination whereas hybrids are less reliable and will often times disappoint with no growth at all.

Once you’ve collected the seeds, dry them. You can do this one of two ways. Keep the seed pod or dried flower head in an open paper bag and wait. Once you think the seeds might be dry, shake the bag, and they should come loose. Rinse them, and place on a paper towel to dry. You can also place the seeds on a cookie sheet and place it in the oven. If you choose this option, make sure the heat does not exceed 100 degrees Fahrenheit. With either process, the drier your seeds are the better; optimum seed storage occurs with less than 8% moisture.

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After you’ve dried the seeds, keep them in a closed container. Here’s where we can help. We offer customizable cotton seed storage bags that provide your seeds with a dry, but breathable environment while you’re waiting to plant. Seed storage bags are ideal for extending the shelf life of your product by limiting rot or mold growth, and offer easy transportation by being both durable and lightweight. Just send us a request for more information.

 

If you prefer to store your seeds in a sealed jar keep a cheesecloth bag of dry powdered milk at the bottom of the jar, and store the jars in a cool place. Change the powdered milk every six months.

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Most seeds will keep for at least a year, but there are some that will keep longer or shorter than others. If you’re planting corn, onion, parsley, parsnip, or pepper, use these seeds quicker than the others. Crops like asparagus, beans, broccoli, carrots, celery, leeks, peas, and spinach have the potential to keep for up to 3-4 years.

Before It’s Too Late

Do you have a room you’ve been planning to repaint? Ugly wallpaper that needs covering up? When considering your next paint job, take advice from professional painters: use a drop cloth.

But what kind of drop cloth?  Pro painters suggest using one of these four cover materials to spread over your floor and furniture to protect them from paint damage.

Canvas – This might be the most popular option when painting thanks the the material’s thick and durable qualities. These covers will last through more than one paint job, so after you’re done, you can roll and store. Spill a bit of paint? Don’t worry, canvas will absorb the paint so it doesn’t stain your floors.

Plastic – Plastic covers offer a variety of thicknesses from .4 mill to 4 mill. The most common thickness of a plastic drop cloth for painting is about .6-1 mill, or approximately the thickness of a trash bag. These cloths are best for covering furniture and cabinetry, and are also popularly used to protect lawns and landscaping in outdoor painting. Unlike canvas cloths, plastic is not absorptive so paint spills will run.

Paper/Poly – These drop cloths combine both paper and poly materials for an inexpensive and disposable covering option. While adding some protection against slipping, these cloths absorb paint drips and protect your furniture and floors. Helpful tip: these cloths rip easily, so try taping down the edges to prevent unnecessary damage.

Paper – Used in smaller, indoor jobs, paper drop cloths are a cost conscious option for covering windows and furniture. These cloths rip easily, so best not to used them to protect floors in larger paint jobs. After you’re finished, just fold up the used paper and throw it away.

More helpful tips for using drop cloths:

  • Tape edges of plastic and paper cloths down to prevent sliding
  • Use quick-release painter’s tape so you can safely paint down to your floor line
  • Make sure to sweep and/0r vacuum floors before laying cloths down so dirt and debris stuck underneath don’t cause damage
  • When covering furniture, use masking tape to secure cloths