After the Harvest

Moving into the colder months in the Midwest, it’s time to think about how you’ll be storing this year’s harvest. What type of food storage bag is best for your crop? Burlap? Cotton? Woven polypropylene? Whatever material you need, Commercial Bag & Supply is here to provide a customizable option for you. With our bags, food storage is easier and more dependable than ever.

woven-polypropylene-bag-150x150Our woven polypropylene is made from the highest quality, and can even be coated with water resistant gloss to make sure your food stays dry.

burlap_bags_450_fullIf you’re storing coffee, peanuts, dried beans, potatoes, or rice, we suggest our burlap food storage bags. You choose from our 7 ounce or 10 ounce aerial, and we can sew them to any specification you require.

If you’re looking for a lightweight yet strong, breathable fabric, our cotton food bags will work best for storing nuts, cured ham, coffee, and flour.

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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.

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!

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.

To Mesh Or Not To Mesh?

Mesh is similar to a web or net, and is most popularly manufactured from connected strands of metal, fiber, and other flexible materials. The three main types and primary uses of mesh include plastic, metal, and clothing. For plastic, polypropylene, polyethylene, nylon, and PVC are most commonly used. Metal mesh is popularly made from steel or other metals and is used in straining, such as in making tea, or draining pastas. In clothing, mesh is considered a loosely woven or knitted fabric that offers a number of closely spaced holes and is frequently used for athletic jerseys and other clothing.

Mesh’s multi-material manufacturing and woven quality allows the fabric to provide many purposes to the average and specified user. We’ve listed just a few of those purposes below:

  • Metal and nylon wire filters for filtration of unwanted items
  • Wire mesh can be used in creating waste baskets, park benches, and other forms of baskets
  • Wire screens as those on windows and mosquito netting
  • Wire mesh can be used to create guarding and protection for secured areas
  • Woven mesh is a necessary material to the screen printing industry
  • Fencing for poultry and livestock
  • Surgical mesh
  • Humane domestic animal trapping

If you think mesh may be of use to you or your company, read more about our specifications and manufacturing process.

Burlap In The Garden

As gardening season comes around, you may be interested in what materials can help enhance your gardening experience. An inexpensive and cost-conscious material, burlap is one textile that provides multi-purpose services in your garden pre, during, and post planting season.

From seed to blossom, this biodegradable and permeable fabric is the perfect gardening companion. Below you’ll find a list of the various ways burlap can help make your gardening season more cost and time effective.

Before planting

Alternative Mulch: Burlap’s durable yet permeable nature creates an excellent mulching fabric for your flower or vegetable gardens. In the harvesting areas, you can lay down strips of burlap to help limit the erosion of your soil and to assist with moisture retention.

While planting 

Direct seeding in mid-Summer: Using burlap for direct seeding helps improve germination rates. Laying strips of burlap down over newly sown seeds will help keep seeds from being washed away during rain storms, and it will also prevent evaporation. Once the seeds have begun to germinate, be sure to remove the burlap.

After planting

During the colder months, you can use burlap to help protect some plants like hydrangeas, boxwood, and figs. By taking strips of burlap and wrapping them around your plants, you can provide an extra measure of protection against brutal winter winds and weather conditions.

In addition to weather conditions,wrapping strips of burlap around the trunks of your plants will add an extra layer of protection against pesky nibbling creatures that also take refuge in your garden.

For vegetable gardeners, burlap provides an excellent material for food storage after harvest. Thanks to fabric’s porous quality, burlap bags are an ideal way to store onions and potatoes.

Happy gardening!

 

Woven Poly-What?

Woven polypropylene is a multipurpose material that’s commonly used in packaging, textiles, flood and erosion control, levees, and construction. The recyclable, environmentally friendly material is unique in that it’s easily formed and shaped, allowing it to serve numerous purposes.

Woven polypropylene can be broken into two parts: the material and the style of production.

The first polymerized polypropylene occurred in the lab of Phillips Petroleum chemists, Hogan and Banks, in the early 1950s. The mass-commercialization of polypropylene began soon after. Today, the material is the second most important plastic, expected to exceed a revenue of over USD$145 billion by 2019. Polypropylene is most frequently characterized by its chemical, flame, and rot resistance.

When polypropylene threads are woven together, they create a very light but incredibly durable material. This method allows the material to maintain its strength while providing a breathable climate for the contents of your woven polypropylene bags.

Woven polypropylene bags offer a number of advantages:

  • long lasting and reusable
  • naturally tear-resistant
  • better burst strength compared to plastic bags
  • won’t degrade in wet conditions
  • can be laminated to provide added moisture barrier

Woven polypropylene is most commonly used in sandbags for flood control, however they’re incredibly multipurpose thanks in part to their durable and reusable nature. Some of these purposes include traffic control, gravel and aggregates, feed and grain storage, debris removal bags, clothing, and packaging and shipping among others. If you’re interested in how woven polypropylene might be of use to you, or you’d like to request a quote, please visit our contact page.