Tis the season for all things Mason— jars that is! Gardens are growing quickly with all of the rain that we have experienced here in Wilkes County over the last few weeks.
I always marveled at my grandparents garden— the soil was always seemingly better than my old, red clay dirt. So the question to Granny became-how did you do this, why is your garden so good? She just giggled and said,” potting soil and Black Kow worked into the soil makes a huge difference”. I took a mental note that day and used this advice in my own herb/flower garden. It did make a difference!!! I was convinced.
Remarkably, one of the items that we began to sell pretty quickly once we bought Wilkes County Hardware was Black Kow and great potting soil. Our store had never sold anything like this before and the stuff was blowing off the shelves! It is now one of those staple items that we keep in stock, especially this time of the year. Yes, Mason Jars of all shapes and sizes are kept amongst the canning supplies at Wilkes County Hardware. We can offer up assistance to those who need help with “bringing in the garden”.
Local gardens will start producing and the canning season will begin. I can remember my momma canning all sorts of goodies from the garden when I was growing up. Cucumbers (making pickles), green beans, tomatoes, beets, chow-chow, making sour-kraut, jams, jellies— the list was endless!!!! She and dad worked hard in the garden- weeding, harvesting, preparing to can, and then canning all the goodies.
I do have to admit when you grow up this way, gardening and canning, as a younger kid- I did not look forward to stringing beans to can, and helping in the hot kitchen while mom was canning. Now, I truly appreciate all those great experiences that I had as a kid. We always had plenty of those Mason Jars to fill them with our garden abundance.
Now, these jars have been passed to me to use. I am not one who has a big garden every year. Honestly, time keeps me from doing things like that now. I do have the love to grow things like my parents and grandparents do… flowers, herbs, and even a few tomato plants.
For a while these jars just sat on my garage shelf and I was unsure what I wanted to do with all of them. Now, I have a hard time finding one that is not in use.
What did I do with my Mason Jars? I have used them to store staple items in my pantry- dried beans, snacks, cereal, etc. My son can grab one of those clear Mason Jars with his snack and carry it with him if he is watching tv- no extra bowls/containers to wash!!!! Mason Jars are great for shopping too! I can open my pantry quickly and “see” how much of an item I have left before I head out to the grocery store. My refrigerator contains these Mason Jars- great for liquid items— like milk, juice, lemonade, etc. It may not be the same as “canning from the garden”, but my kitchen has that Southern feel even when you open up the cabinets, pantry , or refrigerator.
Mason jars are great for entertaining friends or family. When we eat on the back porch, I will often put foods within the jars to carry them outdoors. It is a great way to showcase a beautiful salad, soups, or even my favorite—ice cream!!!! The uses are endless!!!!
The last few times that I have taken a meal to family who needed a meal due to sickness, I have used Mason Jars in order to transport the food. People are pleasantly surprised with the different way to showcase the food.
Lastly, my most favorite way to use Mason Jars is to display beautiful flowers/herbs. I have several beautiful vases for flowers, and yet I gravitate towards the Mason Jar. To me nothing is so simple as Mason Jar full of flowers. It is true Southern beauty and grace on display in your home. Maybe it is the thought of my childhood and the great memories of those I love that makes it so special to me- a Mason Jar smiling with love.
Now every time that I walk by the Mason Jars in Wilkes County Hardware, I can smile with love and remembrance of a great garden abundance-love.