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Making More Use of Mason Jars

 
gardener
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ana wynne wrote:for those old mason jars with glass lids:

i have found some silicone gaskets at michaels before.  the old rubber seals were the best but cant seem to find them anymore.  (over a period of use, they dry rot).  i have found on amazon too.

the old jars with glass lids are hard to find too !!  i inherited several from an aunt who canned pickles.  they are huge !!  great for storing oats and flours !!



Lehamn's carries them: Old Style Canning Jar Rubbers at Lehman's
 
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Try the business at this link:     https://canninglids.com/

Make sure to browse their whole site as they have the old style rubber rings for lids.
They also have packages in quantity that they sell at a good discount from very small quantities.
 
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I use mason jars for everything, all kinds of storage, dispensing, fermenting. But most accessories are available from other places besides Amazon, which seems to be the primary source you cite. I stopped doing business with that greedy enterprise a number of years ago and search out other merchants. Luckily the Mason Jar company is a great place to find what you need!
 
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I use the strainer lids to make shakers for diatomaceous earth and lime around the farm. As my granddad used to say “handy as a shirt pocket!”
 
pollinator
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Other more DIY ideas are

Terrarium - https://www.thespruce.com/mason-jar-terrarium-4125232

Snow globe - https://www.bhg.com/crafts/mason-jar-snow-globes
Twine holder - http://www.acasarella.net/2013/03/mason-jar-twine-holders.html

Organizer - https://thehandyhomemaker.com/2014/10/20/diy-mason-jar-storage
 or https://thediyplaybook.com/mason-jar-organizer
 
 
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Trying to cut down on single use plastic. Just saw a picture of a crochet holder for masson jars . Looks super creative to me
 
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I use Mason jars for food storage instead of plastic containers or bags. For things that go bad quickly, like homemade oat or nut milks, and coconut milk/cream, I use just the rim with some paper towel under it. This gives enough air to dramatically reduce bacterial build up that occurs in air tight containers (far worse in plastic) thus extending shelf life.
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Many great ideas. Thank you.
I shall add mine too
I have old 500 ml  and 250 ml canning jars (Crown) with glass lids alas, some have chipped edges but not sharp. So, I glued the glass tops with aquarium clear silicone (so the screw-on lids stick to glass tops and don't come undone every time I need to open a given jar)  and ;
#1.
store inside the jars many of my sewing "whatchamacallit" things (buttons, ribbons, tapes, trims, zippers and so on).
#2.
Also, batteries (one jar marked for "new" and another marked "used" to be taken to proper disposal.

#3.
Some I use for short food storage (mainly things that are already wrapped like candies, chocolate bites etc.) , as the aquarium silicone is non toxic but ....the glass with screw-on lids themselves aren't airtight, so not great for long term storage like canning jars.
#4.
Some I use as a ready to use poopy bags . You know...the recyclable type. When they come in a package, all are stuck together so, I pull them apart and place whole bunch in one of those jars by the doors ready to use when needed.

Thank you


 
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I'm a few years behind on this thread, but another use to add to list is storing breastmilk! I had to pump at work and I always used mason jars rather than those terrible ziploc bags they sell specifically for breastmilk.
 
pollinator
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I am confused. With glass lids you mean these?
They are ubiquitous in Europe. Only part that needs periodis replacing is the O ring (orange).
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Ela La Salle
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Kaarina Kreus ,
I like the one you shown.
Mine are old and some of the rings  are somewhat warped and look like these
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pollinator
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This one is not a fancy or smart way to use the Mason/Kerr glass jars, but as I'm looking to recover space in the various closets/ pantry, there are many things that can go outside, on a shelf in the garage.
I'm using the half gallon jars for some dry staples like extra flour, sugar, lentils, chickpeas (also called garbanzo beans), peanuts [shelled or not], black beans, green peas, lima beans, kidney beans, black-eyed peas, navy beans, great Northern beans, pinto beans, soybeans.... and of course any food you have dehydrated. [Some will benefit from being in the dark too, like dehydrated carrots, so if your shelf can be covered to be dark, so much the better.
Essentially anything you want to keep dry but that can freeze without getting damaged.
My only problem is that I've been having trouble lately finding these at the stores lately.

 
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Diane Kistner wrote:

r ranson wrote:

this one might be good for making kimchi.



This looks like a Harsch-crock-style waterlock thingie. The link says page not available. Anyone know where this might be found?


I know the question was asked two years ago, but they look like the products of KrautSource to me.
 
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The top of most parmesan cheese shakers also fit Mason jars. I use them for my homemade spice blends.
 
pollinator
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Christopher Weeks wrote:

Diane Kistner wrote:

r ranson wrote:this one might be good for making kimchi.


This looks like a Harsch-crock-style waterlock thingie. The link says page not available. Anyone know where this might be found?


I know the question was asked two years ago, but they look like the products of KrautSource to me.


Thanks for the link to Krautsource!  Pretty nifty.  There are other products out there you can use for the same purpose - i.e., airlocks integrated into a Mason jar lid - but this looks like a well-designed and durable version.

My first thought was that it is a bit $$$ for what it does.  But when you think about it compared to the price of "German style" ceramic fermenting crocks, which achieve the same thing on a larger scale, it really isn't that crazy.  The price for one of these Krautsource airlocks attached to a 1-quart Mason jar, which is a totally re-usable system, is about a quarter of the price for my 1-gallon fermenting crock, which is also a totally re-usable system.  So the price is actually very proportional.
 
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I think there's never such a thing as "too many" canning jars. Just need to do more canning!  Can enough food to feed 10 people for a year!

I'd always be happy to take excess home with me! Do you need my shipping address!?
 
Christopher Weeks
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Looks like I found a taker! Hey, so, regarding that KrautSource stuff that I mentioned just up-thread, I backed their kickstarter back in 2014 and have a set of their stuff and I'll never use it (I prefer both open-topped vessels and Fido jars for airlocks). And over on this thread on Barter, I said I prefer to give stuff away. So here I am owning that. If someone wants to try this out -- maybe you'll like it better than I did, and you're willing to pay the postage, I'll send you what I have (which I think is a three-jar set, with one stainless steel "ring" missing, but easily replaced by a normal ring...they just rust in brine).
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I have used a mason jar for a carpenter bee trap. I know it's not the most "permie" thing to do but there's the occasional structure that needs a bit of protection. Bees were eating up the 2x10" board that frames out the top of my garage door but a mason jar trap was able to attract the carpenter bees.

It has a central hole in the wood block and holes coming in from the sides going diagonally upwards until the meet up with the central hole and then the carpenter bees fall into the mason jar.
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Matthew Nistico
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Ryan Kremer wrote:I have used a mason jar for a carpenter bee trap. I know it's not the most "permie" thing to do but there's the occasional structure that needs a bit of protection. Bees were eating up the 2x10" board that frames out the top of my garage door but a mason jar trap was able to attract the carpenter bees.

It has a central hole in the wood block and holes coming in from the sides going diagonally upwards until the meet up with the central hole and then the carpenter bees fall into the mason jar.


@Ryan - please, I don't know why you feel the need to apologize for building a mason bee trap!  I totally believe that "the permie thing to do" is to build sustainable dwelling structures using natural, renewable materials.  That includes wood siding and soffits, as opposed to vinyl.  The one good thing about vinyl: it is pest proof.  Wood is not.  Thus, some proactive measure of pest control is required, or else the carpenter bees will turn your home into Swiss cheese!

Having established that, the easy thing to do would be to poison the hell out of your home and its surrounding environment.  Whereas "the permie thing to do" is to build a simple, inexpensive, non-toxic trap that effectively targets the problem species with very minimal collateral damage to other members of your local ecosystem.

I think making mason bee traps is one of the most permie-appropriate things you could be doing!

And believe me, I know of what I speak.  I understand your plight.  I built myself a natural materials home.  Designed it myself, built it myself (well, actually still a work in progress, but that's neither here nor there).  Part of the exterior finish, not to mention some of the exposed structural members, are wood.  And beautiful wood, too!  I found old tongue-and-groove interior paneling that I refinished and stained myself for the soffits and the roofs of my covered patio and covered car port.  Plus old Dutch siding for parts of the exterior wall finish, again resurfaced and stained by hand.  Lovely stuff.  The carpenter bees had a field day with it!

For years I asked all of the contractors I knew, plus all of the old timers in my area, what could be done?  The only answer they had was "put up vinyl." : (

Then one day I saw someone on the side of the road selling homemade carpentry products.  It was there I discovered the beautiful simplicity of the carpenter bee trap, just as you described it.  I've had mixed results - some years I catch tons of bees, whereas other years they seem to avoid the traps - but at least now I have hope.

Nota bene: pick a mason jar or other vessel for your trap that is more tall than wide.  You don't want the bees to be able to crawl up to anywhere near the hole through which they fell, or they might find their way out.  And if the trap vessel is narrow enough, they won't be able to take off with their wings.

Another interesting note regarding mason bees: I have heard of one other old technique to minimize their damage.  There is an antebellum historical site near me that gives tours.  As would be expected from such an old house here in the south, it has very tall ceilings, like 12 or 15 feet tall.  This was your best bet to fight the heat in the days before electric ceiling fans.  Let it all rise above you.  All of those tall, wood plank ceilings were painted sky blue.  I was told it was to confuse the mason bees!  I have no idea how effective this is, nor do I intend to repaint my beautifully-stained exterior wood blue.  But, for what it's worth, there you have it.

 
Jesse Glessner
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An alternative to Trapping the Carpenter Bees is to Buy, or Build (easy DIY project), the Carpenter Bees a HOME! That is what they are looking for when they attack any wooden structures. That gives you TWO benefits if you can attract them to the HOME.
1. They don't bother your wooden structures any more.
2. They are actually better Pollinators than Honey Bees, especially if you have any fruit trees around.
 
pollinator
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i'm glad you brought this up because I have a philosophy about plastic. That I won't share here* but I'm leaning toward earth-friendly alternatives to plastic containers when I take my lunch to work, etc. Mason jars would fit the bill. As would other glass containers. And does anyone know if borosilicate glass environmentally safe? Newer stuff like Gorilla glass? It would be nice to have something lighter that wouldn't break if I dropped it on the floor.


* until the end! Okay, here it is. It isn't us, the consumers, who should be responsible for the plastic mess we're in. I didn't ask for everything to be packaged in plastic tray this, plastic film that, plastic glued to aluminum foil, plastic lids, plastic jugs, etc... It was forced on us and then we were told it is our responsibility to recycle. But recycling is broken. Even that beloved Reduce, Reuse, Recycle mantra? It's broken, too, because statistically next to nothing is getting recycled. Even if your place has a recycling program and you're separating your stuff, or you're being told that THEY are separating your stuff and it is getting recycled, it isn't getting recycled. I've seen consistent stats that say less than 7 percent gets recycled. The rest is dumped in landfills or finds its way into our waterways and into the ocean. So I don't feel the least bit of guilt when I throw away single-use plastics. Because the time and energy I'd put into separating it for recycling would be wasted energy because they're lying to us about what is actually recycled. Practically nothing. So the problem needs to be fixed from the other end. That said, I do want to purchase items that aren't swaddled in plastic. Eating whole foods has been part of the plan since the beginning of the year, and my wife is on board this time, too. I really don't want single use plastic items anywhere in my house. Right now, sometimes it can't be avoided. It is a problem that needs to be solved. By the corporations that started the whole mess. </rant>

j
 
Jim Garlits
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Come to think of it, after having read the entire thread, this is so golden! So many great ideas. Has this been featured on the daily-ish before? It needs to be! Long live the humble Mason/Ball jar. (I'm from Indiana and graduated from Ball State, so had to do the shout-out for Ball).

j
 
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I live near where Ball produces some of their product such as their canning jars. I have always grown up with them around and a lot of these ideas are great! I had a well intentioned friend gift me some 3d printed rings that had legs that screw on a stainless steel screen so you can sprout whatever you want in a wide mouth jar.

I found a pound of peas fits nicely in a half gallon wide mouth and sprout easily. I'm actually just about to feed them to my chickens to get credit for an animal care BB. Just need to let them grow just a touch longer. The glass is made up of  silica and boron trioxide which is stable in glass form. I trust it as I haven't read anything to truly make me think the contrary.
 
Jim Garlits
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That's comforting, that it is stable in glass form. I hadn't read anything to the contrary. In fact, I just goog'd it and everything states that it is environmentally friendly. Excellent!

j

Timothy Norton wrote:I live near where Ball produces some of their product such as their canning jars. I have always grown up with them around and a lot of these ideas are great! I had a well-intentioned friend gift me some 3d printed rings that had legs that screw on a stainless steel screen so you can sprout whatever you want in a wide mouth jar.

I found a pound of peas fits nicely in a half gallon wide mouth and sprout easily. I'm actually just about to feed them to my chickens to get credit for an animal care BB. Just need to let them grow just a touch longer. The glass is made up of  silica and boron trioxide which is stable in glass form. I trust it as I haven't read anything to truly make me think the contrary.

 
Jesse Glessner
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I had the luck of a good neighbor, knowing that I both canned and had bee hives, calling me one day to see if I could use more pint jars. Of course, the answer was, "Always"!

She brought me a few of the new design Ball Jars with a Honey Bee and replica of comb as the Jar design.

I was wondering what would be good as a low-cost gift for family members at an upcoming Family Reunion. The new jars sealed the deal for me. It was one pint jar filled with honey from my hives! At least all of the females in the family liked that jar and gift.

Beware of the actual cost though. I've seen these in a set of 4 in a package for $16.00, a pretty stiff price for just 4 jars, but they're selling a new design too.
 
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