N-man and B-man start Kindergarten tomorrow. I'm finding it hard to believe, though I suspect that's normal.
Our district only has half day kindergarten, so I don't need to worry about lunches. But they do need to have a snack every day. I asked what they wanted for their snack the first day, and they chose strawberries and blueberries (N-man) and cottage cheese (B-man). Weirdos! Anyway, since both of those need an ice pack to stay cool, I decided to make the kids a reusable snack tote, something I had in mind for a while anyway.
Here it is. A pocket for an ice pack, a place to hold a fork or spoon, and room for a small reusable container. It was pretty easy to make, and if I actually knew how to use my sewing machine, I'm sure it would have been far quicker.
Here they are all folded up. I let the kids choose their fabrics/thread, so while it might not have been exactly the colors I would have put together, they're happy with it. B-man chose the stars, N-man chose the dots. The only other thing I might do is sew a quick napkin from the remaining fabrics. Probably not by tomorrow, though...we have plenty of cloth napkins that I can just stick inside.
I've written about zero-waste lunches before. I'd really like to try to continue to pack snacks that don't have any packaging. I also have a couple reusable sandwich bags that I bought, and I think I'll try to sew a few more in different sizes. Those are good for holding snacks like crackers or goldfish. I just needed something that could also hold an ice pack so I can pack cold snacks, too.
(If anyone is curious to make one, the big square is 14" and the pocket is 8.5" by 5.5", though your sizes would be dependent upon the size of your ice pack.)
At the beginning of the summer, I posted about our raised bed garden. It's done okay...I've been plagued with horn worms (did a number on the tomatoes, though I managed to rescue a few of the plants), deer, I think (bye bye beans, bye bye many ripening tomatoes), and drought (um, that's my own fault for not watering...lost a few bean plants that the deer had missed, and my only squash plant).
But we've still been getting stuff. Earlier in the year, the lettuce and swiss chard did great...I was able to make a couple meals with those before the weather started getting too hot. We've been getting a few tomatoes here, a couple fairy tale eggplant there, a handful of lima beans, an onion or two; nothing overwhelming, and never enough to make a side dish alone but stuff I've thrown in with other veggies from our CSA. Yesterday, though, I picked the rest of the onions and carrots, plus we had a few more cherry tomatoes. Not the biggest haul on earth, but a pretty respectable one day harvest.
Yum! While I didn't get great harvests this year, I learned a lot. Once the tomatoes are done, I think I'm going to clean out the bed, plant a few squares of garlic this fall, and then plant some permanent squares of asparagus and rhubarb in the spring, for future years. And hopefully add another box (or two, or three!) to plant more veggies next year! Maybe I can even add some kind of fencing to keep out the deer. At the very least, I'll try some kind of deer-deterrent (besides our awesome neighbor across the street who yells at the deer every time she sees them munching on our garden :).
How did your gardens grow this year?
Green tip for the day: Of course I'm putting in another plug for zero-waste lunches and snacks.
What are your tips (or favorite products) for zero-waste lunches and snacks? I'm a fan of the little reusable glad or ziploc containers you can get at the grocery store. Perfect size for little guys! And, inexpensive so if they get lost at school, I don't have to worry. I looked at some metal containers, and the small sizes were upwards of $10 a piece! They're nice, but I think I'd worry my 5 year olds might misplace them.
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