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Any place to get small number of berry baskets cheap?

Posted by ajsmama (My Page) on
Wed, Jul 18, 12 at 10:46

I'm running out of the clamshell pints I saved all winter, need more for next week (could use some 1/2 pints too), any idea where I can get them cheap? Only need a couple dozen, not 400.

Fiberboard baskets would work too, most vendors sell their berries in them and *maybe* I could just use them for display and empty the berries into a bag when someone buys them, like I did with potatoes last week (and plan on doing with cherry tomatoes). Though berries are more likely to crush and maybe people want the boxes to take them home in.

I've got to put a sign up asking people to return containers for reuse. I posted on Freecycle last night looking for any kind of containers.

Thanks


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Any place to get small number of berry baskets cheap?

We don't ask If we can keep the basket, we just automatically empty the baskets. Only if the customers ask to keep the basket, do we send the basket on.

I don't think I can get you some by next week, I only have pints with separated lids.

You might check with grocery stores, my local stores sort out the bad berries and end up with some extras. They're more than willing to give them away.

Marla


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RE: Any place to get small number of berry baskets cheap?

I did contact another farmer in town, she has a day job but said she'd see what she has and figure out a price. I only need 2-3 doz. Told her next year if she orders a case or more I'd buy 1/4 case from her at the beginning of the season - even though she gets them just over the CT/MA border, I don't have room to store a full case of 420 pints!

Thanks for the offer Marla, with shipping so high, it would probably cost over $10 for you just to send me a few dozen.

You don't have people complain about small berries getting put into bags to take home?

I did check with a couple of stores last year, they send all the rotten berries back to distributor in the clamshells, they don't empty them. I don't think any of the stores around here actually sort through their berries - they just throw the clamshells on the shelf and only get rid of them when a customer points out the mold.

Who did you buy yours from? Do they sell smaller amounts (maybe a couple hundred - I might have room for that many)?


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RE: Any place to get small number of berry baskets cheap?

I got these off of craigslist, 100 of them for $75. I can get the pulp ones from the Amish auction near me, they'll sell just 1 if need be. I keep mine out in the greenhouse, under one of the tables. Of course, I picked my up, no shipping and I don't believe they would ship.

I have bought them thru Montepkg.com before, but I picked up since I could drive cheaper than the shipping.

One of these days, I'll pick up a flat rate box and see how many I can get into it. Just for curiosity if nothing else.

Marla


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RE: Any place to get small number of berry baskets cheap?

The auction is where we get ours as well - they will sell you any amount you want as long as they have them available. We don't dump out the clamshells with berries but do the pasteboard boxes with larger fruit. Most people either don't notice or care.

We deal with Monte, too. Great people but their shipping is a real killer. We go up once in a while to get cider jugs but have to get a trailer load to make it worth while. If you have problems finding them and Marla can't help we have some we can send. I expect you could get a lot in a flat rate box.

Tom


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RE: Any place to get small number of berry baskets cheap?

I drop the berries into a paper lunch bag, then it's not as bad on the berries.

I know there are different sizes of flat rate boxes and they're all Priority Mail, just haven't got any at home.

When I go up, I also pick up some Michigan Peaches or other fruit. Two reasons for 1 trip.

Marla


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RE: Any place to get small number of berry baskets cheap?

I was having the same thought a couple weeks ago (actually over cherry tomatoes and not berries though). I ended up buying the little hot dog cardboard trays from Costco. They are flimsy, but I don't have a scale so I'm using them for portioning out the tomatoes. I think it was like $10 something for 400 of them at Costco. Used them at my last market and they worked. Just don't pick up one corner or everything will roll out =)


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RE: Any place to get small number of berry baskets cheap?

Haven't heard back from the other farm, I'll pick into what I have (clamshells) tomorrow - now hoping it doesn't rain all day, got maybe 1/10" today. Looks like you might be getting it too (hopefully more)?

Marla/Tom, if you could see how many you could fit in flat rate box that would be great, I'll also check another farm up the road. Though I am thinking to drive 45 miles round trip to get 420 for $25 might be the best deal. How big *is* a box of 420? DH is already complaining about how much room my canning jars take up in the basement, market tables and EZ up, tools in garage, pallets and barrels outside the garage, etc. At least I used up most of the bale of potting mix.

Alas, not Costco nearby and BJ's doesn't carry any suitable containers (I was even looking at Chinese takeout containers at Job Lot but they were fancy ones for party favors and too $$$).

Paper lunch bags are great, but I don't know about emptying clamshell into one - customer might do a double-take! Once I get a few open fiberboard boxes I'll try it with the berries though.


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RE: Any place to get small number of berry baskets cheap?

What I have isn't fiberboard, but plastic, so they won't weigh as much.

DH may need to build you a shed of your own, tell him that way your stuff will get out of his room. Of course, that won't take care of the full canning jars. One friend of ours would put the empty jars back in the pantry/storage area. She only had SO much room.

It's is sprinkling now, there has been storms all around us for the last few days. Just pop ups, but after having less than 1" officially since June 1st, we'll take every DROP we get. Most of our corn crop is lost and even the USDA secretary was in a neighboring county announcing the loss. Expect your groceries to increase, including meat since we've just about lost all of our grazing.

We have picked 17.75 lbs of a large sweet grape called Juliet, Wow are they prolific and that from only about 10 plants. Our own tomatoes are just starting, but we only have 200-300 this year.


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RE: Any place to get small number of berry baskets cheap?

Marla, it would be great if you could see how many you could stuff into a flat rate box. I did get 1 response from Freecycle, someone in the town b/t me and my parents has 7 fiberboard pints I can pick up this w/e or next week.

Umm, I have 2 full shelving units of empty (for now) canning jars, the canner, Nesco roaster and other supplies. Last year was a bad year and I didn't can much - NO tomato sauce, salsa, pickles etc. and very few pickled peppers. I really want to keep those in the basement, but a shed for the tools, pots, etc. would be nice. But first he has to build me a greenhouse so my starts don't take over the family room again this spring ;-)

Oh, yeah, we have 2 shelving units filled with store-bought canned and dry goods too (well, 1 is almost empty, I've got a few cases of jelly for market on that). Plus an 8cf chest freezer and 5cf upright with a dorm fridge on top - we'd better start stocking up when beef/pork goes on sale. We just go through so much milk, better start liking the taste of dry milk! My pantry is really small - fought with the builder about that, he said it was too narrow to make it a walk-in but the linen closet in the master bath is the same width and almost 2x as deep, with shallow shelves so what am I supposed to use all the room b/t the front of the shelves and the door for? Vacuum cleaner? The front hall coat closet is pretty deep and wide too, that backs up to the pantry so I think we'll expand at some point, unless the 1/2 bath across from it gets expanded into a full bath (making us walk through DR to get to back of house). Never know when you might need a ground-floor BR and BA.

Hope you get a good soaking (but no flooding!) today.


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RE: Any place to get small number of berry baskets cheap?

I pick my cherry tomatoes into green, plastic pint berry baskets. Then when I sell them at market I dump them into a gallon plastic bread bag. Similar to the bags you can put produce into at the grocery store.

Photobucket

I reuse the containers, however, I had to buy some more this year. The are from http://www.socontainers.com/

You have to call and order.

Jay


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RE: Any place to get small number of berry baskets cheap?

  • Posted by magz88 5a - Central Ontario (My Page) on
    Thu, Jul 19, 12 at 14:04

This might not be your style, but I have got a lot of nursery pots by nabbing them out of people's recycling bins. I am sure at this time of the year lots of people have what you are looking for in their bins on pickup day.


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RE: Any place to get small number of berry baskets cheap?

No flooding and not enough rain for the rain gauge to show, but it was strange feeling wet stuff falling from the sky.

As far as storage, under the beds can hold alot of jars/cans. I've used almost every corner or empty spot over the years. Now I have 2 metal shelves, 4' wide, 6' high, 2' deep, 1 of them I used to start plants. by the time that I need to start plants, I should have 1 of the 2 empty enough for the plants. I also have a 6' wide shelving unit that I build, 6' wide, 2' deep (old 24" doors for shelves) and 6' high. I'm hoping that will be enough in the new house to hold everything. I won't have room for much else, empty jars will go outside in an old vehicle or shed, wherever I can put them.

Can you email your address? I'll take some into town tomorrow and see how many I can get into a box. I won't be able to mail out til Monday tho.

Marla


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RE: Any place to get small number of berry baskets cheap?

Thanks Marla - but I just looked, prices have gone up, Medium Flat Rate is $11.35 for a 13 5/8 x 11 7/8 x 3 3/8 or 8.5 x 11 x 5.5 box and Large is $15.35, you can pick up some Flat Rate boxes (since they're free) to take home and pack just to see how many fit, but for that much I can have them shipped or drive to MA so probably is more cost effective to just buy the case - I'd have to ask how much room a case takes up (not a pallet, right?).

I mean, if you sold them to me for your cost (you did get 1000 right not 100?) plus the shipping that would be within a couple of bucks of what PCA is charging for the case of 420 fiberboard ones, then of course shipping or gas (45 miles round trip). So I should just pick up the 7 freecycle ones this weekend and see if I can dump those into bags (maybe buy some extra at TSC if they have any, just to make a dozen), and if I find I need more I should just order from PCA.

Haven't heard back from Ann, so I'll try the guy up the road early next week too, before I go to TSC.

BTW, where are you picking the Juliet if they're not your "own" tomatoes? How many varieties are you growing? I'm growing one Big Rainbow (more if the cuttings root and produce), a couple of Cherokee Purple, about 30 Brandywine, and I lost track of how many Bloody Butcher and Black Krim, 8-9 Speckled Romans, about a dozen Gardener's Delight, 4-5 SuperSweet 100, and a dozen Glacier. Plus another dozen volunteers in the manure pile and 4-5 volunteers in the old tomato garden I think are Yellow Pear. So what's that, about 100 plants and 10 varieties (not counting the unknown volunteers and the few potted ones I didn't sell)? Almost all needing staking/weaving/trellising. I need more baling twine!


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RE: Any place to get small number of berry baskets cheap?

I think the case is just smaller than a semi trailer.

Just kidding - IIRC it's maybe 30" cubed. Put it in the living room, throw a sheet over it and claim it's a new endtable.

Tom


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RE: Any place to get small number of berry baskets cheap?

We did get some tomatoes planted, about 200-300. Juliet is one of them. I don't know anyone else growing them around here. Small tomatoes aren't something that bigger growers grow. Just too much work picking.

We have Yellow Pear, Big Beef, Big Boy, Early Girl, Juliet, San Marzano, Vintage Wine, White Beauty, Mortgage Lifter, Brandywine and a few others. Don't really know how many of each got into the garden, we had lots of 'help'.

Postage keeps going up, along with gas. You will probably be better off rounding up what you can, then getting the ones across the state line. Keep in pulp boxes out of the weather, and they will last a couple of years, the plastic ones will last several years before needed used. I've even used the plastic ones as starting pots when they looked too bad for produce. Be sure to add the cost of the baskets into your costs, so many people don't.

Marla


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RE: Any place to get small number of berry baskets cheap?

Well, 30" is better than a 4ft pallet (not by much). Let's see how berries do at market today - last year I always sold out of wild blackberries, but last week only sold 1 out of 4 pints of blueberries - guess too much competition, even if my prices were in line with other vendors', grocery stores are selling them cheap right now (not organic ones, but a lot of people at this market don't care - I might do better at a different market).

That guy DH works with who bought the potatoes (and I gave him greens) last week "ordered" more this AM - took all but 1 of my zukes (I have to go hunt for more on some other plants), plus chard and mixed greens (the same kind I gave him free last week b/c they were leftovers). But he didn't want any more potatoes, or blueberries. I wonder if that means I've overpriced them?

Yes, Marla, I will add the cost of any baskets I buy to my price (or at least when I do my taxes they will come off as an expense, as will gas to go pick them and free ones up). I do the same with jelly jars - people gripe about the cost of jam but when I explain I have to buy the jars, sugar, lemon juice, labels, ink (which I actually don't write off since we use the printer for other things but maybe I should deduct 1 cartridge a year), and pay for electricity (again, don't deduct b/c I haven't figured how much actually used to run well, can), they understand. Now if they would actually RETURN the empties like I ask, maybe I could drop the price (or actually, I've offered a deposit but no one's ever come back - I think I need to put a sticker on the jar).

I think I'm going to make up a sign for today asking people to please return empty containers, and another one offering 10 cents for every canning jar they bring next week.

Oh, and we're getting a drizzle now! Looks like it rained overnight too. Maybe I can plant the rest of my squash (Early Prolific, so short season, and maybe more Raven just in case SVB get the plants I have now). I hadn't wanted to plant anything else if we weren't getting rain. I'll check tomorrow to see how much we get today. At least I won't have to water my berries with the lettuce-washing water (though I will save it)!


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RE: Any place to get small number of berry baskets cheap?

Make sure you're not planting your second planting of squash in the same/near the first planting. Those little critters will find them easier. Learn from my mistakes whenever you can.

10 cents a jar would be a bargain, I noticed Goodwill is trying to sell qt jars for $1 each. Another thrift store was selling theirs at .25 a few years ago, I grabbed what I was low on. But I'm not paying $1/jar for used jars, just can't do it.

Marla


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RE: Any place to get small number of berry baskets cheap?

I wait til they go on sale at Goodwill for 50 cents - the GW up near the berry basket place has them for less but often doesn't have any. I thought about offering 25 cents but realized that by the 3rd return of the same jar I could buy them at Walmart (with lids) so can't give that much as a "deposit" or "refund". But 10 cents is still double what they give you as a deposit on a soda can or beer bottle in this state!

How close is too close for 2nd planting? The only good spot I have for squash (easily watered) is about 35 ft away from where I have zukes now - too close? SVB are moths, right? So what do I need - a mile? I've got room (but no water, and low pH) 1000ft away where the potatoes are now.


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RE: Any place to get small number of berry baskets cheap?

No, not a mile. I try to keep them at least 20' apart. I have LOTS of room, and I don't water much (even with this drought). If it won't survive, then it dies, but this year, I'm not worrying about any of it.

this year we planted dill with the zukes, and I haven't noticed any problems yet. The bugs may not be out so much with our 100+ days and no water. LOL!

Marla


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RE: Any place to get small number of berry baskets cheap?

Not sure why this thread was revived, but I found a place for free pint baskets this year - helped hull strawberries for the church strawberry festival!


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