Sunday, June 26, 2011

Feedsacks...To Buy For!

As a kid, my mom wore skirts and blouses made from feedsacks, print cloth bags that originally came stuffed with flour, beans or -- my grandma's favorite -- feed for her chickens. One or two bags would make an outfit for a kid; three might be needed for Grandma, who was not exactly a lightweight.

I still have scraps of Grandma's feedsacks -- which came in a blizzard of prints, styles and colors -- in my own scrap bag. And, except for a short period in the mid-1980s, I'd not seen any manufacturers who were using cloth bags...except for the rice people, and that has stopped in recent years. (The flour sacks I noticed around 1985 or '86 were poor quality, and not that pretty.)

But that's all changed.

One of my students at a recent talk said she'd been getting Blue Bird flour sacks at her local King Soopers in Denver. (For you non-Westerners, that's the same as the Kroger chain.) Lo and behold, my local King Soopers stocks them, too! You can now buy 5 pound and 10 pound bags of Cortez Milling's Blue Bird flour, for little more than the flour in generic paper sacks. (Cortez mentions 20 pound sacks, but I haven't seen those at my local store.) And they're beautiful:

Some say that Blue Bird flour is the only kind to use if you want to make authentic Navajo fry bread: go here for the recipe, and more. The flour's excellent for biscuits, bread and cookies, too.

Good for Blue Bird! It's nice to see a company showing a green response, without making a big fuss about it. I intend to use my sacks for quilt backs, keeping the logo, and maybe a tea towel or two -- two other things Grandma made use of them for.

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