12 vendors’ ingenious ways to upcycle jars

The possibilities are endless. Shop the West Ward Market and get creative… there are so many treats and crafts to be made with everything you find on Wednesday nights. Join us on September 6th to find recipes and samples to learn how to pickle, can, make salad dressings, brew sun tea, and sooo much more. It’s nuts! It’s crazy! It’s MASON JAR MADNESS!

You’ll grab a free jar and supplies from the Easton Garden Works table to grow your own sprouts at home. Then choose some of the ideas found at each vendor booth to upcycle the jar for next time. Click here for detailed instructions on growing your sprouts kit.

1 – Overnight oats with Kellyn Foundation

A classic and easy breakfast, overnight oats can be made custom to your favorite flavors. Purchase rolled oats at Kellyn and mix in a jar with your preferred milk for a 1:1 ratio of oats to milk, a bit of yogurt (optional), chia seeds to thicken the mixture, and flavorings like cinnamon or honey (shout out, Pocono Apiaries!). Mix in toppings like berries or jam from My Little Farmstand or Kellyn’s granola. Stir, cover with lid, refrigerate overnight, enjoy in the morning. Check out a recipe at Kellyn’s table. 

2 – Canning & jams with My Little Farmstand

You can already choose from an array of tasty jams at My Little Farmstand. But if you want to give it a try, here’s a few steps. Sterilize your jars by keeping them in a boiling pot of water for 10 minutes and keep the kids in a simmering pot too. Wash & prep your fruit (strawberries, peaches, etc.), combine fruit & sugar (check your recipe for how much) with a dash of lemon juice and bring to a boil while stirring frequently. Use a candy thermometer to test for 22o°F (or look up how to use the ‘wrinkle test’), then ladle it into your jars. Screw your lids on (not too tight) keep the jars in a boiling pot of water, how long depends on your recipe. You’ll carefully remove the jars and let them cool. 

3 – Vinaigrettes with Pocono Apiaries

What can you do with the last few spoonfuls stuck at the bottom of your Pocono Apiaries honey jar? Honey balsamic vinaigrettes and other salad dressings. Add olive oil and balsamic vinegar to your jar with salt and pepper, pop the lid on and shake. It’ll be great on a salad you make from fresh veggies at My Little Farmstand and Kellyn. Try a tasty sample of mason jar vinaigrettes at the POP tent too. 

Want to go in a different direction? Make a summery switchel with apple cider vinegar, ginger, and cold water for a natural sports drink alternative.

4 – Grain spawn & pickle jars with Wildspawn Mushrooms

If you’ve ever dabbled in growing mushrooms at home, you might be familiar with using jars for grain spawn. If you’re already lost… come chat with Jeff from Wildspawn to see what some of the first steps to growing mushrooms looks like. He’s a wealth of knowledge! Jars are easy to sterilize and re-use: inoculate the substrate in the jar. 

Buttery, sauteed mushrooms enhance almost any savory dish. What else can you do with mushrooms? Marinating or pickling them is a different way too. 

5 – Iced tea with Flour Shop

Yep, Flour Shop sells refreshing iced tea in mason jars at the West Ward Market. Grab a drink and take a stab at making your own at home. Flour Shop steeps lemon balm, bee balm, lemon verbena, tulsi, echinacea, nettle, sage, chamomile, mint and rose! Stop by Flour Shop and ask Mary about how she does it and taste one for yourself. 

6 – Sangria with Easton Wine Project

Wine slushies on a Wednesday night out are a treat. Head home with a bottle of your favorite wine from Easton Wine Project for a few ideas to recreate sangrias featured at the market. Large jars are a great way to let the fruit and flavors meld together. Stop by Easton Wine Project’s wine wagon on Wednesday for deconstructed displays of their Watermelon Lime and their White Peach sangrias. 

7 – Pudding jars & whipped cream with LoriAnn’s Food for the Soul

Loriann’s banana pudding should be a mason jar treat. An extra-large one, in our opinion. So your wish is granted for Mason Jar Madness ~ grab a jar full of banana pudding layered with goodness at her booth. 

Take her tasty dessert home and go above and beyond to make your own whipped cream in a mason jar to top off your pudding. Fill a jar with heavy whipping cream (keep cold), a few tablespoons of confectioners’ sugar, and a dash of vanilla extract. Shake up and down for a little over a minute and check your jar. Shake longer to get the consistency you want. 

8 – Cajun seasoning jars with Big Papa’s 

It’s difficult to top Big Papa’s Cajun fries, let alone blend the seasoning that makes them shine. Maybe Big Papa will share the recipe if you’re lucky. Either way, you can upcycle jars into seasoning shakers. Decide what type of seasoning you’ll make (a fine powder only needs small holes, but bigger pieces will need wider ones). Trace out a pattern and mark where you’ll punch the holes, then use a hammer & nail/screw to punch down from the top of the lid through it.

9 – Decorative votive candles with Mercantile Home

Mercantile’s “Lost marbles” jars and loads of sewing supplies brings forth ideas for storing craft supplies (old-school sewing supply jars with pincushion kids are a good example). Reuse a jar as a tea-light holder and more. As a special treat for Mason Jar Madness, Mercantile is offering $2 bags of super unique buttons to adorn your jars! Check ’em out.

10 – Vases & tumblers with Kore Coffee & Flowers

Need a neutral vase for the colorful bouquets at Kore? Upcycle your mason jar for one that’s sturdy and farmhouse-chic. Match your centerpiece with a DIY mason jar drink tumbler. Similar to the seasoning shaker, you’ll take the lid of your mason jar, place it on a wooden table/piece that you don’t mind harming, and punch a hole into the lid. Since you’ll be using a straw, it’ll need to be wider. Choose the correct size drill bit to fit your straw of choice, then hammer down any sharp pieces, and secure the grommet to the hole. 

11 – Sustainable storage with Bizzle’s Bites

Where should you store your pup’s treats from Bizzle’s? Jars make excellent storage for dogs or humans. It’s a sustainable option that’s easy to see the items, label, store, and wash. 

12 – Fresh sprouts with Easton Garden Works

We’ve hosted a few microgreens growing workshops, but sprouts are just as easy. Along with your free jar, you’ll find a few tablespoons of seeds (either chickpeas, kale, or beans) and a square of cheesecloth. The seeds won’t look like a full serving, but they expand as they grow: pour some warm water over the seeds and let it sit overnight with the cheesecloth covering the mouth of the jar (kept on with the ring lid only). Next morning, drain the water out, rinse them by adding more water in the jar, drain again, and put your jar out of direct sunlight (with the cheesecloth still covering the top). Swish the contents around occasionally and continue the drain/rinse/drain process twice a day. You’ll want to keep them at a perfect moisture level… not sitting in water, but not drying out. Depending on the seeds you chose, you’re ready to take them out of the jar, rinse, and eat after a few days.