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Sad sight....

Went to drop off my household paper at the recycling center and saw a whole bunch of canned veggies that someone left there. Obviously well past their prime...

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  1. I don't understand why they are on the side on the road.

    1. It is a big parking lot with dumpsters for your recyclables. I guess someone was cleaning out a garage or basement and thought they could recycle the glass jars. But then decided to line them up along the curb.

      1 Reply
      1. re: tcamp

        The way they are lined up just strikes me as odd. Why not in a box? It's sort of eerie looking.

      2. That is a BIZARRE sight. How old are those things? Weird.

        1 Reply
        1. re: ttoommyy

          They must be 15 or 20 years old, don't you think?

        2. For whatever reason I just have a feeling of someone cleaning out a deceased family members, garage, basement etc. Too sentimentally attached to just throw them away so just left them there. (Yes I'm reading way into it)

          5 Replies
          1. re: jrvedivici

            That is exactly what I thought too.

            1. re: jrvedivici

              Maybe Aunt Bessie sampled one of these relics and that's what did her in. ;-)

              1. re: jrvedivici

                Having done this myself, I'd be willing to bet this is exactly what happened. I'd further guess they were left there on display on the off-chance that a canner would see them and think the jars were worth the effort of emptying and disposing of the contents. It is incredibly sad.

                1. re: jrvedivici

                  I vote for jrvedivici's theory. When cleaning out my dad's house, some of the older family members were physically pained to see my SIL throwing out canned veggies. He was a food hoarder and the "stash" was of similar size. The aunts and cousins would have hauled it all to a food bank had my SIL not physically thrown the stuff into the dumpster.

                  And yes, there is something sad about the pictures the OP posted. Abandonment? Loss of hope?

                  1. re: jrvedivici

                    So for us "Believers" I guess it's rather apropos that this post wound up here, paying some form of remembrance, to whomever they originally belonged. Funny how life works.

                  2. It is very sad. A lot of work went into those jars.

                    I wonder if they would be worth composting? That way at least they would benefit the earth somehow.

                    1. I remember seeing a movie where those things were throbbing on a shelf...

                      1. I'm reasonably sure that if you could locate a decent amount of hipsters at least a few of them would want a few as decorations. Hipsters and "vintage" jars - I don't know what it is, but there's something there.

                        (For the record I'm generally fine with hipsters, but this does really seem like something they'd like.)

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: lamb_da_calculus

                          I hope you mean decorating with the jar empty and not the jar full because when I read your post what I heard in my head was "KA-BOOM".

                        2. Maybe not so much sad, as weird. Brings up the question, how much food that is preserved one way or another 'for later' never gets eaten at all. Given that I would almost always rather eat fresh than preserved food...

                          1. " we always told Aunt Ida she had enough preeesrvers to line up from her mail box to town hall" so on the day after they burried Aunt Ida and all the cassarole dishes had been returned to their rightful owners the family gathered and drank Aunt Idas homemade elderberry wine and set out to prove the family saying true.

                            1. That's odd, you would think they would at least want to empty the jars out and reuse them for something else. There very well could be some sentimental value that perhaps they are trying to move on from. My grandparents canned stuff from their garden and when they passed away, my mom and aunt saved some of them for years.

                              1. Couldn't someone give them to a local shelter that would be glad to have them.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: cstr

                                  I confess that when I saw them from afar, I was heading over to see if any might be salvageable. But they are clearly well past prime and many have rusted lids. No shelter would accept them. I also contemplated salvaging the hinged lid jars but was on my way to a concert and didn't have time.

                                2. I would empty them and reuse the jars. Pretty obvious the food is not safe. Maybe they figured somebody would do that but had no interest in doing it themselves.

                                  1. Sad indeed. That is a lot of food (and canning material) gone to waste. I cannot see from the picture if there are obvious signs of spoilage, so I wonder if anyone has been brave and desperate enough to take some back for his own consumption.

                                    I do have a few jars with rusty lids sitting at home right now (from known sources!), and I do plan to use them up "sometime soon"...

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: vil

                                      "I cannot see from the picture if there are obvious signs of spoilage,"

                                      The jars with the glass lids seem to have mold growing in them. No?

                                      1. re: ttoommyy

                                        Hard to see at my monitor (poor resolution?). I thought it could be dust or glare.. Just being hopeful ;-)

                                      1. re: Antilope

                                        <Homemade Botox>

                                        Ha ha ha. You are awesome! ;)

                                      2. I keep coming back to those 3 photos thinking they are going to tell me their story...I just can't get a read.

                                        I wish we had 3am street video to watch!

                                        Such an unusual choice, lined up in a row.

                                        3 Replies
                                        1. re: HillJ

                                          "Such an unusual choice, lined up in a row."

                                          That's what I was getting at with my initial posts. At first, I thought it might be a joke or some kind of art installation! Now they just looks like photos you would see on the Weird NJ web site.


                                          1. tcamp, are the jars still there @ the recycling center? any local press/answers about it?

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: HillJ

                                              I don't know but I'm tempted to go by tonight and see. The recycling place is on the upper parking level above a rec center. There isn't much foot traffic.

                                              1. re: tcamp

                                                All the recycling plants we use are so specific about what they do and do not accept and emptying bottles, cans, plastics of all contents is top of the list. So, that's why this strikes me so oddly from just the why make work for someone else perspective. Foot traffic aside, that's an odd choice..and to those who will need to clean up, littering.

                                                Wish I could be romantic about such things, but it sort of strikes me as mean spirited in a very oddball way. What if...the who person took the time to box up all those jars was turned away by the Center. Now annoyed, rather than take them back home they decided "screw it, what if I just leave them here"...

                                            2. Might be worth contacting the art department at your local university/college. They could certainly use those jars for paints and paint thinner - the rusted lids wouldn't matter.

                                              1. Probably thought someone with no food could benefit from them even if the vegetables were past their

                                                1. As HillJ said, I also keep coming back to your post and these photos. Very thought-provoking, tcamp. Gosh, that's around 90-100 jars.

                                                  I agree with others that it's likely a cleanout of a parent's/grandparent's house, with the hope that someone would want the jars. Maybe they had no place to dump the contents safely/without stink.

                                                  Home-canned food is so personal and a labor of love and pride. It's just fascinating to try to reconstruct the story behind these (although girloftheworld's take on it did make me snort coffee lol).

                                                  1. My grandparents (both sides) parents, and my father's siblings were avid canners. My parents moved from my hometown almost 25 years ago and my dad gave up his big garden (huge adjustment) and stopped most canning. He still has a few jars of stuff from one of his brothers. He has no intent to consume any of it (my uncle died in '97) but it sits on a basement shelf strictly for nostolgia.

                                                    The only canning I do is salsa. A SIL gave me a bunch of tomatoes a few years ago and many hours later I ended up with 5 pints of tomato sauce. I decided never again for $3.50 worth of sauce.