Lettuce umbrella amazon

Lettuce umbrella amazon DEFAULT

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Do you know how iceberg lettuce got its name? In this article, we give you a brief history behind that name. We also define head lettuce and how it is the same or different from iceberg lettuce. Lastly, we compare the nutritional benefits of iceberg and romaine lettuce varieties.

Why is Lettuce Called Iceberg?

Iceberg lettuce got its name because farmers, particularly California growers in the 1920s, transported the vegetable with https://www.andyboy.com/products/iceberg-lettuce/” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>heaps of crushed ice to preserve it. This variety of lettuce was previously called Crisphead lettuce. Today, however, Iceberg is the more commonly known name for it. 

Is Iceberg Lettuce the same as Head Lettuce?

Iceberg lettuce is an example of a head lettuce, as the latter is an umbrella term of other varieties of lettuce.

Lettuces are classified as either head lettuce or leaf lettuce. Leaf lettuce, as the name suggests, is distinguished “by leaves arranged in a dense rosette which ultimately develops into a compact head suggesting that of cabbage.” Full definition found https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/head%20lettuce” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>here.

Iceberg lettuce satisfies this distinction, hence, it is an example of a head lettuce. Besides iceberg, other examples of head lettuce include butterhead lettuce and romaine lettuce.

Related Article: Why is Arugula Called Rocket Salad?

Can I Eat Iceberg Lettuce Raw?

Just like other varieties of lettuce, you can eat iceberg lettuce raw. It is generally safe. But be aware that there are proper handling procedures to be followed.

First, do not just toss the first iceberg lettuce you see at your supermarket into your shopping cart. Check for any visible dirt on it, and also, read the label. Some supermarket lettuce is labeled “ready-to-eat” or “washed.” Otherwise, it is important to https://www.webmd.com/diet/features/lettuce-learn-wash-produce-properly#2″>washttuce properly before putting it in your salad or sandwich.

What is Healthier, Iceberg or Romaine Lettuce?

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Romaine lettuce is healthier than iceberg lettuce. Each serving of romaine lettuce contains 15 calories, while the iceberg variety has 13. Romaine lettuce also has substantially more vitamins and minerals. It is richer in Fiber, Folate, Iron, Potassium, Manganese, and Vitamins A, C, and K. When comparing the two varieties, romaine lettuce is the clear winner. This comparison is further detailed in this https://www.livestrong.com/article/408131-nutritional-value-of-romaine-vs-iceberg-lettuce/” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>article.


Iceberg lettuce is arguably the most famous variety. It got its name from the way its growers back in the 1920s transported it – that is, with heaps of crushed ice to avoid damage during the shipping. Iceberg lettuce is an example of a head lettuce, as its leaves develop into a compact head similar to that of a cabbage. It can be eaten raw, as long as it’s handled properly. Between iceberg and romaine lettuce, romaine is the healthier option.

Sours: https://thrivecuisine.com/garden/why-is-lettuce-called-iceberg/

63 Products With Near-Perfect Amazon Reviews That Are Great Deals

I'm the friend who spends hours poring over restaurant reviews, movie reviews, and product reviews. (That last one is part of my job — but I definitely spend hours doing it when I'm off the clock, too.) With this inclination toward gathering intel, I'm sure you can imagine just how much time gets spent hunting down Amazon products with near-perfect reviews.

Amazon is perhaps my all-time favorite retailer precisely because anyone and everyone can write a couple sentences — or, ahem, an entire essay — singing the praises of tech gadgets, beauty products, or cooking inventions. And while I always check in to see what the experts say, I find that honest ratings and reviews from actual buyers are just as helpful, if not more. After all, one person's opinion about a product is helpful — but thousands of people's opinions are guaranteed to give me confidence in a selection.

I find that a big part of reviewer ratings has to do with whether or not something is a "good deal." And luckily, all the products in this collection are great deals. They're useful, fun, and surprisingly affordable. Plus, they're backed by impressively high ratings and honest reviews that seriously glow.


This Charging Station That Powers 4 Devices Simultaneously

This charging dock solves two problems at once. It gives you the power to charge five devices simultaneously, which majorly frees up outlet space, and it also organizes cables to prevent a mess on your desk or bedside table. The five-slot dock is compatible with both Apple and Android devices, and comes with three iOS cables and two micro-USB cables.


A Night Sky Projector So You Can Sleep Under The Stars Inside

Sleep, dine, and watch movies under the stars — without actually having to venture out into the cold night air — with this night sky projector. It uses laser diodes to project a blue nebula cloud and drifting stars onto the ceiling and walls. The projector is brightness-adjustable, and it can be placed on a timer. It also has an option for pausing the motion of the stars at any moment.


The Sponge Caddy That Cuts Down On Sink Clutter

Clear up clutter around the sink with this flexible sink caddy for sponges and scrubbing brushes. You can loop it over the faucet or hook it onto the divider in a double-basin kitchen sink. The caddy features a big cutout for a scrubbing brush handle and multiple perforations that allow for drainage and faster sponge-drying time. Choose from three colors: black, red, and white.


This Bluetooth Speaker That Actually Floats On Water

This waterproof Bluetooth speaker actually floats, so you don't have to stress if it falls into the water while you're hanging by the pool or spending a day at the lake. The compact speaker has a 30-foot playing range, a built-in microphone for answering calls, and a carabiner that can hook onto your backpack. Choose from seven colors like aqua, orange, black, and red.


A Versatile Hand Blender With 5 Useful Attachments

This versatile hand blender has an impressive 4.8-star rating and comes with five attachments: an immersion mixing wand, a milk frother, a whisk, a food chopper, and a 2.5-cup measuring container. The blender features eight speed settings and a four-blade system that mixes food smoothly. Plus, it's dishwasher-safe and BPA-free. Use it to whip up fluffy omelets, make soups and smoothies, chop onions, make emulsions, or to foam milk for cappuccinos.


An Aromatherapy Eye Pillow With Acupressure Benefits

Give yourself a mini aromatherapy session with this eye pillow that's filled with dried chamomile, lavender, and orange — a blend that soothes nerves and promotes relaxation. Made with smooth silk and breathable cotton, the pillow is also filled with flax seeds that conform to your face, providing gentle acupressure. Use this to relieve headaches or unwind at the end of a stressful day.


This Electric Flosser That Cleans With Strong Water Streams

This water flosser shoots out a powerful stream of water that massages gums and clears out plaque and debris from between your teeth... and it's pretty fun to use. It operates on two pressure modes, and comes with two flossing tips, so you can share one with a partner or roommate. It comes with batteries, so you can get to flossing ASAP.


This Powerful Electric Toothbrush With A Teeth-Whitening Mode

This electric toothbrush produces 40,000 vibrations per minute to removes 10 times more plaque than a regular toothbrush (and three times more plaque than other electric toothbrushes, per the brand). It also operates on four modes: "clean" for regular washing, "soft" for sensitive teeth, "massage" for gums, and "whiten" to dissolve surface stains. The toothbrush comes with eight replacement heads, so you can switch them out every so often.


A Home Security Camera That You Can Control From Your Phone

Sync this smart home security camera to an app on your phone, and you can keep an eye on things while you're away. Compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant, the camera livestreams to your device — and you can even tilt, pan, and zoom remotely to get a look at the whole room. It also records 12-second clips anytime it detects sound or motion, and then uploads them to your cloud storage.


The Digital Camera That’s Waterproof & Customizable

With this digital camera, you can capture underwater movies and photos at depths up to 100 feet, but it’s also just great for snapping pics and filming on dry land. It features 1080p resolution, and a bunch of cool upgraded features, like manual fill light, burst shooting, automatic face recognition, and 40 frames and seven filters, so you can get artsy with your pics. It’s designed for kids, but just as fun for adults.


This Portable Phone Charger With A Built-In Flashlight

If your phone is constantly running out of battery, this portable charger is the most practical thing you can buy. The high-speed charger features two USB ports and provides approximately two full charges to a Samsung phone (and three full charges to an iPhone). And there's even a built-in LED flashlight, so you can use it to search for lost items in your purse and car.


An Ionic Hair Dryer That Comes With A Diffuser For Curls

This hair dryer uses ionic technology to cut down on frizz. There's even a triple-ceramic coating to prevent heat-related damage. It features two warmth settings, two speed settings, and a cool button to set your style and add an extra dose of polish to your look. Plus, it comes with a concentrator to create sleek, straight styles and a diffuser to amp up curls.


A Charcoal Toothpaste With Over 10,000 Amazon Reviews


These Lacrosse Balls That *Actually* Work Out Muscle Knots

Here’s a secret: These lacrosse balls are great for a game of, well, lacrosse, but their true power lies in the fact that they do a bang-up job of loosening muscle knots. (And they’re so much cheaper than a massage session.) Just place it under your shoulder or neck, and let the full weight of your body press into it. One reviewer wrote, “I use it for muscle massage, to really dig into tight muscles. It's a very dense ball so it's great for those specific areas of the muscles you want to target.”


These Microfiber Sheets That'll Make It Feel Like You're Sleeping In A 5-Star Hotel

Make your bed up with these ridiculously soft bed sheets, and you just might trick yourself into believing you're spending the night in a luxury hotel. Made from double-brushed microfiber, the machine-washable sheets are hypoallergenic and resistant to fading and wrinkling. Each set comes with a deep fitted sheet, a flat sheet, and four pillowcases. Choose from five understated colors: cream, taupe, gray, white, and ice blue.


This French Press That Brews A Robust Pot Of Coffee

Brew a more robust, flavorful, and aromatic pot of coffee with this French press. Made from heat-resistant borosilicate glass and stainless steel, the coffee maker's four-step filtration system utilizes two double-screen filters, a spring-loaded base plate, and a pouring spout with a built-in strainer for a pure brew with zero grounds.


This Heavy Cast Iron Skillet That Comes Pre-Seasoned

In my opinion, every serious cook needs a good cast iron skillet. The superior heat retention makes for great results, and it adds extra flavor to your cooking. This pre-seasoned, 12-inch cast iron skillet features a pour-spout on each side and comes with two silicone handle holders that are heat-resistant up to 464 degrees Fahrenheit. Reviewers have written that it's heavy and high-quality — so this investment is one that should last a lifetime.


A Vacuum-Insulated Bottle That Keeps Your Water Ice Cold

This temperature-retaining water bottle is made with double-walled, vacuum-insulated stainless steel — so it keeps cold drinks cold for 24 hours (and hot drinks hot for 12). The leakproof lid features a drinking spout and a hinge lock to keep the cap out of the way. It's also outfitted with a silicone carrying band so you can take it along on hikes. Choose from eight colors and five size options.


A Heated Throw Blanket Made That’s Soft & Cozy

Keep warm on even the chilliest nights with this heated electric throw blanket. The blanket is made with plush fleece on one side and cozy sherpa on the other, and features five heat settings. There's even an automatic shut-off function that kicks in after four hours. The soft blanket is machine-washable and available in two colors: chocolate and beige.


A Microwaveable Popcorn Bowl That Collapses When You're Done

Since you only use them once, standard microwavable popcorn bags often end up in landfills after you throw them away. However, you can use this silicone popcorn popper instead. Just add with kernels and fit the lid on top — and then, you'll have bowl full of popcorn in just two to four minutes. It's BPA-free, dishwasher-safe, and collapses down for easy storage. Choose from five colors.


These Laser-Finished Kitchen Knives With A Clear Stand

My favorite aspect of this set of kitchen knives is probably the clear acrylic stand that makes it look like the blades are floating above your kitchen counter. More importantly, reviewers have written that the knives themselves are "fantastic" and a "great value." The set comes with a chef knife, carving knife, bred knife, utility knife, and paring knife, all of which are made from laser-finished stainless steel. The package also comes with a dual sharpener for coarse and fine blade sharpening.


These Fluffy Pillows That Don’t Go Flat, According To Reviewers

If you’re looking for a super plush pillow, check out this two-pack of down alternative pillows. One reviewer described this pillow as “really soft, but does not flatten out” and another wrote that it has “great neck/head support, but still very soft, comfortable, and squishy.” And maintenance is super easy — just toss them in the washing machine when they need cleaning.


A Detailed Planner That'll Help You Keep Track Of Your Life

Put this planner to work and never miss an appointment again. The notebook-sized booklet gives you ample space to keep track of all your appointments, tasks, and deadlines. It features monthly viewing pages for long-term planning and weekly pages for more detailed, short-term planning. There's even extra space provided for notes, goal-setting, and recording your dreams.


This Memory Foam Seat Cushion That Takes The Pressure Off Your Spine

Keep your backside happy at work, sporting events, and long road trips with this cleverly-designed seat cushion. The U-shaped cushion is strategically contoured to alleviate pressure from the tailbone and spine. Made from heat-responsive memory foam, it molds to your body to offer maximum support and comfort. It's washable, and the nonslip gel bottom keeps it from sliding around on bleachers and hard-surface chairs.


A Water Filtration Straw So You Can Drink From Rivers And Lakes

Drink directly out of lakes, rivers, and streams with this award-winning water filtration straw that effectively eliminates 99.99% of bacteria and parasites from contaminated water. The filtration straw is super compact and lightweight, so it fits easily into a backpack. Plus, it filters up to 1,000 liters of water. This is a perfect addition to your camping gear or emergency supplies kit.


These High-Waisted Leggings That Come In So Many Colors

These buttery-soft high-rise leggings have an extra-wide waist band — and since they're made from a blend of four-way stretch spandex and polyester, they're super flexible. Choose from multipacks in four color combinations, including one with a fun leopard print.

Available in sizes: Small-Medium - Large-X-Large


A Foam Roller To Stretch Out And Massage Your Muscles

Increase your balance while building strength and flexibility with this foam roller. Made from high-density foam, it uses strong, molded edges for optimal support. The roller can be used on your upper and lower back, calves, hamstrings, and more. You can use it before workouts to warm up your muscles and prevent injury — or, you can roll with it after workouts to massage your muscles and speed up recovery. The roller is available in four sizes and seven color combinations.


These Compression Socks That Help Prevent Achey Feet

These compression socks are immensely helpful for athletes, pregnant women, frequent flyers, and anyone who spends a lot of time on their feet. They rise just below the knee and provide graduated compression that boosts circulation and oxygen flow. That, in return, prevents soreness, aching, and swelling. They're lightweight, breathable, odor-resistant, and moisture-wicking — and they come in packs of six pairs. Choose from tons of color and print options.


This Inverted Umbrella That Keeps You Dry, Even When You're Collapsing It

You can actually stay dry in a downpour with this brilliantly-designed inverted umbrella. Instead of folding down — like most umbrellas — it folds up, which means there's no gap in rain coverage when you're going into your house. The inverted design also keeps the wet exterior on the inside once it's collapsed — and the C-shaped handle means you can loop it over your wrist to free up both hands. Choose from a huge array of fun colors and patterns.


This Diffuser And Essential Oil Set For A Full Aromatherapy Session

This essential oil diffuser has seven LED color-changing lights to set the scene: Cycle through all of them or just choose one that fits your mood. About the size of a smartphone, the compact diffuser operates on either continuous or intermittent misting modes — and it shuts off automatically when it runs out of water. The diffuser comes with six essential oils including lavender, sweet orange, lemongrass, peppermint, tea tree, and eucalyptus.


A Stylish Wood Alarm Clock That Doubles As A Phone Charger

Add a mid-century modern touch to your bedroom decor with this wooden alarm clock. The clock features dimmable LED lights, an FM radio, and the option to wake up to your favorite station, or a good old-fashioned “beep.” Better yet? The top portion doubles as an adaptive phone charger, and there’s a USB port to charge other devices.


This Memory Foam Mattress Topper Infused With A Cooling Gel

Memory foam conforms to the shape of your body, aligning your spine and relieving pressure points for a more comfortable night's sleep. If you don't want to spend hundreds of dollars on a new memory foam mattress, invest in this totally affordable memory foam mattress topper. The cushion is ventilated and infused with cooling gel to regulate temperature all night long. It's available in 2- and 3-inch thicknesses options, along with several bed sizes.


This Citrus Juicer That Lets You Adjust How Much Pulp Gets Into Your Glass

Get your vitamins in with this powerful juicer. It's outfitted with a reamer that has three different pulp control settings, so you can adjust just how much gets in your glass. The mega-popular juicer is designed to get every last drop out of all your favorite fruits — reviewers reported amazing success with limes, lemons, oranges, and more.


A Fruit-Infusing Bottle That'll Encourage You To Keep Drinking Water

Add some fruity flavor to your hydration routine with this fruit-infusing water bottle. It features an infuser rod that you can fill with strawberries, pineapples, kiwis, cucumbers, and more to give your water a refreshing splash of flavor (and to keep you sipping throughout the day). If that wasn’t enough, it also has motivational, time-stamped messages on the side to make sure you’re meeting your hydration goals. The 32-ounce bottle is BPA-free and shatter-resistant, and it even comes with a cleaning brush to keep your bottle spic and span.


These Extra-Large Ice Cubes That Won't Water Down Your Cocktail

Smaller ice cubes have a tendency to melt quickly, which dilutes cocktails, whiskey, scotch, and other beverages. Use this cocktail ice cube tray instead. It makes extra-large cubes that melt slowly, so they won't water down your drink. Each order comes with two trays that make eight ice cubes each, so you'll have plenty of ice for that Saturday night dinner party. And since they're made from flexible silicone, it's easy to pop out one cube at a time.


This Pore Vacuum That Helps Remove Blackheads

Purify your skin and remove blackheads, whiteheads, oil, and makeup residue with this effective pore vacuum. The USB-rechargeable vacuum comes with five head attachments: one for acne, one for improving texture, one for removing stubborn blackheads, one for removing excess oil, and one for deep exfoliation. It operates on five suction levels, so you can customize for your skin type and clean your skin thoroughly without irritation.


This Hair Waver That'll Give You Major Volume

Add body and shape to your hair with this deep-barrel hair waver. For tousled, carefree waves, clamp each section of your hair individually and at random — and for more sculpted waves, match the outermost section and work your way down. The temperature dial lets you adjust the heat up up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, and the tourmaline ceramic technology boosts shine and fends off frizz. There's also an automatic shut-off feature that means you don't have to worry if you forget to unplug it.


These Long Spatulas That Scrape Out Every Last Bit Of Product

Save money with these last-drop spatulas that keep condiments and expensive cosmetics from going to waste. The spatulas are extra-skinny, so they can fit into narrow bottle openings where they can scrape out every last bit of product. Use them in the kitchen for mayo, mustard, or ketchup — or use them in the bathroom for moisturizer, foundation, or conditioner. They're BPA-free and dishwasher-safe, and each set comes with a 6-inch spatula and a 12-inch spatula.


These Reusable, Portable Utensils For Picnics And More

Ditch your plastic silverware in favor of these portable utensils for eating on-the-go. Made from stainless steel, the set comes with a dinner knife, a dinner fork, a spoon, chopsticks, a straight straw, a bent straw, and a straw-cleaning brush. The lightweight utensils are dishwasher-safe and come with a zippered carrying case, so they're easy to stick in your backpack or purse. Choose from black, silver, gold, rose gold, rainbow, and more.


A Comfy Lap Desk With A Cushion Underneath

Do your typing on the couch — or just catch up on your favorite show — with this lap desk. Contoured to fit neatly in your lap, the smooth surface of the desk keeps your laptop steady. The cushion on the bottom also maximizes comfort, and the handle makes for easy portability. Choose from colors like mint, indigo, black, and hot pink.


This Salad Spinner That Doubles As A Colander For Rinsing

The difference between soggy lettuce and crisp lettuce can make all the difference in the world when it comes to a good salad. Keep your lettuce crispy with this salad spinner that spins your greens dry after rinsing. Just remove the colander insert, rinse the lettuce, and place the entire unit into the clear bowl. Then, use the one-handed pump and brake buttons to spin. The container is BPA-free and dishwasher-safe.


A Tablet Stand So You Can Use It Without Holding Onto It

Use this tablet stand to watch videos, FaceTime hands-free, view recipes in the kitchen, and more. The angle-adjustable stand features a sturdy, nonslip base and rubber cushioning to prevent screen scratches. It holds tablets both vertically and horizontally — and a cutout at the back lets you thread a charging cable through. The stand comes in three color options: silver, black, and rose gold.


This Clever Grip That Keeps Your Phone From Falling Out Of Your Hands

Keep your phone from slipping out of your hands with this clever elastic phone grip. The elastic band is stretchy, but taut— so it keeps your phone securely strapped to your hand. You can even adjust the grip so that your phone is on the outside of your fingers, freeing up your hand to search for keys or carry a grocery bag. It attaches to your phone with a little residue-free adhesive.


A Panini Press So You Can Make The Meltiest Sandwiches

Make a delicious grilled cheese, quesadilla, or turkey and fontina sandwich for dinner with this panini press. The floating plates evenly press sandwiches of all sizes (including those stacked high with layers upon layers of ingredients), and the lock-lid means you can make open-face sandwiches, too. When you're not using it, the legs fold down flat so you can store it vertically.


This Opener Set That Comes With An Aerating Pourer

If you're an oenophile (read: wine lover), you'll probably love this wine set. The pack has everything you need to enjoy a bottle from start to finish: a foil cutter, a rechargeable cork remover that removes up to 30 corks on just one charge, a wine aerator to enhance the flavor while you pour, an electric wine pump that removes oxygen from the bottle to preserve freshness, and two tight-sealing stoppers.


This Trunk Organizer With Space For Groceries

Clear up the clutter in your trunk with this sturdy car trunk organizer. It attaches to the side of your trunk with the included bungee cords, and it features various compartments. There's also one big compartment with two optional dividers, and 10 pockets on the exterior. Use this to organize sports equipment, camping gear, roadside emergency supplies, or just some groceries.


The USB Hand Warmer That Doubles As A Portable Charger

Keep your hands toasty in the great outdoors or in frigid offices with this rechargeable hand warmer. The double-sided, USB-rechargeable warmer heats up within seconds and features three temperature settings to thaw frozen fingers in no time. Bonus: The hand warmer doubles as a portable charger, so you can power up your phone if you run out of battery.


This Can Insulator That Keeps Your Beer Or Soda Freezing Cold

Trade in your standard beer holder for this double-walled can insulator that's made from vacuum-insulated stainless steel. It keeps beer, cider, and soda chilled for hours — and the load-and-lock gasket secures the can in place. It's compatible with 12-ounce cans and it's condensation-resistant, so it won't slip out of your hands. Choose from 15 colors like charcoal, brick red, silver, and sky blue.


This Picnic Blanket That's Basically Guaranteed Not To Blow Away

This just might be the perfect picnic blanket. It's lightweight, waterproof, and sand-proof — but it also features loops at each corner for camping stakes. If you don't have camping stakes, don't worry. The blanket is outfitted with small pockets at each corner, too. You can fill them with pebbles or sand to weigh the blanket down and keep it from blowing away. It even folds up into a small, hand-sized pouch — and it's available in colors like apple green, cherry red, and cotton candy pink.


This Brilliant Pasta Strainer That Only Requires One Hand

One of my favorite kitchen inventions of all time is this clip-on strainer that snaps onto pot rims, freeing up both hands to tip them over and strain them. It's flexible, so it'll fit onto pots, pans, and bowls of various sizes — and the spout helps prevent drips. It's BPA-free, dishwasher-safe, and available in four colors: gray, green, orange, and red.


This Stainless Steel Bar That Gets Rid Of Cooking Odors On Your Hands

Do you know how the smell of garlic and other pungent foods can linger on your fingers for a while after cooking with it? Well, you can prevent that with this stainless steel unit that resembles a bar of soap. Just rub the bar with your hands the way you would with regular soap, and it'll absorb cooking odors while leaving your fingers smelling fresh. It's dishwasher-safe, so you can clean it and use it again and again.


A Facial Cleansing Brush With 4 Invigorating Attachments

Deeply cleanse your skin and brighten your complexion with this facial cleansing brush. The battery-operated brush runs on two speed settings and comes with four attachment heads: a soft bristled head for gentle cleansing, a stiffer bristled head for exfoliating, a silicone head for dry or sensitive skin, and a massage head to promote circulation. It's water-resistant, so you can use it in the shower — and it comes with a carrying case to keep all of the pieces clean.


This Tea-Infusing Bottle For On-The-Go Loose Leaf Brews

Thanks to this tea tumbler with an infuser, you can enjoy a cozy cup of loose leaf tea wherever you go. The temperature-retaining, double-walled container features a stainless steel infuser and a leakproof lid — and it comes with a protective neoprene carrying sleeve. It's BPA-free, and it can also be used as fruit infuser.


The Dispenser That Organizes Your Grocery Bags

If you have a pile of grocery bags hanging out under your sink, you can keep them organized and out of the way with this grocery bag dispenser. Made from brushed stainless steel, the wall-mounted dispenser stores up to 30 bags at a time and features a front slot; reach in and grab a bag at any time to reuse or use as a trash can liner.


A Lazy Susan That Maximizes Kitchen Cupboard Space

This double-tiered lazy Susan solves two kitchen storage problems: It adds an extra tier of storage space (so you can fit more into your kitchen cupboard) — and since it rotates, you can spin it around to easily grab whatever you need. It's 12 inches in diameter, and the gripped surface keeps all of your spices and condiments in place when you spin.


This Stainless Steel Blackhead Remover Kit For At-Home Facials

If you're prone to clogged pores, then this extractor set is a safe way remove blackheads, whiteheads, and other impurities for breakout-free skin. The kit comes with five double-ended tools to help you tackle blemishes of all types and sizes. The tools are coated in stainless steel to reduce the risk of irritation, and they come with a carrying case for sanitary keeping. The brand encourages customers to clean the tools with rubbing alcohol before using them.


An Expandable Drawer Organizer That Gives You Extra Storage Space

You can tailor the amount of organization space you get with this drawer organizer that expands from 14 to 19 inches. Made from bamboo, the organizer has seven compartments for utensils and cooking tools. And when it's fully expanded, there are two more compartments that are large enough to accommodate bigger items (like spatulas and serving spoons). Buy a couple extra, and you can even organize your desk and craft drawers.


This Dish-Drying Rack That Fits Right Over Your Sink

Anyone dealing with limited kitchen space will love this slatted, over-the-sink dish drying rack that frees up your counter for cooking (instead of dish-drying). When you're done using it, the rack rolls up so you can stash it in a cupboard or drawer. It's BPA-free, dishwasher-safe, heat-resistant up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit — and it can also be used as a trivet for hot items.


The To-Go Lunch Warmer For Soups And Stews

Take some tomato soup or a hearty stew to work and keep it warm until lunchtime with this to-go Crock-Pot food warmer. It plugs right into the wall and features a handle for easy carrying. Plus, the inner container is removable and dishwasher-safe, so you don't have to worry about a big cleaning job at the end of the day.


A Magnifying Makeup Mirror That Lights Up

Perfect your liquid eyeliner game with this magnifying makeup mirror that lets you get up close and personal with your face. Offering strong magnification, the makeup mirror features a ring of LED lights that replicate daylight along with 360-degree rotation, so you can get an ideal viewing angle. Use the suction cup on the back to attach it securely to your bathroom mirror or wall.


This Vitamin C Serum That Makes Your Skin Glow

This Vitamin C serum is boosted by powerful ingredients like moisturizing hyaluronic acid, re-texturizing retinol, soothing niacinamide, and salicylic acid that helps decrease the appearance of pores. Users swear by this "holy grail," which has over 2,000 five-star reviews on Amazon.


This Set Of Makeup Brushes That Comes With A Brush Cleaner

Let your inner makeup artist shine with this set of affordable makeup brushes. Made with premium synthetic bristles that are soft and dense, they apply makeup with minimal fallout and shedding. The set comes with 10 brushes total, so you can apply foundation, powder, blush, eyeshadow, and eyeliner. Bonus: The set comes with a blending sponge for applying foundation, along with a silicone brush cleaner.

Sours: https://www.bustle.com/life/63-products-with-near-perfect-amazon-reviews-that-are-great-deals-19424644
  1. Tapered knobs
  2. Solo 2 bubbler
  3. Bamboo moulding trim
  4. Bb b chord

40 dope things that keep selling out on Amazon

There are some serious gems among the thousands of products available on Amazon. In fact, there are some products that are so dope they keep selling out. These clever products tend to garner thousands of reviews on Amazon, so you have tons of people vouching for how well they work. And honestly, they're pretty affordable, too. But here's the best part: you don't have to go looking for them because I've already rounded up 40 cool things that keep selling out on Amazon.

You'll find dozens of clever products you'll wish you'd bought sooner. Like this mini donut maker that whips up dessert in minutes. Or the adjustable lap desk that lets you WFH comfortably anywhere or serve breakfast in bed. And how about these insulated coolers that keep your canned drink chilled until the last drop? Or the lightweight beach blanket that sand won't cling to forever. Seriously, they're simple but brilliant things that make life better. And they span lots of categories, so you'll find awesome products for your home, travel, or work.

So keep scrolling for 40 dope things that keep selling out on Amazon. You'll want to get your hands on these before they're out of stock — again.

We only recommend products we love and that we think you will, too. We may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was written by our Commerce team.


The insulated cooler that keeps your canned drink cold

Pop a slim can into this cooler, and its double-insulated walls will keep your drink cold to the last drop. It fits slim 12-ounce cans, and its stainless steel and copper construction keeps drinks up to 20 times colder than a beer sleeve. Plus, it comes in 28 colors and patterns, so you can choose your favorite and always know which drink is yours.


This memory foam seat cushion that makes any office chair more comfortable

Place this ergonomic cushion on any chair for an instant upgrade. Its gel memory foam filling provides support while relieving pressure on your tailbone. The cushion also can improve your posture and relieve back pain. Use this popular cushion to improve your office chair or any seat you'll be sitting in for a while


This reusable pet hair remover with over 70,000 reviews

Eliminate pet hair around your home easily with just a few swipes of this reusable remover. Without sticky sheets or batteries, the brush system collects dog and cat hair from couches, beds, blankets, and clothes. With a 4.6-star rating and over 70,000 reviews on Amazon, shoppers love that this solution is eco-friendly and effective. It also works great for lint.


This adjustable umbrella that's lightweight & portable

Stay in the shade wherever you go with this portable umbrella that weighs just 1.8 pounds. It comes with a matching carrying case so it's easy to tote around, and its clamp attaches easily to most chairs or tables. Plus, the canopy is made of UPF 50+ fabric for added protection from UVA and UVB rays.


This swivel peeler with a Japanese stainless steel blade

Easily peel vegetables and fruits using this swivel peeler with a sharp blade. The ergonomic handle offers a non-slip grip while the Japanese stainless steel blade effortlessly removes skins from potatoes or other produce. It features a built-in eyer for removing imperfections, and the peeler is conveniently dishwasher-safe.


This filtered water fountain for dogs or cats

Step up your pet's hydration station with this cool water fountain. Its triple-filtration system improves the water quality for your pet, and you can choose from three water flow settings. The clever design holds enough water for the day and allows multiple pets to drink water at the same time.


These stretchy silicone covers for saving leftovers


A leakproof lunch box that prevents soggy salad

With separate compartments, this smartly designed lunch container divides all the components of a salad until you're ready to eat. The benefit is lettuce stays crisp and salad dressing is sealed, so nothing gets soggy. At lunchtime, you can simply mix everything together to eat. The main bowl of the container is microwave- and dishwasher-safe.


A versatile lap desk for WFH or breakfast in bed

Create a workspace or tabletop anywhere using this adjustable lap desk. The desk's height and angle is adjustable, and its split surface means you can rest a cup of coffee on the side and keep your favorite pens easily accessible. The versatile desk makes a great work-from-home accessory, but you'll also love it for serving breakfast in bed, propping up a book you're reading, or as a space to paint or color.


These smart outlets for hands-free control of lights & more

Plug in these smart outlets to control your lights or electronics with just your voice. They sync with Amazon Alexa or Google Home, but you can also adjust settings via a smartphone app. With over 72,000 reviews on Amazon, shoppers love how easy it is to set up automated lights using these outlets.


This adjustable jump rope that resists tangling


An exercise ball set for a strength training workout

This exercise ball set offers a total body workout at home. The fitness ball comes with a stability base and resistance bands, so you can strength train your upper body, lower body, or core. Plus, this home gym set comes with an exercise booklet and exercise videos on YouTube to get you started.


This easy-to-use electric can opener that creates smooth edges

Let this electric opener do all the work of removing the lids from cans. Place it on top of a can, press the button, and watch as it automatically opens the can. You'll also love that the can opener leaves a smooth edge on the opening, so you won't accidentally cut yourself.


The bamboo caddy that holds everything you need for a relaxing bath

This caddy extends to fit across any standard bathtub and hold all your favorite bath accessories. The natural bamboo finish fits in with most decor, and the tray is cleverly designed to hold different items. There's a built-in book/tablet holder, wineglass holder, storage box, and space for candles and snacks.


This wildly popular card game for both kids & adults

If you're looking for a family-friendly game that's quick to learn, you need Exploding Kittens. This cult favorite card game with over 46,000 reviews plays like Uno or Russian Roulette but with wild cards that may feature things like taco cats or goat wizards. The game is strategic, goofy, and takes just a few minutes to learn. Hundreds of reviewers noted it's fun for the whole family to play, and many play it daily.


This foot peel mask for smoother feet & removing calluses


This mini donut maker that prepares them in just minutes

Whip up a batch of donuts easily and quickly using this cute appliance. With just a few minutes of cooking time, this waffle iron-like machine makes a batch of seven mini donuts. A light on top of the lid lets you know when they're done, and the nonstick surface effortlessly releases each donut. Just add frosting and sprinkles.


The self-adhesive wallpaper that makes any surface look like marble

Give your coffee table, kitchen countertop, or bathroom vanity an affordable makeover with this easy-to-use marble wallpaper. Just peel off the backing and press the paper onto a flat surface to adhere. The final result is a realistic-looking marble finish that's resistant to stains from water or oil.


This non-slip pitter for quickly pitting fresh cherries & olives

Make quick work of pitting cherries or olives with OXO's Good Grips pitter. Hold the non-slip grip, place a cherry or olive in the holder, and press down so the die-cast zinc piece easily pierces through and removes the pit. It's designed to fit both large and small shapes of these fruits, and you'll appreciate the splatter shield so everything falls into a bowl.


These washable shelf liners for a cleaner refrigerator

Line your refrigerator's shelves with these mats for easier-to-clean surfaces. Each mat is waterproof and also resists mildew, oil, and dust. They're much easier to remove and wipe clean than a glass shelf, and you can even use them to color coordinate sections of your fridge.


The ultimate charging station for organizing all your devices

Keep all your devices organized and ready to go with this charging station. Charge up to six devices at once as well as an Apple Watch and AirPods using the defined spaces. The bottom compartment hides cables and power sources so the overall look is neater, and the bamboo construction is sustainable and modern.


This dishwasher-safe utensil rest for a tidier countertop

Place tools on this utensil rest while you're cooking, and it'll keep your countertops clean and drip-free. With four slots and a wide tray, it has plenty of room for any cooking spoons, ladles, or other tools you may use while preparing a meal. And it's made of silicone, so it's heat-resistant and dishwasher-safe. Choose from 16 colors, including gray and white, to match your kitchen.


A lightweight & portable charger so you're never stuck with a dead phone

This portable charger weighs just a half-pound and fits in your pocket, so you can have backup to charge your phone anywhere. Its universal compatibility with USB-C and micro USB ports charges phones, tablets, laptops, and other devices. Plus, when fully charged it holds enough power to charge most smartphones more than once.


These eco-friendly dryer balls that replace dryer sheets

These wool dryer balls help your laundry dry more efficiently and with fewer wrinkles. They last for at least 1,000 loads, replace dryer sheets and fabric softener, and they're fragrance-free. They're gentle on sensitive skin, and you can add your favorite scent using essential oils.


This brush for better shampooing & scalp massages

The thick silicone bristles on this brush help you deeply clean your scalp during a shampooing. The waterproof brush also gently exfoliates and massages your scalp, which helps remove build-up. It's so easy to use and effective, it's no wonder this brush maintains a 4.6-star rating with over 71,000 reviews.


This smartphone mount for your dashboard


These fan favorite satin pillowcases that are machine-washable


This nonstick pastry mat with nifty measurement markings


This toothbrush station that dispenses toothpaste


A portable phone stand that's adjustable & foldable

Prop your phone up anywhere using this portable phone stand that folds down for storage. It's designed to hold smartphones, tablets, and e-readers, and you can adjust the holder's height and angle for the best fit. If you're traveling or working from your favorite coffee shop, the stand conveniently folds down to fit in your pocket.


This airtight sealer that keeps all your snacks fresh

Use this mini sealer to create an airtight closure on a half-eaten bag of chips or candy bar. In just a few seconds, the heat seals the opened bag so that its contents stay fresher longer. With this sealer in your pantry, you'll never have to search for another bag clip.


An ergonomic label maker for organizing your home

This label maker helps make sense of items in your home with easy-to-read adhesive labels. The machine embosses letters, numbers, and symbols into the tape, so you can label your spice collection, storage containers, and more. It's easy and comfortable to use with an ergonomically designed grip, and it doesn't even require batteries or a power source to work.


These heatproof silicone sleeves for cast iron handles

Cast iron pans are known for their excellent heat retention, but you need these silicone sleeves to protect yourself from hot handles. When you're ready to pull a pan from the stovetop or iron, just slide the sleeve over the handle to protect your hand. Each sleeve is made of durable silicone that's heatproof up to 275 degrees Fahrenheit.

Sours: https://www.mic.com/p/40-dope-things-that-keep-selling-out-on-amazon-80751724
Top 5 Best Compact Umbrellas Review In 2021 - You Can Buy Right Now

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Lg $90
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Amazon lettuce umbrella

The Truth Behind the Amazon Mystery Seeds

A still life of bags, dirt, and plants


Why did so many Americans receive strange packages they didn’t think they’d ordered?

By Chris Heath

Photographs by Ilona Szwarc

Sid Miller, the Texas agriculture commissioner, sat atop his stallion Smokey and faced the camera. It was Saturday, August 1, 2020. Miller had a message to share.

“Good morning, patriots,” Miller began, raising the coiled lasso in his right hand by way of greeting. “I don’t know about you, but I’m getting tired of all these surprises coming out of China. First it was the Chinese virus, then we had the murder hornets, then we had to close the embassy in Houston because of espionage … Now we’ve got all these mystery seeds coming in in the mail.”

It was the seeds that Miller wanted to speak about. By then, news of the seeds had been circulating for several days. Packets were turning up at homes across the United States; residents of every state would eventually report receiving them. Their address labels and Customs declarations indicated that they had been sent from China. The contents were usually described as an item of jewelry—something like “rose stud earrings”—but inside would be a small packet of unidentified seeds. There was no evident reason why particular people were receiving particular seeds, or why people were receiving seeds at all.

Miller advised anyone who received one of these packages to handle it with extreme care. “Treat them like they’re radioactive,” he said. As Smokey flicked his tail, the commissioner laid out what he considered to be the worst-case scenario: “My greatest fear is that someone will open these packages up—open these seeds up—and be infected with a new virus of some kind.” If you found yourself in possession of such a package, Miller said, you should email him immediately, and he would send an inspector to pick it up.

“You don’t want to cry wolf unless there’s a wolf at the door,” Miller told me when I called recently, “but I have a $100 billion industry here just in Texas to protect.” In the face of something so odd, Miller’s instincts arced toward suspicion.

“We didn’t know what in the world was going on,” he said.

Listen to Chris Heath discuss this piece on the Experiment podcast.

Listen and subscribe:Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | Google Podcasts

If someone had wanted to invent a surreal provocation designed to unnerve Americans in the summer of 2020, it’s difficult to conceive of a better one than a deluge of unsolicited Chinese seeds. For one thing, in those first months of the coronavirus pandemic, references to China triggered associations—rational or otherwise—with contagion. For another, these objects were invading private spaces at a time when most of us were newly hypersensitive to our surroundings. And what was happening was something that was hard to explain, in a moment when so many fears that might have once seemed far-fetched were either being realized or, at the very least, suddenly sounding plausible.

Even people who considered themselves above the lure of alarmist theories had to take the seeds seriously. Irrespective of why they were appearing at people’s homes, their very existence—as biological matter of unknown origin—constituted a problem. This reality acted as a narrative anchor for what might otherwise have seemed to be fanciful media stories. The government genuinely was concerned. Whenever someone wanted to tell the story of these Chinese seeds, a local or federal agriculture spokesperson was always available to expound on how unknown seeds of foreign origin were, until proved otherwise, a threat to American agriculture or even the whole North American ecosystem. Advice soon circulated that the seeds should not be planted, burned, or even disposed of in the trash, given the possibility that they could germinate and disseminate from a landfill. And if you received any, the government would definitely like to know about it.

This combination of factors—a mystery, multiple anxiety triggers within the perpetual panic chamber we live in, and a bedrock empirical reason this had to be taken seriously—encouraged a proliferation of wild theories. Here, for instance, are some of the explanations that I saw floated, for the most part not at the rabidly conspiratorial fringes of the internet, but on gardening-group and state-agriculture-department Facebook pages: that the seeds were Chinese bioweapons, laced with viruses or poisons, or that they were engineered through genetic manipulation or nanotechnology (threads picked up in a Tucker Carlson Tonight segment with the chyron COULD MYSTERIOUS SEEDS BE BIOLOGICAL ATTACK?); that they were part of a “deep state” strategy to control our gardens, or a false-flag operation to discredit China; that they were a Chinese cure for COVID-19 suppressed by Big Pharma; and that they would grow to feed swarms of invasive murder hornets.

A year later, however, no monstrous mystery vines are strangling America’s cornfields. The seeds mostly stopped coming, and the world moved on. But I wanted to know: What was it all about? So I decided to reimmerse myself in the giddy anxiety of last summer. I planned to speak with some of those who had received the packages, dissect the hullabaloo around them, and construct the definitive account of the seeds-from-China moral panic.

It seemed straightforward enough. I had no idea.

It is perhaps ironic, given how many people assumed that America was being targeted, that news of the seeds appears to have first surfaced in the United Kingdom.

On the morning of June 5, a woman named Sue Westerdale, who lives in a small town in northern England, posted in the Facebook group “Veg gardening UK” about something peculiar. She had received a mysterious packet of seeds from China, described on the envelope as “ear studs,” and wondered whether this had happened to anyone else.

John Roberts, a retired railway worker who lives 100 miles to the south, replied within the hour; he’d gotten some seeds the previous week. He’d called the local police, who came and picked them up, telling Roberts they’d investigate the seeds and then burn them. Other stories followed.

Over the next few weeks, these British gardeners became exasperated. Amid plenty of thoughtful debate and the occasional xenophobic comment (less than 10 hours after Westerdale’s post, someone wrote: “I reckon it’s some kind of covert biological thing from China that will affect all our plant life and we’ll all die of starvation, then China will take over the world”), there was a sense of frustration that something important was going on and no one was listening. People in “Veg gardening UK” and other groups contacted the British agricultural authorities. They contacted celebrity gardeners and members of Parliament. They contacted the media. One person, tweeting under the name Tinkerpuss I will NOT be silenced! (apparently a beautician named Charlotte), was particularly vociferous, firing urgent messages at British newspapers, to no effect.

Credit for finally breaking the story circles back to the Westerdale household. Sue’s husband, Bob, used to be a crime reporter and is now a freelance writer. At first, when his wife told him about the seeds, he didn’t think too much of it. He was used to all kinds of packages turning up at their home; maybe his wife had just forgotten that she’d ordered the seeds. As the weeks passed, though, Bob started to pay more attention. He noticed what people were writing online, and began to wonder whether there might be a sellable angle here, in the way the seeds grafted onto fears of infection. “As a news story, I thought that might speed it on its way, if I’m honest,” he told me—“you know, feeding on that anti-China paranoia.”

Bob pitched the story to an old colleague, Richard Marsden, who works at the Daily Mail. Marsden did some of his own reporting, and on July 18 a small item appeared. “Gardeners Sent Sinister Seed Packs From China,” the headline read, introducing the idea that what was happening was both a puzzle and a threat.

These “sinister seed packs” were also arriving at American homes—the U.S. Department of Agriculture would retroactively date the earliest related package that it was aware of to June 2. Aside from a few bemused comments online, though, there’s little indication that anyone took too much notice until Lori Culley, a grandmother in Tooele, Utah, just west of Salt Lake City, succeeded in sounding the alarm.

Culley has an autoimmune disease and avoids leaving her house, so she’s accustomed to receiving most of what she needs by mail. But one package that showed up in the middle of July was a surprise. It appeared to have come from China, and its contents were described as an ornament, though one perhaps hitherto unknown in the gem trade: “Dogweed Stud earrings.” Inside were largish, almost bulblike brown seeds. Culley wrapped two in a wet napkin and left them on her windowsill. “I was going to see what grew,” she told me.

A couple of days later, on July 21, a second package arrived. This one, its contents described just as “jewelry,” contained tiny near-black seeds. Now Culley was worried. That evening, she posted photos of the seeds and their packaging on Facebook, alongside a photograph of the Daily Mail article, which she had found online.

Within a few hours, eight people had commented to say that they, too, had received seeds. Culley also posted in a Facebook group that she had started in April for, as she characterized it, “ladies going through what I was going through: COVID, I live alone, we’re just depressed.” More voices chimed in.

Something weird was happening, Culley told me, something that felt potentially dangerous. She used to work as a supply specialist for the Army, she explained, and when she took that job, she also took an oath to “always protect my country.” Now she felt she was duty bound to act.

She reached out to the local university-extension office, where agriculture experts offer advice. But she felt like they brushed off her concerns. Undeterred, she DMed four local TV stations on Facebook. Three didn’t respond. The fourth, Fox 13, replied immediately.

A reporter named Adam Herbets was assigned the story. He called Culley to arrange an interview. Herbets also reached out to an entomologist he knew at the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food. By the time Herbets arrived at Culley’s house, an official was already there to pick up everything Culley had. (This was now five packs of seeds, including three dropped off by Culley’s daughter, Kacee, quite independently a recipient too.)

For the Fox 13 cameraman, Culley acted out picking up her mail—the traditional camera-angle-from-the-inside-of-the-mailbox shot—then stood, masked, on her porch, talking about the seeds. “We just can’t be too vigilant,” she said. “There’s too much crazy stuff going on in our world anymore, and a lot of it’s coming from China.”

Two days later, on July 24, the first official statements began to appear on state agricultural websites, advising the public about what was happening and what they should do. The advice was sometimes contradictory. The Washington State Department of Agriculture initially counseled that if the seeds were double-bagged, they could be placed in the trash, while Utah proposed killing the seeds by “baking them at 200 degrees for 40 minutes.” Soon the advice coalesced: The seeds should be sent to a state facility or picked up by state officials.

Whatever was going on, the USDA was determined to be on top of it. “Early detection is of fundamental importance,” says Osama El-Lissy, the deputy administrator of the Plant Protection and Quarantine Program in the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, and the man who headed up the response. Within days—in the same period that a cavalcade of local and national media stories appeared—the agency’s count of the mystery packets jumped from a dozen to more than 1,000. In most cases, the seeds were collected state by state and then forwarded to one of 13 federal facilities. Those from New York, Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Illinois, and Wisconsin arrived at an inspection station at JFK International Airport for the attention of Keith E. Clancy, a botanist and identifier.

Wearing a face mask and latex gloves, Clancy examined what was inside each packet, either with a hand lens or under a microscope. He has been doing this job for 17 years, and most of the seeds, he could identify by sight. They were beans, melons, cucumbers, marigolds, sunflowers, peas, lentils, carrots, radishes, kale, cabbages, ornamental grasses, roses, morning glories, and many other plants. They kept coming and coming. (To date, government botanists have identified some 560 different species from these seed packets.)

Clancy was on the lookout for contaminants. One day, he found four seeds of dodder, parasitic plants that can choke crops such as carrots and potatoes—but nothing to make the USDA tremble.

The few seeds Clancy could not identify, he forwarded to national botanists in Maryland. There, they did molecular testing that could pick up evidence of any viruses, bacteria, or other organisms. They grew the seeds in their quarantined facilities, looking for any signs that they may have been genetically modified. They also mapped where the seeds had been sent, looking for any correlation with crucial agricultural infrastructure or key natural resources. “We have one of the most sophisticated safeguarding systems, probably in the world,” El-Lissy told me. If something nefarious was happening, they were doing all they could to find it.

The one rule on which there was consensus from the beginning was this: Do not plant the seeds. Problem was, some people already had. The poster child for this—insomuch as a 70-something retiree from the oil-and-gas industry can be a poster child—was a man named Doyle Crenshaw.

Crenshaw, who lives in Booneville, Arkansas, was watching Channel 5 in late July 2020 when he saw an item about Chinese seeds. He knew just what they were talking about. A couple of months earlier, he’d received precisely such a package: “studded earrings,” Chinese writing on the envelope, light-colored seeds inside. They’d arrived at the same time as some “exotic zinnia seeds” that Crenshaw had ordered, but he hadn’t a clue what these other seeds were. He thought, Well, I’ll just plant them, see what happens.

He cleared some space in the raised beds where he and his wife grew lettuce and tomatoes, and every couple of weeks applied a booster of MiracleGro. That seemed to work. First came bright-green five-lobed leaves, then orange flowers, and then some strange kind of fruit that started out greenish but soon turned off-white.

“I ain’t never seen anything it looked like,” Crenshaw told me. “It was about 14 inches long and four or five inches round.” He broke one open; its flesh smelled sweet. His grandson wanted to taste it, but Crenshaw vetoed this. “Nah, better not.”

Crenshaw dutifully contacted Channel 5. It was hardly surprising that the station, upon hearing that a local man had not only planted mystery seeds but now had fully grown plants laden with mystery fruit, was interested. Crenshaw was filmed standing next to the plants, explaining about the MiracleGro and how “they just started growing crazy.” As the camera panned over the leaves, a voice-over explained: “Experts are unsure what this plant really is, but the concern is it turning out to be an invasive species, which could hurt local agriculture.”

After the segment aired, “I was a celebrity in town—everybody recognized me,” Crenshaw told me. Reporters started calling from “Dallas, Mississippi, Oklahoma City, Kansas, Canada … one from France.”

Eventually, he’d had enough. “It got to bugging me,” he said, “having to talk so much on the phone … It’s the same story every time—it ain’t going to change.” Crenshaw told me all this quite amiably, as though the experience had confirmed that there are kinds of absurdity out in the world that he had previously only suspected.

It was Crenshaw’s doctor who told him that he was famous on the internet. That was true, though if Crenshaw had looked closely, he might not have liked what he saw. One easy way to spin this tale was to cast Crenshaw in the role of the fool—the naive rural fool. No matter that Crenshaw had planted the seeds long before there was any specific advice not to, or that he was far from alone. The Arkansas Plant Industries Division told me that it dug up plants in about 30 such cases. At one point, the state was deploying 25 agriculture inspectors, 13 Bureau of Standards inspectors, five pest-control inspectors, and two inspectors of honeybee apiaries to deal with these seeds and any resulting plants.

An official bagged up Crenshaw’s mystery plants and took them away. A few days later, Crenshaw received a call from Little Rock, letting him know that what he’d been growing had been identified: It was Chinese watermelon. To be precise, Benincasa hispida, a vine whose fruit is also known as a wax gourd or winter melon.

By the time officials came to pick up the plants, Crenshaw had received a second unsolicited packet of the same seeds. He handed them over as well. Three days after that, a third packet arrived. What did he figure was going on?

“Oh, I had no idea,” he told me affably, as though I were wasting both his time and mine by asking. “Nor did I care.”

Doyle Crenshaw was one of the most prominent seed recipients, but plenty of others enjoyed or endured a moment of celebrity last summer. I spoke with several, but the most remarkable story I found came from a woman named Chris Alwhite, who had posted a single sentence on the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry’s Facebook page: “I have about 50 of these packs from china.” Before I contacted her, I presumed that this would turn out to be a joke, or an exaggeration. I certainly didn’t imagine that it would be true.

And it wasn’t—or not exactly. After the seeds stopped arriving, toward the end of last year, Alwhite gathered all the packets, put them in a big plastic Walmart bag, and stashed them in a drawer in her Shreveport home. At my request, she opened the bag and counted the packages as I stayed on the phone. It took a while.

“Five hundred nineteen,” she eventually declared.

Alwhite explained that the seeds began to arrive in early 2020. She was a member of Facebook gifting groups, a phenomenon in which people socialize online and buy one another items from their Amazon wish lists. On her list, Alwhite had maybe 25 different vegetable, fruit, and flower seeds—“when my grandbabies had come up for the summer, I had promised them a big garden,” she explained to me—so she wasn’t surprised when seed packets started arriving. But she soon realized that something wasn’t right.

As she understood it, items sent via the gifting group would come with a name, or, if the donor wanted to stay anonymous, a barcode so that you could thank your benefactor without knowing who they were. But the packets Alwhite received, labeled as jewelry or wire connectors, had none of those details. And they just kept coming—three or four or five a day. For some reason, Alwhite had become what we might term a super-receiver.

“It went on for months and months and months,” she said. “I just stopped opening them.” Last July, when she heard that others were receiving seeds, she contacted the Louisiana agriculture department. That call didn’t go the way it was supposed to. “They were like, ‘Oh, it’s a hoax … Plant them or toss them, do what you want,’” Alwhite recalled. “That’s Louisiana for you.”

She didn’t follow the advice (which directly contradicted the agency’s public statements asking people to mail the seeds to state labs). “I have pets!” she told me. “For all I know, it’s going to be some eight-foot-tall Venus flytrap in my house. I’m going to come home from the grocery store and find my cats and my dogs all missing.”

I described Alwhite’s experience to El-Lissy; he said that the USDA would be keen to examine her seeds. They would join all the other unexplained seed packages the USDA has gathered since last summer—a collection that, as of June, numbers 19,841. Once all the investigations are completed, perhaps some will be kept for future reference, or be added to the department’s seed library, or be used for training. Anything that is not needed will be incinerated—“the most proper way,” El-Lissy said, “of destroying things like that.”

In late July 2020, a retired postal worker from Massachusetts shared a thought on Twitter:

The 2020 election assistance Trump said he would accept if available is coming RIGHT NOW, not DIRECTLY from China but from surrogates—probably poor Chinese citizens desperate for income. They are mailing seeds to US residents/voters in order to further undermine mail in voting.

Others echoed him:

“China did this to find out which US addresses were still valid for mail-in and absentee ballots!”

“Communist China will mail millions of fake ballots. They already did their test run with toxic seeds to ALL 50 states.”

There were plenty of problems with this theory, beyond the fact that there was no evidence it was true. For instance: If the seeds were related to the U.S. election, why send them to other countries? Why deliver them to all 50 states, most of which would be electorally irrelevant? And what specifically could be achieved—for all the talk of test runs and undermining—by successfully shipping packages to American addresses?

Perhaps that’s why this particular delusion never took hold. But people kept looking for dramatic explanations, as if only something extraordinary could explain something so odd.

And yet one of the strangest parts of the mystery-seeds-from-China panic is that there was never much doubt about why these seeds were sent. The consensus, right from the start, among many government officials, journalists, and comment-section know-it-alls, was that the seeds were probably part of a mundane, illicit e-commerce strategy commonly known as a brushing scam.

Although brushing is a fairly banal form of e-commerce chicanery, it’s also weirdly complicated, counterintuitive, and tricky to explain. Let me try.

In one common, modern-day form, it operates something like this: Chinese companies compete for the highest placements in search listings on e-commerce platforms such as Amazon and AliExpress. Although the algorithms behind these rankings are secret, they are presumed to be affected by volume of sales and positive customer feedback. Some companies try to manipulate the rankings by inventing fake transactions. They, or most likely subcontractors, set up accounts using people’s real names and addresses. The companies then pretend to send something of value to those addresses and post fake glowing reviews under the recipients’ names.

All well and good, in its own crooked way, except that some platforms verify such transactions by requiring tracking data showing that a package has indeed traveled from the company to the customer’s address. That’s where the seeds come in. For the scam to work, a real package needs to be sent. But instead of the more valuable item the company is pretending to have sold, something cheap is substituted—hair ties, say, or plastic trinkets.

Or—it appeared—seeds. If this was brushing, the fact that seeds were being sent was more or less incidental. The seeds might still represent a biological threat—e-commerce hucksters are hardly likely to have researched which species might be appropriately imported into different parts of the United States—but only a haphazard one, not a targeted attempt to disrupt American agriculture, never mind anything more sinister.

These dots don’t seem to have been particularly hard to connect. On July 28, 2020, the USDA said, “At this time, we don’t have any evidence indicating this is something other than a ‘brushing scam.’” Brushing was referred to or described in almost every American news story I have mentioned, even if sometimes as a party pooper turning up to undermine all the melodrama. Sid Miller referred to it in his August 1 horseback video; a guest on Tucker Carlson’s show referred to it the night before; the broadcast that Doyle Crenshaw saw on Arkansas’s Channel 5 on July 27 covered it; the technique was even briefly described in Fox 13’s segment on Lori Culley back on July 22.

Even weeks before that, sundry members of the public appeared to have worked it out for themselves:

TheRealEvanG, on Reddit, June 22: “Sounds like your relative might have been the victim of a brushing scam.”

Becca Clair, on “Veg gardening UK,” June 24: “There’s not really anything to investigate I’m afraid. It’s a well known scam called brushing, and has been going on for years.”

If true, this raises a different question, one that may be more about contemporary media storytelling than agronomic perils: How and why was the great Chinese-seed mystery of the summer of 2020 ever allowed to seem like a mystery at all?

As I tried to figure out what happened last summer, I came across one place where two opposing forces—the imperative of telling the simple, apparent truth, and the impulse toward the rich gratifications of fever and froth—ran up against each other in a way that I found unexpectedly delightful: the Facebook page of the Washington State Department of Agriculture.

This page had somehow become the clearinghouse for reports of seeds from all over the country; a single matter-of-fact post on July 24 received more than 22,000 comments. People shared photos; people shared jokes (“who had magic seeds on their 2020 apocalypse bingo card?”); people freaked out. And, with calmness and fortitude, the page’s moderator strove to moderate:

Jessica Williams: “They need to call it what it is!!! Terrorism!”

Washington State Department of Agriculture: “USDA has no indication that it is anything other than a ‘brushing’ scam.”

Stacie Turner: “Biowarfare via CCP that could cross germinate with our crops and contaminate the food supply?”

Washington State Department of Agriculture: “More likely a ‘brushing’ scam.”

Patty Stroe: “Read the article, that’s what the USDA believes, that the seeds are to sabotage our agriculture.”

Washington State Department of Agriculture: “That is NOT what the article says. USDA believes this could be a ‘brushing’ scam.”

Petulisa Havili-Wolf: “… disguised biological or chemical attack?”

Washington State Department of Agriculture: “USDA doesn’t have any evidence that it is anything other than a ‘brushing scam.’”

The dialogue reads like a morality play: a lone figure heroically, perhaps forlornly, armed only with logic and patience, holding back the horde. I wanted to know who this person was, so I emailed a public-engagement specialist at the agriculture department.

“That was me,” Karla Salp replied.

Salp explained that she was hired almost six years ago, when the department was preparing to spray an organic pesticide across 10,000 acres, including in Seattle and Tacoma, to combat gypsy moths. She has experience dealing with upset people in delicate situations, she said, and with anti-Asian sentiment (“a lot of the pests have unfortunate names—Asian giant hornet, Japanese beetle, Asian gypsy moth”). She said she tries to respond accurately and positively, and stay out of arguments. Answer by answer it is work that, in its own quiet way, has a certain valiance:

Charles Mitchell: “Is this some kind of agriculture warfare from China? Smart yet scary.”

Washington State Department of Agriculture: “Probably not. Could be a ‘brushing’ scam.”

If I may, a few notes about brushing:

Brushing is illegal in China, but has been around for many years. (Its name seems to derive from the sense of brushing something clean, a linguistic cousin to money laundering.) Companies have developed cat-and-mouse techniques to evade ever more sophisticated detection. In a 2015 academic paper, “E-commerce Reputation Manipulation: The Emergence of Reputation-Escalation-as-a-Service,” researchers provided a snapshot of brushing within China. Over a two-month period, they found evidence of 219,165 fake transactions by more than 11,000 vendors (or “insincere sellers,” the paper’s lovely phrase). Back then, many companies purchased a mail-tracking label without actually sending a package. When physical packages were sent, some were empty or contained only tissues. But in recent years, judging from the many, many online comments I came across from American consumers who appeared to have been brushing recipients, the phony cargo seems to have evolved.

I was fascinated by the bizarre, random scope of what was mentioned—this cascade of gratuitous debris. But I was also struck by how those receiving the items described them. People know what to feel when you take something from them. But when you give them something they don’t want, it’s confusing. You could read their baffled reactions as some kind of free-form poem about consumerism:

“My husband got a package from China that had a pair of white ankle socks for women” … “We received a shoe sole. So strange all these packages” … “two white masks from china that I did not order … I threw them away” … “Got one with a golf ball inside … threw it right away and washed hands” … “a tiny bottle of shampoo” … “a fidget spinner” … “a toy camera, no joke” … “Baby socks. I am old. I don’t have babies nor baby grandchildren” … “I didn’t get seeds but I did get junky, plastic, creepy little cars” … “it sounds funny but it was pretty creepy they were like mini ballerina socks” … “I got mascara, trashed it” … “Sleepy Time TEA … I laughed and said NOT TODAY China” … “a mysterious plastic soap dish from china” … “a travel tooth brush i I didn’t order” … “I came back from a trip a month ago and had 6 small packages waiting for me, each containing one single hair tie” … “I have received random things from China in the past, a marble ! a bead ! and a length of ribbon ! none of which I ordered … I didn’t have anyone to tell about my marble!!! It was blue.”

As the unexpected seed packets kept arriving at homes across the country, American officials from the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security, and other agencies reached out to their Chinese counterparts. According to the USDA’s El-Lissy, the Chinese authorities were very cooperative: “They emphasized to these companies that this is a prohibited activity and they should stop immediately.” U.S. Customs and Border Protection also upped its efforts to detect and intercept such packages. Meanwhile, the USDA led discussions with Amazon and other e-commerce platforms. Amazon announced in September that plants, plant products, and seeds could no longer be imported into the United States. Its competitor Wish did likewise, citing the “ongoing threat to U.S. consumers.”

Some combination of these efforts was apparently effective. By late last year, the seed packets slowed to a trickle. Problem solved, it seemed, and mystery solved too. Brushing was an explanation that, for all its odd contours, made sense—and just as important, nothing else did. As El-Lissy reaffirmed to me this April, “We are not able to think of other reasons behind this event, aside from the brushing scam, at this time.”

Even so, I felt there was more to know. For instance: Why had the scammers pivoted, sometime in the first half of 2020, to using seeds? Brushing works only if it stays under the radar. As a continuation of an underhanded e-commerce strategy, this choice would seem to be catastrophically counterproductive. (Indeed, I found articles on Chinese websites ruing the attention that these mystery seed packets were attracting, and how they were messing up the business for all involved.) It also seemed implausible that hundreds of different brushing operators had simultaneously hit on this same new strategy. Maybe there was a single enormous operator? When I floated this theory to El-Lissy, he said he couldn’t speculate, and that the USDA was continuing to investigate.

If this was brushing, surely there was somewhere else I could turn to for answers: the companies whose rankings were being manipulated by all this laborious artifice—the e-commerce platforms themselves. If I provided a company with a seed package used for brushing on its platform, it should be able to trace who sent the package, and whether someone had posted an associated review—either of the seeds or of a seemingly unrelated, more expensive item.

I started with the market leader, Amazon. In media reports last summer, Amazon was quoted claiming that it had looked into some of these seed packages and had found that they were genuine Amazon orders delayed by COVID-19. I didn’t take this very seriously. It certainly didn’t tally with what I’d heard, over and over again. While I’d read about some people who had ordered seeds and were subsequently upset because they hadn’t expected them to come from China, or for them to come masquerading as jewelry, many more said they had never ordered the seeds at all. The USDA believes that most, if not all, of its 19,841 packages fit this pattern.

I assumed that Amazon would have come around to this reality, but when I contacted the company in March, I was astonished to hear that its position hadn’t changed: As far as it was concerned, any Amazon packages involved had contained real, delayed orders. I didn’t try very hard to hide how implausible I found this, and my next move seemed obvious. I proposed that I’d supply examples for Amazon to check out, ones I was confident would not match its narrative. My hope was that, once we’d established that people had received seeds they hadn’t ordered, Amazon would work with me to explain further.

None of these mystery packages bore the name or logo of Amazon or any other e-commerce company, but many, I realized, provided a clue: an encrypted phone number on the address label that would turn out to be one of a library of such numbers that Amazon uses to track packages while masking consumers’ contact information. Either these were genuine Amazon packages or someone was taking the trouble to make them seem so.

Lori Culley, the grandmother from Utah who first alerted the American media, seemed the perfect test case. Her two packages carried these telltale Amazon numbers, so with her permission, I sent the company her information.

And that’s when things got really weird.

Culley ordered those seeds herself, Amazon told me. I took this with a grain of salt. Culley had mentioned that she had bought seeds much earlier in the year, and this matched a pattern I’d observed—that many people who received mystery seeds had previously made genuine seed orders. Maybe, I speculated, the brushers thought it made sense to send something that the recipients were used to receiving.

I assumed that Amazon was speciously linking these different events. I asked Culley to go into her order history and pull out her invoices, so we could show that the seeds she knew she had ordered had been delivered long before the mystery seeds arrived.

What she found was not what she—or I—expected.

On April 25, Culley had ordered three packets of seeds from three different sellers: 100 clematis-flower seeds from C-Pioneer for $1.99, 100 clematis-vine seeds from zhang-yubryy for $1.53, and 25 wisteria seeds from DIANHzu1 for $1.99. Unbeknownst to Culley, these sellers were all Chinese, based in Hong Kong, Shenzhen, and Changsha, respectively. Each seller had more negative reviews than positive ones, many complaining about seeds that were delayed, or hadn’t arrived, or had arrived identified as jewelry. And crucially, Culley’s three April orders, the records showed, had not been shipped until between June 15, 2020, and July 7, 2020.

Further corroboration came when I sent this new information to Terry Freeman, the manager of the seed lab at the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food. She had tentatively identified Culley’s seeds as amaranth and pongam tree. But now, knowing what Culley had ordered, she agreed that the larger seeds—the ones Culley had tried to germinate on her windowsill—were probably wisteria. At least one packet seemed to be exactly what Culley had paid for.

This sent me into something of a tailspin. Initially, I had dismissed Amazon’s explanation, and I had cherry-picked Culley’s experience to prove the company wrong. That had backfired. But surely what Amazon was saying couldn’t be generally true? How could so many people have ordered seeds and then forgotten? And why would so many seed packets start arriving in a sudden surge?

Now I was shocked to realize that I could see exactly how it may have happened.

Consider this scenario:

1. In the early days of shutdowns, when people were spending an unusual amount of time in—and focused on—their homes and gardens, many ordered seeds online. This is clearly true. There were seed shortages, and according to the Home Garden Seed Association, order volumes were eight to 10 times greater than those in the previous year.

2. Many bought seeds from Chinese companies without knowing it. This seems likely enough. Plenty of evidence shows that China-based merchants were selling seeds online. And while e-commerce companies such as Amazon do post details of where vendors are based, the information isn’t obvious or easy to find. Plus, these seeds typically cost less than $3. Few people, I imagine, would suspect that something so cheap could come from so far away.

3. These springtime orders were not delivered; then, in June or July, they were suddenly delivered in great numbers. It seems perfectly plausible that a buildup of orders during China’s extremely strict shutdowns could have led to a large volume of seed packages being sent in the summer, when those shutdowns were substantially lifted.

4. Recipients in America, in the many thousands, didn’t connect the packages they received with orders they had made earlier. This is the hardest part to explain. How could so many people fail to make the association? I can think of a few reasons, many of them mutually reinforcing: the protracted lag time; the disruption of the pandemic; the bewilderment at receiving a package from a country you hadn’t knowingly ordered anything from; the absence of the usual paperwork; seeds that were unidentified and had no planting instructions; the disorienting way the packages were misidentified as jewelry (probably a tactic to get around Customs controls restricting foreign seed sales); and the predisposition, as soon as “unsolicited seeds from China” became a news story, to connect these puzzling packages with that dramatic narrative rather than with a button clicked many months before.

Still, I was uncomfortable with where this logic led. I now had to ask: Could it be possible that during the seeds-from-China fever of 2020, the most delusional theory of all was actually brushing?

I knew it would take only one good counterexample to blow a hole in this forgotten-orders theory, so I continued looking for one. Chris Alwhite seemed like a golden candidate. No one, I was quite sure, forgets ordering 519 seed packets.

This time, after spotting what looked like Amazon numbers on some of the packages, I asked her to go through her order history first. It showed that she had indeed ordered seeds back in May 2020—five times in total. Two orders, from American companies, appear to have shipped quite quickly, but the three she had inadvertently ordered from Chinese sellers (Bravet, Mosichi, and the catchily named PPYPYPYPYPZ) weren’t shipped until many weeks later.

That didn’t come close to explaining the 519 packets. But after I approached Amazon, the situation only got more complicated. The most likely explanation did relate to gifting groups. At least some of the packages were sent to Alwhite as gifts (while the five seed orders she had placed herself were actually sent as gifts to other people). Alwhite’s belief that such packages would always include a barcode or information identifying them as gifts turned out to be mistaken. Why she received quite so many seeds remains bewildering, but given the link between at least some of these seeds and real orders, her case no longer seemed to offer clear indications of brushing.

I moved on to Shayne Duggan, a technical writer for a software company in New Hampshire who’d received seeds on July 20, two days before the first American media story. Her package was labeled “stud earring,” and the return address seemed less a postal coordinate than a clue from some magical-realist fable: “North side of the west gate of South China Avenue, Longgang District, Shenzhen.” Baffled and perturbed, Duggan reached out to a friend who works as a botanist, and he shared the story on botanist bulletin boards. Duggan received more seeds a few days later.

I asked Duggan to check her Amazon order history. And once again, there it was. On April 9, Duggan had ordered 350 Organic Blend Seeds Gourmet Lettuce Unique Tasty Mix, then the following day Garden100 Multicolor Tomato Seeds.

Duggan was somewhat abashed when it all came back to her. “That was, as my kids call it, the OG pandemic, the original pandemic, when we were baking and sewing and doing all that kind of stuff … We weren’t going anywhere; we weren’t seeing anyone; we were hunkered down. That was the mode we were in, and that was the impetus: Oh, maybe I’ll plant some seeds.” When they didn’t come, she forgot all about them, and bought some young lettuces and tomatoes at a plant sale instead. When, months later, the mystery seeds from China arrived, she did momentarily wonder about her previous order, but was too thrown off by the weirdness of the packages to imagine that a sufficient explanation.

These are just three examples, of course. But I’d selected them precisely because I’d thought they were the most likely to establish that brushing may have taken place. It was now clear to me that at least some of these packets were definitely forgotten orders.

It’s not logically impossible for both explanations to be correct: that some packages were brushing and some were delayed orders. But it is hugely improbable. What are the odds that, last summer, two completely different scenarios led to a simultaneous surge in the same weird-looking Chinese seed packages arriving at American homes?

A researcher and I spent a month tracking down more seed recipients, trying to find someone whose experience punctured the forgotten-orders theory. Looking for signs of brushing, we tried to investigate as wide a range of packages as possible whose recipients believed that the seeds had arrived unsolicited. Not every package’s story fit the same pattern. Sometimes the evidence suggested that the seeds had spent months in transit. Sometimes the seeds received didn’t seem to match those that had been ordered. A few didn’t even come from China, but from nearby countries, such as Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan. A few appeared to be connected with other e-commerce platforms, though as hard as we looked for these, the lion’s share of what we found was associated with Amazon.

We couldn’t always come to a definitive conclusion. Some of the people we contacted either didn’t have or didn’t want to share the packaging or records required to understand the seeds’ history. But, again and again, people who started out confident about what had happened to them, many of whom were bemused by our requests to search through their old orders, would invariably find something. (Even Sue Westerdale, the “Veg gardening UK” Facebook poster who had first raised the alarm, and who was initially quite dismissive when contacted about this possible narrative, eventually unearthed an April order for “colorful flower meadow seeds,” its shipping date delayed until June.) In fact, in every single case that we were able to research fully, we found a convincing connection between a mystery package and an earlier order.

Despite the evidence, some seed recipients remained skeptical about the scenario we were describing, and they were not the only ones. A month after El-Lissy told me that the USDA was not able to think of any other reasons behind this event apart from brushing, I presented the agency with just such a reason: my forgotten-orders theory. I wanted to know whether the USDA had any direct evidence of brushing, or had verified that anyone had received seeds they had not ordered. The answer was no, with the proviso that the department is involved in an ongoing investigation into the seeds, in tandem with other government agencies, including Customs and Border Protection and the U.S. Postal Service. The USDA spokesperson was not able to share any more details about that investigation, and reminded me that the agency’s focus is on stopping this agricultural threat, not on proving why it happened.

Nevertheless, the USDA clearly remained unconvinced by my arguments. El-Lissy reiterated to me that the agency still thought all the circumstantial evidence pointed to brushing. “We continue to believe it is implausible,” he said, “that thousands of people around the globe ordered seeds and either forgot about them or lied about forgetting them.”

I don’t think that anyone lied. And I certainly don’t rule out there being messier aspects to what happened last summer that remain to be uncovered. Maybe some people will read this story and check their own order history, and new patterns will emerge.

But I believe, on balance, that people probably did forget. Or, to put it another way, that they may have never been fully aware of what they did in the first place. Few of us truly understand the machines and systems at our disposal; we click a button and move on. Meanwhile, tens or hundreds or thousands of miles away, something starts to happen. Steps are taken, wheels are set into motion, decisions—and perhaps mistakes—are made. By the time the distorted ripples of cause and effect make their way back to us, we may no longer recognize that we were the ones who threw a stone into the water.

Sours: https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2021/07/unsolicited-seeds-china-brushing/619417/
5 Crazy Rainy Season Gadgets Available On Amazon

This Hydroponic Garden System Solves Your Small-Space Problems With Great Design

I practically live for gardening puns these days, so when someone asks if I want to test out a hydroponic garden system called Lettuce Grow, my answer is obviously yes. It also helps that the Lettuce Grow company was co-founded by Zooey Deschanel, who can always pick up my mood via New Girl reruns and also happens to love food gardening and to be a special friend of ours here at HGTV. But puns and personalities aside, the real reason I’m recommending Lettuce Grow is because this thing works — like, really works.

What is Hydroponic Gardening?

Lettuce Grow’s signature product, The Farmstand, is a self-watering, self-fertilizing hydroponic setup. I’ve shared info about how hydroponic gardening works before when testing tabletop hydroponic systems, but here, again, are the basics: Plants grow in water instead of soil, nutrients are delivered via fertilizer in recirculating water and grow lights simulate sunlight when growing indoors.

While gardening hydroponically removes some of the things I value most about gardening — like being outdoors, getting dirty and getting exercise — it also solves some major barriers keeping people from gardening, including lack of outdoor space, space in general and that ever-elusive resource: time. I’m a big advocate for consumer-friendly hydroponic vegetable gardening for these reasons. After all, as Lettuce Grow explains in their mission, it’s all about getting people growing — for their own health and the health of the environment.

The Farmstand: Form and Function

The Farmstand starts with a 3-foot-8-inch-tall base that holds water and a pump, with a hole for adding water and fertilizer and testing pH. You then add layers for planting six plants at a time. The entry-level option starts with 12 plants (4-foot-3-inch), then you can build up to 18, 24, 30 or 36 plants (six-foot-1-inch). As you can tell from the dimensions, the Farmstead is big. I was honestly surprised how big it was even though the dimensions are listed smack dab in the center of the website.

With The Farmstand being quite large and involving plumbing, at first I was intimidated by the assembly, but it was remarkably easy when following the well-written instructions to the letter. I felt pretty proud of myself for putting it together before I’d even planted or grown anything from it.

With its large size, it’s definitely a statement piece, but thankfully, it’s really good-looking. All-white, it looks very modern, and the curvaceous build gives it a space-age quality. It’s just plain cool. And as the plants grow, it becomes a living sculpture that’s definitely worth showing off.

What Can You Grow?

You can take a quiz on the website to get a personalized seedling plan based on where you’re growing (indoor, outdoor, shady, sunny, etc.) and where you live (your growing zone). I’m using the 24-plant system indoors, and I let Lettuce Grow pick the pre-sprouted, ready-to-plant seedlings for me from among their 200+ plants.

Indoors, the options vary variety-wise (they offer some really lovely and tasty varieties) but are mostly lettuce, greens and herbs — all things easier to grow indoors. If you’re growing outdoors and in warm weather, the offering expands to include peppers, tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, eggplant, beans and more. I personally would love to see a pumpkin (which they offer!) growing out of this thing. They even include some edible flowers in the mix, including nasturtium and calendula.

Is It Worth the Price?

I’m gonna say yes. At $348 for the base model (12 plants), it sounds like a lot, but when you add up the costs for a 4x4 raised bed and soil to fill it, plus plants, it’s about on-par with the initial setup cost for a small outdoor garden. The Glow Rings (new in the product line and currently available for pre-order) are an add-on that’s necessary when growing indoors. They start at $200 for the 12-plant unit, making an initial setup cost for indoor growing $548. Again, sounds like a lot — but if you regularly buy fresh herbs and vegetables (and you should), the cost-savings add up quickly. There’s also the timely factor of these herbs and vegetables being right at your fingertips, as opposed to at the grocery, which is an extra consideration when you’re rationing trips to the grocery or when you’re short on time.

If you have limited space outdoors, like a sunny deck but no actual ground, The Farmstand alone is ideal, and you can skip the Glow Rings. If you have a similar space but it’s shady, the Glow Rings will make it work. If you don’t have outdoor space, or if you garden outdoors spring through fall but want to keep growing through winter, as I do, The Farmstand solves your problem. While the majority of photos I see on the Lettuce Grow Instagram community show outdoor growing situations, which is great, I really think that, with the new Glow Rings, it’s an ideal system for growing indoors. I look forward to seeing more pics of indoor gardens like mine popping up in my feed through winter.

Sours: https://www.hgtv.com/outdoors/gardens/the-farmstand-hydroponic-garden-system-review

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Patio Umbrellas

Your garden beds are weeded, your deck has been power washed, and the patio furniture is out of storage. You’ve got a calendar full of backyard parties to come and can’t wait to spend some quality time with family and friends.

But as you’re daydreaming about all the fun events to come, you start to remember just how hot that patio of yours gets in the middle of the day. Instead of having your guests retreat to the AC of indoors, consider adding some cool, shaded areas to your backyard space. Check out some of our favorite patio umbrellas to add some much-needed shade (and decoration) to your backyard.

9-Foot Printed Patio Umbrella

9' printed patio umbrella
  • Shade diameter: 9′
  • Umbrella height: not available
  • Adjusting options: crank lift, push button tilt

Available in coral, blue, and beige this 9-foot umbrella adds a punch of color to your patio. The spotted pattern offers a decorative flair to your space, and these matching cushions will tie your whole patio set together.

Bamboo Market-Style Umbrella

  • Shade diameter: 9′
  • Umbrella height: 7.8′
  • Adjusting options: pulley lift

Featuring a sustainably harvested bamboo frame, this 9-foot market-style umbrella is available in green, taupe, and red. The umbrella opens and closes with a pulley system, and the umbrella itself is made out of 100% polyester.

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Reviewers like that this umbrella can be angled a variety of different directions and say that the 9-foot canopy offers a large amount of coverage from the sun.

Vintage Market-Style Umbrella

  • Shade diameter: 9′
  • Umbrella height: 8.2′
  • Adjusting options: Lift crank, push-button tilt

For a bit of a vintage beach flair, check out this striped market-style umbrella from Hayneedle. Available in black/white, blue/white, and coral/white, this umbrella has an aluminum pole that opens and closes with a push button and crank, and the striped pattern is a classic look.

Tiki-Style Bamboo Patio Umbrella

  • Shade diameter: 9′
  • Umbrella height: 8′
  • Adjusting options: Cable crank lift, auto tilt

With a straw linen shade and a bamboo pole, this patio umbrella will add some tiki vibes to your space. Kick off your shoes, make yourself a mai tai, and relax in your very own backyard paradise.

Market Umbrella With Fringe Details

  • Shade diameter: 8′ 4″
  • Umbrella height: 8′ 2″
  • Adjusting options: crank lift, push-button tilt

Available in gray, blue, white, red, and yellow, this market-style umbrella from Wayfair has a crank lift and can tilt to adjust to your patio needs. The canopy is made out of polyester and features fringe details for a vintage 1930s beach feel.

Black and White Striped Patio Sunbrella

  • Shade diameter: 9′
  • Umbrella height: 8′ 7″
  • Adjusting options: crank lift, 360-degree tilt rotation

This standalone, cantilever-style umbrella from Wayfair features a French-inspired striped pattern to add a touch of class to your patio. The umbrella itself can be rotated 360 degrees, and the canopy is made out of durable Sunbrella material. This umbrella is also available in a blue and white striped pattern.

11-Foot Cantilever Umbrella

cantilever umbrella
  • Shade diameter: 11′
  • Umbrella height: 8′ 6″
  • Adjusting options: crank lift, 360-degree tilt rotation

Available in a wide variety of colors, this cantilever-style umbrella from Wayfair comes with a stand and operates with the use of a hand crank. The canopy is made out of 100% polyester and tilts to adjust to your patio’s needs.

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This is a large umbrella that will cover your entire patio set; perfect for those outdoor lunches with the whole family!

Red Striped Patio Umbrella

  • Shade diameter: 9′
  • Umbrella height: 8′
  • Adjusting options: crank lift, push-button tilt

Add a pop of color to your patio with this striped patio umbrella that’s made out of 100% post-consumer recycled polyester. The aluminum pole is powder-coated to protect it from the elements, and the umbrella is opened and closed with a hand crank.

Market-Style Striped Draped Umbrella

  • Shade diameter: 8′ 4″
  • Umbrella height: 8′ 2″
  • Adjusting options: crank lift, push-button tilt

Featuring scalloped edges and a simple striped pattern, this French-inspired umbrella adds a touch of class to your patio table. The umbrella opens with the use of a hand crank and tilts to adjust to the location of the sun. Pair it with a teak wood patio set for a relaxed beach feel.

Wind Resistant Patio Umbrella

  • Shade diameter: 7.5′
  • Umbrella height: 7.5′
  • Adjusting options: crank lift, push-button tilt

This simple yet elegant patio umbrella is 7.5 feet wide and available in 10 different colors. The umbrella opens and closes with a hand crank system and the canopy is made out of UV-blocking material. This umbrella is a good pick for windier locales as the material is designed to resist wind.

Coral Fringe Patio Umbrella

  • Shade diameter: 9′
  • Umbrella height: 8′
  • Adjusting options: crank lift, push-button tilt

Add some charming French flair to your patio with this soft coral patio umbrella with fringe details. Pair it with a traditional wrought iron table to complete the vintage look.

9-Foot Lit Umbrella

lit umbrella
  • Shade diameter: 9′
  • Umbrella height: 8′ 3″
  • Adjusting options: crank lift, push-button tilt

Keep the party going all night long with this 9-foot illuminated market-style umbrella. Available in burgundy, brown, black, and beige, this umbrella comes with a stand and includes 40 solar-powered lights.

Pagoda-Style Striped Patio Umbrella

  • Shade diameter: 8.5′
  • Umbrella height: 7.8′
  • Adjusting options: push up lift

Available in red, blue, or black, this pagoda-style umbrella is made out of durable Pacifica fabric that’s fade, rot, and mildew resistant. The umbrella is 8.5 feet wide and is opened and closed using a pushing mechanism.

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Reviewers mention that though this is a relatively compact umbrella, it still offers a lot of coverage and dries quickly after a rainy day.

Market-Style Draped Umbrella

  • Shade diameter: 8.5′
  • Umbrella height: 8′ 2″
  • Adjusting options: crank lift, push-button tilt

Available in yellow, gray, navy, red, and white, this draped umbrella features a durable aluminum construction and is adjusted using a hand crank. The umbrella pole is made out of teak wood and is covered with a powder-coated finish to protect it against the elements. Reviewers say that this is a large, sturdy umbrella that was built to last.

White and Yellow Paisley Patio Umbrella

white and yellow paisley umbrella
  • Shade diameter: 9′
  • Umbrella height: 7.5′
  • Adjusting options: crank lift, push-button tilt

Add a bright and sunny feel to your patio with this yellow paisley patio umbrella from Wayfair. Featuring a crank lift and the ability to tilt, this umbrella is UV resistant and features a wind vent to stabilize it.

3-Tier Patio Umbrella

  • Shade diameter: 8′ 10″
  • Umbrella height: 9′ 4″
  • Adjusting options: crank lift, manual lift

Available in lime green, red, and beige, this three-tier umbrella adds some vertical visual interest to your backyard area. Reviewers like that this umbrella is heavy-duty and sturdy and find that the hand crank makes adjusting the position easy.

Patio Umbrella With Cut-Out Shapes

  • Shade diameter: 9′
  • Umbrella height: 8′ 3″
  • Adjusting options: crank lift, manual tilt

Featuring unique cut-out shapes, this patio umbrella is available in a variety of different colors to match your patio furniture. The pole is made out of aluminum and uses a hand crank to open and close the umbrella. Reviewers mention that this umbrella is easy to adjust and adds an elegant touch to their backyard space.

Large 15-Foot Patio Umbrella

  • Shade diameter: 15′
  • Umbrella height: 7′ 10″
  • Adjusting options: crank lift

At 15 feet wide, this patio umbrella can accommodate a variety of patio furniture while keeping all your guests cool. The canopy is water resistant and the height can be adjusted with a hand crank.

Beige Striped Patio Umbrella

  • Shade diameter: 9′
  • Umbrella height: not available
  • Adjusting options: crank lift, push-button tilt

With scalloped edges and a simple beige and white striped design, this market-style umbrella is 9 feet wide and is made out of polyester and aluminum. Pair it with a wrought iron table for a more traditional look, or go with a teak wood table for a more modern feel.

Deluxe 10-Foot Double Top Patio Umbrella

double top patio umbrella
  • Shade diameter: 10′
  • Umbrella height: 8.7′
  • Adjusting options: handle crank lift, 360-degree rotation

For a highly durable patio umbrella that will stand up to all sorts of weather conditions, consider this option from Amazon. The canopy material has four different layers and the frame is made out of a heavy-duty aluminum material. The umbrella can be adjusted to five different angles and offers a 10-foot spread.

Traditional Teak Wood Patio Umbrella

  • Shade diameter: 11′
  • Umbrella height: 8.75′
  • Adjusting options: crank lift

Made out of solid teak wood and durable Sunbrella material, this traditional market-style umbrella adds a Mediterranean feel to your patio. The canopy is available in six different colors and offers 11 feet of coverage from the sun.

10-Foot Square Patio Umbrella With Solar Lights

square patio umbrella with solar lights
  • Shade diameter: 11′
  • Umbrella height: 7′ 2″
  • Adjusting options: 360-degree rotating tilt

Available with a beige or stone-colored shade, this 10-foot square patio umbrella includes 48 pre-installed solar lights and open and closes with the use of a hand crank. The umbrella can be tilted to a variety of different angles and is supported by an eight-rib steel system.

9-Foot Sunbrella

market style sunbrella umbrella
  • Shade diameter: 9′
  • Umbrella height: 8′
  • Adjusting options: crank lift, push-button tilt

For a neutral addition to your patio, consider this 9-foot umbrella from Amazon. The canopy is made out of durable Sunbrella material and is available in a variety of different colors.

Off-the-Wall Patio Umbrella

  • Shade diameter: 9′
  • Umbrella height: 8′ 3″
  • Adjusting options: crank lift

If your deck or patio is too small for a full-sized umbrella, check out this off-the-wall patio umbrella from Wayfair. This umbrella would also be a good option for your side yard or entryway.

Market-Style Half Patio Umbrella

  • Shade diameter: 9′
  • Umbrella height: 8′
  • Adjusting options: crank lift

If you like the style of the previous option but are looking for a pop of color, consider this option from Wayfair. Available in a variety of colors including neon green, pink, and orange, this umbrella has an aluminum pole and is reinforced with steel ribs.

Sours: https://insteading.com/blog/patio-umbrella/

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