Fruits & Vegetables: USPS Forever Stamps

At no other time have I been more concerned about the USPS. The Postmaster General is seemingly trying to destroy it from within and the timing is especially harmful. The pandemic isn’t going away any time soon and the most important election of our lives is just weeks away. Reliable mail delivery is paramount.

I certainly can’t save the Postal Service on my own. None of us can individually. But each of us can support it in tiny ways. How? Make a few purchases from the post office.

When you really think about it, it’s so cool that we have a choice of different stamps. They’re colorful and pretty and whimsical. They don’t need to be. A stamp could be quite utilitarian. But we’re provided choices of new ones on a regular basis — practical pieces of art celebrating American culture.

Back in 2014, the Celebrity Chef stamps were a favorite of mine, along with the Farmers Markets stamps. Now, you can purchase USPS Farmers Markets Notecards, which include the stamps. They’re a nice gift for yourself or someone else.

I’ve never bought notecards from the Post Office, but I will in the future. However, I did recently purchase two books of the new Fruits and Vegetables stamps. They’re so pretty!

The stamp designs that we’ve known and loved over the years were created under the direction of USPS art director Derry Noyes. Noyes was interviewed for an article on Artsy, where she explains the process.

It all begins with the Citizen Stamp Advisory Committee (CSAC)—a 12-person panel composed of historians, educators, designers, and others who determine the subjects for each year’s crop of stamps. (Noyes actually served on the committee herself for several years, before transitioning to art direction in the early 1980s.) Their goal, she said, is ‘to pick a broad spectrum that reflects American history, pop culture, people, events—to try to get a good balance for each year.’ …

The stamp-making process typically lasts between two and four years, Noyes said, though it can go on for much longer—particularly if legal issues arise. During this time, the four USPS art directors meet monthly to discuss their ongoing projects and critique one another’s work. Eventually, they share their work with the CSAC to see if they like the direction. The committee eventually votes to approve the final stamp designs, which then must be approved by the postmaster general before they can be released. ‘Unlike a fine artist working for him or herself, doing whatever they feel like, this is a real team effort,’ Noyes said.

While most of us don’t send as much mail as we used to, we still do every once in a while. So buy some stamps that light you up, so the next time you send some snail mail, you’ll spark some joy in the simplest of ways.

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Photo Credit: USPS

Celebrity Chefs: USPS Forever Stamps

celebrity chefs Forever Stamps USPSLike most people, I buy stamps a lot less than I used to. Most bills are paid online — and even though I love to write letters and send cards, I don’t do it as much as I used to. Since stamps tend to hang around for a bit, it makes sense to buy Forever Stamps.

For me at least, buying stamps now is like buying costume jewelry. It’s a fun accessory and an inexpensive way to show a bit of  personality and individual style.

Looking at the website, I see that there are Farmers Market Stamps. I love these! Maybe I need to start ordering all my stamps online, because my local post office usually never has fun stamps like these. At least when I go to get them.

In case you will soon be buying some stamps, I just learned that next week, there will be a new set of Forever Stamps making their debut on September 26th. More stamps for those of us who love all things food and cooking!

Next Friday, Celebrity Chefs Forever Stamps will be issued! They’ve picked a nice group and I appreciate the diversity as well.

The five chefs honored on these stamps—James Beard, Julia Child, Joyce Chen, Edna Lewis, and Felipe Rojas-Lombardi—revolutionized our understanding of food. Seeing cooking as a source of delight, they invited us to feast on regional and international flavors and were early but ardent champions of trends that many foodies now take for granted. As they shared their know-how, they encouraged us to undertake our own culinary adventures.

Looks like the the United States Postal Service has very good taste!

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Photo Credit: USPS