Friday, August 24, 2012

If you are anything like us here working in farm/produce land, you sometimes find yourself slightly overwhelmed about how to keep your CSA veggies fresh until you have time to make that recipe you have been looking forward to, or to use up the lettuce in a big family salad or use it all week in lunch time sandwiches. Its a good problem to have (produce abundance), but it can still be a problem and we are here to help!

Just as all vegetables look, feel and taste different, each one also benefits from individualized storing habits. In addition to good storage practices, check out the blog post earlier on about some great preservation ideas for real longevity. In the meantime, lets go over a few tips and ideas:
Lets say your share looks something like this:
Carrots, peas, potatoes, broccoli, cucumbers, parsley, Kale, Scallions and Salad mix.

All fresh greens can be stored in the fridge. Lettuce, Kale, Swiss Chard, Mustard Greens, Collards etc. last much longer in a plastic bag. If you wash it beforehand, dry it well or wrap the greens in a paper towel before putting them in the plastic bag to avoid too much dampness.

POTATOES and other root vegetables
Now that we are coming into autumn, you can begin to think about storing potatoes and sweet potatoes for the coming winter months. New potatoes are best eaten as soon as you can, but the potatoes that are coming out now can be kept dry in a paper bad in a dark dry place. They keep best with a little of their original dirt still on them!

ONION and GARLIC are another item you can store into the winter if you would like. We are almost done with spring onions for the season (onions with their green stalks still attached) and you may soon be getting storage onions (dried onions). You can keep these in a dark dry spot as well and they should last into the winter!
TOMATOES are best kept out of the fridge! Unless you are an avid canner and plan on tomato sauce, these are best eaten as soon as you can get to it! If the tomato is a little hard or orange/yellow/green still you can keep it on a sunny dry windowsill.
WINTER SQUASH is one of the best vegetables for storage. Many of them grow sweeter and ripen the longer they sit around! if you have a pantry, and can simply sit them on a shelf, not touching each other, and use them as you need them throughout the winter! 

Broccoli, zucchini and green beans can be kept in the crisper, preferably not touching too many other vegetables (in separate plastic bags) and should be eaten sooner than others. Herbs can be hung up (in bunches) on a string in a very dry place to dry! (this works best with parsley and dill).

1 comment:

  1. I stored my chard in the refrigerator right away, but it was limp when I finally went to use it. Any suggestions for how to keep crisp and firm?