it is not pumped full of preservatives, organic
produce does not have the shelf life of "conventional" produce.
You need to give them special care to extend their freshness,
especially in warmer climates. Sensible storage techniques
should safeguard your bounty of nutrition.
- Citrus is best kept at room temperature of 60-70 degrees and used within two weeks. Do not store in plastic bags.
- Berries and Cherries are best covered in the fridge. Don't wash until you use them - too much moisture in the package speeds spoilage.
- Avocados and Bananas are best stored and eaten at room temperature. Both will ripen with time. To speed ripening of green bananas store them in a paper bag with an apple in a warmish place. If they still don't ripen after 1 week, they have been transported at a low temperature, and you might as well make chutney of them. If you don't use the whole avocado in one sitting, store the remainder with the pit intact in a bag in the fridge - the pit will keep the fruit from discoloring.
- Apples are best kept in the fridge, stored loose-they need to breathe to stay crisp. Use within a month.
- Eggplants, Potatoes, Onions, Winter Squash, Rutabagas, and Sweet Potatoes are best kept moderately cool, no lower than 50 degrees. A cool, dry dark place is best- on the counter, in a cupboard or basket.
- Apricots, Peaches, Pears, Nectarines, Mangoes, Kiwis, Plums and Melons should be ripened before refrigeration, stored in plastic bags when ripe. Melons should be used as soon as possible after ripening.
- Tomatoes should be kept uncovered at room temp, but can be refrigerated if very ripe. All other fresh vegetables belong in the refrigerator.
- Green Beans and Peas should be kept in plastic bags or containers. They'll last 3-5 days in the fridge.
- Corn should be kept in its husk in the fridge. Eat it as soon as possible because its sugar quickly turns to starch, causing it to lose its flavor.
- Carrots, Radishes, Turnips, Beets, and Parsnips should be stored in plastic bags. They'll last two weeks in the fridge. Take tops off carrots before storing, leave greens on radishes, turnips and beets, with both roots and tops in the bag.
- Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts, Scallions, and Summer Squash will last 4-7 days in plastic bags in the crisper.
- Spinach, Kale, Chard, Lettuce, Salad Greens, and Cooking Greens have the same crisper life and should be kept in plastic bags. Any bunch greens can be freshened by cutting an inch of the bottom stalks and soaking the entire bunch in cold water for 10 minutes. Place in a plastic bag in the fridge for a few hours to revive.
- Peppers and Cucumbers should be stored in the crisper, and washed before use.
- Cauliflower, Fennel, Jerusalem Artichokes and Leeks wrap in plastic and use within a week.
- Cabbage and Celery have a fridge life of up to two weeks. Wrap celery in plastic.
- Parsley and Cilantro are best with bottoms of stems trimmed, placed upright in a jar of water in the fridge. Basil can be stored upright in a jar of water at room temperature, or in an open bag on the counter. These three all do well frozen also (they will loose texture but not taste).
- Thyme and Rosemary should be stored in the fridge in bags for up
to a week, after that they can be brought out onto the counter to
dry. Dry herbs should be stored tightly in a jar.
- Asparagus is delicate and should be used within 2-3 days, wrap in a damp towel and store in plastic bags or bins.
- Mushrooms do well kept in a cool, dark place in a bag. Do not wash until ready to use.
- Ginger will keep in the fridge for a week or two, but for longer term should be frozen in a bag or jar. You can easily grate the root direct from the freezer.
If you have any more questions about storing your fresh produce, please contact Farmer Monte.