Vegetable Storage Tips

Tips on Storing the Spring Harvest 

 

Berries - If you do not eat them all immediately, which is most likely what happens, you can put them in a container in the fridge, covered with a cloth, not air tight.

 

Greens - Leafy greens need to have their moisture content controlled. You do not want them to be too wet, or they can get slimy, yet if they are too dry, they will wilt. The dry air of a refrigerator will pull moisture out of greens if left exposed to the air, causing them to wilt.

The best storage for loose salad greens is in an air-tight container, ie. a tupperware or glass container with a lid, with a paper towel in the bottom, to absorb excess moisture.

For larger cooking greens, like kale & swiss chard, a plastic bag with a puff of air works fine, or you can roll washed greens in a damp tea towel and place in a crisper drawer.

Here are a few good links to check out if you want to get more in-depth info. . .

3 Ways to Store Salad Greens

Storing Greens without Plastic & Freezing Greens

Making Your Leafy Greens Last Longer

In general, loose greens like salad and spinach will keep for 1-2 weeks. Sturdier greens like kale, chard, bok choy, turnip greens, etc. will keep for 2-3 weeks. Cabbage keeps almost indefinitely. 

 

Roots - Roots are grown in the ground, and they prefer a humid environment as well, about 80-90% humidity for most. Roots cannot be stored loose in the fridge, even in a crisper drawer, or they will lose their crispness and become rubbery. They can be stored loosely in a bag or wrapped in a damp towel and stored in an air-tight container. Roots stored properly should keep for several weeks, including radishes, turnips, beets, carrots, etc. If edible greens are attached, such as beet or turnip greens, it is best to remove greens and store separately.  

 

Spring scallions & garlic scapes - These alliums should be stored loosely in a bag (with air space) or container in the crisper drawer. Scallion will keep up to 2 weeks, garlic scapes are quite hardy, and will keep for several weeks to a month.   

 

Zucchini & summer squash - Zucchini & summer squash actually prefer to be stored slightly warmer than the fridge, about 50 degrees is ideal. However, since we don’t generally have a 50 degree space in our modern houses, you can either leave out on the counter in a cool house for up to a few days, or store loose in the crisper drawer. They do not need to be in a bag or container. These should keep for 1-2 weeks.

 

 

 

Tips on Storing the Summer Harvest

 

 Cucumbers - Store loose in the crisper drawer of your fridge, not in plastic bag or container unless cut. Will keep for 1-2 weeks. Great for preserving and making fresh pickles, lacto-fermented pickles, or canned pickles!

 

 Eggplant - Eggplant prefers to be stored at warmer temperatures than the fridge. We keep it in our “warm” cooler in the barn, which is set to 50 degrees. However, for household storage, you can store it on the counter for 1-4 days. It may start to get wrinkly skins after that time, but it still fine to use. You can also keep them in the fridge, but it may get dark spots, cold damage, after about 4-5 days.  

 

Greens - see tips from Spring above!

 

Onions & Garlic - These alliums should be stored in a dry, cool, dark location. In a basket in a kitchen cupboard is a fine location. Sweet onions should be used within 3 weeks. Red onions should keep for 1-2 months.

 

 Melons - Watermelons can be kept on the counter until ready to eat. Store any uneaten portion in the refrigerator. Muskmelons can be kept on the counter for 1-2 days only. If not going to eat within 1-2 days, it is best to store them in the fridge. We pick them fully ripe, when they turn color and slip easily from the vine, and they will continue to ripen and can become soft and over-ripe if left out for too long. Muskmelon can also be easily frozen, for “Easy Melon Sorbet” or “Melon Smoothies”. (Recipes are available on our website!) 

 

Peppers - Peppers should be stored in the crisper drawer of the fridge, loose, not in a bag. They will keep for 1-2 weeks. They also freeze beautifully. For short term storage, just deseed and chop and put into freezer bags. For long-term storage (and highest nutritional content), it is best to blanch in hot water first, then cool in an ice water bath, dry and freeze on a tray. Then transfer to freezer bags, squeezing out the air.

 

 Potatoes -  Potatoes prefer cool, dry, and dark storage. They can be kept in a brown bag or basket lined with a plastic bag to hold the dirt, in a kitchen cupboard, or dry basement cupboard. Potatoes keep well if unwashed until ready to use. We generally just rub the dirt off before including them in CSA shares. You can wash them when you take your veggies home for use that week, or store them dirty until ready to cook.  

 

Roots - see tips from Spring above!

 

Sweet Corn - It is best to eat your sweet corn soon after getting your share, within 1-2 days it will be at its sweetest. Store in the fridge until ready to eat! Any unused portions can easily be frozen after blanching in hot water.  

 

Tomatoes - For maximum flavor, tomatoes should not be stored at less than 50 degrees. A normal refrigerator is 40 degrees, so it is best to store them on the counter. They should keep for a few days up to a week depending on how ripe they are.  

Tips on Storing the Autumn Harvest


Garlic - Garlic should be stored in a cool, dry location, out of direct sunlight. Stored properly, garlic will keep until early spring. (When it begins to sprout in the fields, it also sprouts instorage.) A dry basement is fine for long term storage. Chopped garlic can be mixed with oliveoil and frozen in small air-tight containers. Garlic can also be sliced and dried (dehydrated)
and then finely ground, for the best garlic powder ever!


Greens - Leafy greens need to have their moisture content controlled. You do not want themto be too wet, or they can get slimy, yet if they are too dry, they will wilt. The dry air of arefrigerator will pull moisture out of greens if left exposed to the air, causing them to wilt.
We wash the salad greens well, but we recommend washing at home and spinning dry in a salad spinner, then storing in an air-tight container, like a glass storage container orTupperware container with a lid. It's best to place a paper towel or tea towel in the bottom to soak up any excess moisture. For cooking greens like kale, wrapping loosely in a damp clothor in a loose plastic bag works well.


In general, loose greens like salad and spinach will keep for 1-2 weeks. Sturdier greens like kale, chard, bok choy, turnip greens, etc. will keep for 2-3 weeks. Cabbage keeps almostindefinitely.

Onions - Store onions in a cool, dry location, out of direct sunlight. For short-term storage(up to several weeks), a kitchen cabinet is fine. For long term storage, a dry unheated basement works well. Onions can be stored in the fridge as well, loose in a crisper drawer, or in a paper or cloth bag (not plastic).


Potatoes - Store potatoes in a cool, dry location out of direct sunlight. For longer-term storage, potatoes keep best with the dirt on them. You can keep them in a lined basket and wash just before using. An unheated dry basement is a good location for long-term storage. If storing in the fridge, keep loose or in a paper or cloth bag (not plastic).


Roots - Roots are grown in the ground, and they prefer a humid environment as well, about 80-90% humidity for most. Roots cannot be stored loose in the fridge, even in a crisper drawer, or they will lose their crispness and become rubbery. They can be stored loosely in a bag or wrapped in a damp towel and stored in an air-tight container. Roots stored properlyshould keep for several weeks, including radishes, turnips, beets, carrots, etc. If edible greens are attached, such as beet or turnip greens, it is best to remove greens and store separately.


Sweet potatoes - Sweet potatoes keep best in a slightly cool, dry, dark location. They do better at room temperature than in the fridge, as they can be subject to chilling injuries. Like potatoes, they keep better with the dirt on them for long-term storage. You can store them in a lined basket in a cupboard, and wash before using.Be sure not to store them in a location that gets below 45-50 degrees.


Winter Squash - Winter squash are excellent keepers, and one of the few vegetables whose nutrient content actually increases in storage. The thin-skinned early varieties such as delicata & acorn should be used within a few weeks. The later, tougher-skinned varieties, such as butternut,store for months. For long-term storage, it is best to clean the squash skin of any dirt and debris, and then wipe them down with a bit of vinegar on a cloth. They like to be stored at 50-60 degrees, but room temperature is also fine. They are pretty, so you can decorate your house until you are ready to eat them! They are subject to chilling injuries, so do not storethem below 45-50 degrees.

 Zucchini & summer squash - see tips from Spring above!

 

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