Georgia’s Home for Everything Local
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Farmview is all about farm fresh and organic produce. But, unfortunately, fresh doesn’t always last! We set out to find out how we can keep our delicious fruits and vegetables in tip-top shape, for a little while longer. What we found was a plethora of information, but we discovered that the best way to keep fruits and veggies fresh is proper storage. We all know the look of a sorry bin of wasted strawberries, all sunken, dark and fuzzy. You can avoid this by simple planning. Certain types of fruits and vegetables do not mix well in storage, as some emit ethylene, a gaseous hormone. Understand that ethylene is, by itself, not harmful to your health. It is odorless and tasteless and has no adverse side effects on your body. But, it does work as a food ripener and therefore works against keeping produce fresh. Certain foods don’t do well with ethylene around and can spoil faster when stored near your ethylene-producing fruits and veggies inside the same compartment
Take note because your highest ethylene producers are apricots, cantaloupe, figs, honeydew, bananas, tomatoes, avocadoes, nectarines, peaches, pears and plums. You can store these fruits in the fridge but you should separate them.
In the fruit compartment you can safely store apples, apricots, cantaloupe, figs and honeydew melon. You should spread your blackberries, blueberries, raspberries and strawberries out into single layers to keep them from rotting at contact points where moisture gathers. If you don’t have enough room, try storing your berries in separate bowls. Do not wash them until ready for consumption.
Some of your vegetables will keep best in separate plastic bags. These include broccoli, lettuce, peas, cauliflower, carrots, peas, radishes and corn. Even green onions like to be stored cool and separate in the fridge. Mushrooms and okra like their own space in paper bags. So do artichokes, asparagus, beets, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cherries, grapes, green beans, lima beans, leeks, plums, spinach, summer squash, yellow squash and zucchini. Fresh herbs are also best in their own paper bag.
Some fruits and vegetables fare better on our countertops. Thanks to their hardier constitutions and external structure, these can stay fresh without the need of colder temperatures. These include basil, cucumbers, eggplant, garlic, ginger, grapefruit, jicama, lemons, limes, mangoes, oranges, papayas, peppers, persimmon, pineapple, plantains, pomegranates and watermelon. Keep acorn squash, butternut squash, pumpkins, spaghetti squash, and winter squash in a cool, dry environment. Same goes for potatoes and sweet potatoes. Always keep onions and potatoes away from each other! They produce gases that make each other spoil.
You should always keep apples out of direct sunlight. They can be stored on the counter-top, in an uncovered bowl or inside a bag with air holes. Many people like to store them in the refrigerator so that they stay cold and crisp, and we’re inclined to agree with them.
By following these simple tips and guidelines, your organic produce will last much longer and you won’t waste any time or money on spoiled food.
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