Storage Tips

Although we give your produce to you in plastic bags, these are the WORST way to store your produce!

There are storage bags out there that one can buy or...The importance is that the produce can BREATH. I keep my greens in a canvas bag in the fridge. Although it may wilt after 4 days, it does not rot, and still has the same great flavor. Other cold storage crops like carrots, cabbage, beets, I keep uncovered in the crisper, or on the bottom shelf of the fridge.

DO NOT chill tomatoes, onions, potatoes, squash, Eggplant, Melon or Pumpkins. They like to be stored between 50 and 55 degrees. A basement is a good spot.

Although we wash your produce before we give it to you, we suggest that you give it a rinse before you eat it.

Apples
*Keep cold but do not freeze
*Apples can be stored in a box that is lined with crumpled newspaper and then covered with a heavy quilt in a cool but not cold place.
*In warmish weather apples tend to rot at the bottom of the box first then adjacent apples will catch the rotten flavor so remove the rotten ones.

Basil/Herbs
* freezing:
wash (if needed), shake off excess water, put into freezer bags, you can suck the extra air our of the bag and then freeze right away. Take out only the amount of herb that you need and freeze the rest before it thaws. Herbs that freeze well are: Anise, basil, chives, dill, marigold, mint, oregano, parsley, rosemary, sage, savory, marjoram, tarragon, and thyme.

*Drying:
Bunch, tie the root end and hang root-up in a shady airy place. Allow about 2 weeks for drying. Anise, basil, marjoram, mint, oregano, parsley, rosemary, sage, tarragon and thyme all dry well.

Dry herbs keep best in a cool dry place in an airtight container to prevent flavor deterioration - this inhibits evaporation of the volatile oils in the herbs and protects the color as well.

1 t. dried herb = 1 T. fresh herb.

Beans (snap beans)
Freezing:
wash, cut and snap off the ends. Steam 2-4 min. Drain and chill well. pack in freezer bags. Beans keep best when drained well and frozen quickly - do not thaw prior to cooking.

Stringing:
use tender beans, wash and trim the ends. using a long needle and long strong thread, push the needle thru the center of the beans - hang in a warm place that is out of the sun. When completely dry they can be stored elsewhere.

Canning:
wash, trim ends, snap into 1-1.5 inch lengths. Raw-pack tightly into jars. cover with boiling water (or precook, boiling for about 5 min.) Pack into hot jars and cover with hot liquid. Leave 1 inch head space.
Pressure can only:
20 min for pints
25 min for quarts
with 10 lbs pressure at 0-1000 ft above sea level.

Canning pickled, dilled beans:
4 lbs fresh yellow or green beans, 8 to 16 heads fresh dill, 8 cloves garlic, 1/4 C. canning or pickling salt, 4 C. white vinegar, 4 C. water, 1 t. hot red pepper flakes. Wash and trim ends of beans and cut into 4 in. lengths, in each pint jar place 1-2 dill heads ad 1 clove of garlic. Place beans upright in jars leaving 1/2 in. head space. Adjust lids. Process ina water bath canner. At up to 1,000 feet above sea level process 5 min.

Beets
Pit and Root-cellar storage:
store where the beets will keep moist and be as near freezing as possible without actually freezing.
To bed in moist sand or sawdust use wooden container - make a layer of sawdust, a layer of beets, la layer of sawdust...
In a root-cellar with a dirt floor beets can be put in small piles along the wall.

Freezing:
cut off tops, wash, scald, cook until tender, peel, dice, chill and package.

Canning:
Scrub well. Remove beet top (done for us during harvest) sort beets by size, boil similar sizes together so they will be done around the same time. When they are fork-tender (~30 min) move into cold water - slip off the skins and cut into cubes ~ 1/2 in. or 1/2 in. wide slices then quarter the slices. pack into hot jars, cover with boiling water, leaving 1/2 in. head space. Optional: 1t salt/pt, 1T vinegar/pt to preserve the color. Process in a pressure cooker only. Pt for 30 min - Qt. for 35 min. If using weighted canner set it at 10 lbs for 0-1,000 ft. above sea level.

 

Cabbage (including bok choy)
If there are worms (cabbage looper) soak in a brine of 1t salt/1 gal cold water for 30 min to chase the worms out - rinse.
Root Cellar:
lay heads in rows on shelves in root cellar-type area, several inches apart, or hang heads by a string ties around the root end. Heads keep best at 32 to 40 F in 90% humidity.

Freezing:
shred as for slaw, blanch in boiling water for ~ 2 min., cool, drain, and pack.

Drying:
Shred as for slaw, spread on drying trays - dry at ~ 120 F until brittle. Grind into a powder and use in soups.


CANNING IS NOT RECOMMENDED BY THE USDA

Broccoli
Deworm as for cabbage

Freezing:
cut into pieces, pack and freeze without blanching or blanch stalks with 1 1/2 in. heads for 3 min. Smaller heads for 2 min. Chill, drain, pack.

Drying:
Soak in brine. Rinse, split stalks into thin strips, blanch, drain, cut or chop strips into 2-3 in. or finer sections. Spread them on a tray, dry at 120 F until crisp and dry to the center. To reconstitute, pour boiling water over and simmer until tender.

CANNING IS NOT RECOMMENDED BY THE USDA

Brussels Sprouts
Store in a porous bag for 3-5 weeks in a cool and moist environment.

Freezing:
Cut off stems and remove wilted or tough leaves. Sort by size and debug. Blanch larger heads 5 min., medium heads 4 min., small heads 3 min., cool, drain, pack in freezer bags.

Drying:
Cut sprouts in half, blanch in boiling water 3-5 min., drain, spread on a tray with cut side up. Turn the sprouts over 1 time/ day. They are done when dry and brittle and dry to the center. it takes about 18-24 hours in a dehydrator or oven and several days in the sun (bring them in at night)

Garlic
Short/Long Storage:
Place in a dark, cool, airy place (45-55 degrees).

Garlic scapes (they are the flowering tip of garlic)
Short storage:
Place in the fridge, use them like garlic!

Kale
4 cups of raw kales shrinks to barely 1 cup cooked kale!
Short Storage:
Keep in a perforated plastic bag, 4 days
Freezing:
Blanch for 2 minutes

Kohlrabi
Short Storage:
Store leaves in a perforated plastic bag, 3 days
Store bulbous stems in the crisper, 1 week

Lettuce: wash, roll up in dish towel and store in a plastic bag.

Melon/Watermelons
Short Storage:
Place uncut melons in a cool place in your kitchen. Once cut, cover and place in the fridge. We pick the melons ripe, so you may want to eat them within 3 days.
Drying:
Cut into thin pieces and dry them in a dehydrator or oven. Taste like fruit leather.
Freezing:
Cube and place into freezer containers

Onion
Short Storage:
Store in a cool dry place that allows air circulation. Heat and moisture make them sprout (the sprouts are edible and even the onion still although it may be a bit soft.)

Long Storage:
Keep in mesh bags for air circulation in a dry place. They like temps between 40 and 50 degrees.

Parsley
Short Storage:
I put mine in a vase with water (not in direct sunlight) and they stay happy and green for a week!

Parsnips
Short Storage:
Store in a breathable bag in the fridge, 4-5 weeks
Freezing:
Fully cook, puree` and freeze

Peas, shell, sugar snap and snow
Short Storage:
Keep in a breathable bag in the fridge, 5 days
Freezing:
Shell shell peas, blanch for 2 minutes, immediately drain and put in ice water for 2 minutes. Drain. Pack loosely into freezer bags, make sure all air is out, label and freeze.
*Same for snow peas, but do not shell

Sugar snap peas-blanch for 2 minutes then chill in ice water for 5 minutes. Place in a single layer on trays, freeze. Package once frozen. Only use in cooked dishes since they will no longer be crisp.

Peppers
Short Storage:
Keep in fridge whole and unwashed for 4 days. Ripe peppers may spoil faster.
Freezing:
Clean, seed and mince peppers, do not blanch. Place in freezer boxes or bags. They will be prime for flavor, not crispness.
Drying:
Thread together hot peppers (through their stems) and place in a cool, dry, airy spot (attic maybe). Drying is best done after the peppers have already turned red.
Pickling:
This is possible. Ask Peter Piper, or look in a cookbook.

Potatoes
Short Storage:
New potatoes (the early ones with thin skin) Keep in fridge, 2 weeks. Regular season potatoes can be kept in a dark, cool, dry place in your kitchen.
Long Storage:
Late season potatoes can store in a dark place of your cellar at 45-50 degrees. Do not let freeze, they will become watery.
** Even if a potato sprouts or becomes soft, you can still eat it, just pluck off the sprouts!

 

 

Radish
Short Storage:
Use radishes fresh, do not freeze or can.
Separate greens from root and store in a perforated bag. Keeps roots refrigerated, they will keep 1 week. If radishes become soft, you can crisp them by placing them in ice water.

Rutabaga
Short storage:
Place in crisper, will last up to 4 weeks
Long storage:
Place in a cool dark place at about 45 degrees.
Freezing:
Mash or puree them first!

Scallions
Place in a covered container in the fridge, one week

Spinach
Short Storage:
Place in a perforated or canvas bag in the crisper, 4 days
Freezing:
Clean and stem leaves, blanch for 2 minutes in boiling water, cool, and pack into freezer containers

Squash, summer
Short Storage:
It dehydrates quickly so place in a perforated bag. Try not to damage or bruise, 3-4 days
Freezing:
Puree squash first and then freeze. Cooked squash will be very mushy because if the high water content.
Pickling:
Both zucchini and summer squash make good pickles or relish.

Swiss Chard
Short Storage:
Refrigerate unwashed in a perforated bag, 3-5 days
Freezing:
Blanch leaves only (stems become soggy!) 2 minutes and then immediately dump into ice water for 2 minutes. Drain and package into freezer containers.

Tomatoes
Short Storage:
Keep tomatoes at room temperature (55-80 degrees). Do not refrigerate, unless the tomato is very rip and you do not want it to ripen any further. If fruit flies are a problem, get a food net or screen to place over them.
To ripen green tomatoes, store 65-70 in a paper bag. Keeping the ethylene in is good for ripening but they do need good air circulation.
Canning:
Use standard or plum tomatoes, cherries are too watery.
Freezing:
One can freeze whole tomatoes or the sauce

Turnips
Separate green from roots. Roots will keep one week, greens will hold up to 4 days in a perforated bag.
Freezing:
Mash or puree them first!
*Hint If turnips seem old or too big, blanch in boiling water for 4-5 minutes to remove strong or bitter taste.

Watermelons
Short Storage:
Place uncut melons in a cool place in your kitchen. Once cut, cover and place in the fridge. We pick the melons ripe, so you may want to eat them within 3 days.