Storing Fruits and Vegetables to Last

I copied this (on Jan. 12, 2016) from a post by Thomas Tlusty for Garden Training Project.

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Storing Fruits And Vegetables To Last

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The amount of food we throw away every year is quite remarkable… in a bad way. A great deal of that food is produce – fruits and vegetables – that goes bad due to improper storage. This is especially frustrating when you grow your own food, as you’re quite literally watching your hard work, time and money decompose and wind up in the trash.

But you can minimize the amount of fruit and vegetables that go bad on your watch with a few helpful storage tips. Read on to find a few such tips for various fruits and vegetables that will ensure your produce stays healthy and fresh for as long as possible – without the use of preservatives or chemicals, I might add.

Vegetables

Crop of vegetables. Potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant and other vegetables.

Image: www.amazonaws.com

Tomatoes – Always store tomatoes at room temperature to ensure they stay firm and fresh for as long as possible.

Cucumbers – You can keep cucumbers fresh for several days after buying them by wrapping them in a moist towel and placing them in your refrigerator.

Peppers – Store peppers in a plastic bag for up to two weeks. If you can flash freeze your peppers, even better – this will help them last up to a staggering 10 months!

Green Beans – Green beans do well with humidity but can get moldy when wet. The sweet spot can be found by draping a damp cloth over the beans.

Carrots – Keep carrots in a sealed container and dip them in cold water every few days. Cut off the tops for increased freshness.

Squash – Squash will keep quite well at room temperature if you can keep them out of direct sunlight.

Peas – Place peas in an open container and leave them in your refrigerator for best results.

Onions – Keep onions in a cool, dark area with good air circulation.

Broccoli – Keep broccoli in the fridge wrapped in a damp towel or left in an open container. I keep mine on the bottom shelf to avoid the smell of other food affecting the broccoli, a good tip in general if you’re keeping anything in an unsealed container.

Corn – For best results, you should keep the corn in their husks until they’re ready to be eaten. Keep corn refrigerated.

Garlic – Keep garlic away from direct sunlight in a dry place – they do not like dampness or humidity at all.

Celery – Wrap celery in foil and place them in the fridge. You can also keep them in a bowl of water on your counter for shorter-term storage.

Fruits

Fruits

Bananas – After purchasing your bananas, separate them and store them in a well-ventilated basket for best results.

Apples – Apples will keep quite well for roughly two weeks away from heat. If you’re storing apples for a longer period of time, put them in a cardboard box and leave them in your fridge. It’s also handy to keep a drawer at the bottom of your fridge exclusively for apples if you’ve got a lot of them.

Grapes – Store grapes in your refrigerator and only wash them when you’re about to eat them so that they stay firm and don’t get mushy.

Peaches – Don’t put peaches in the fridge until they are completely ripe.

Pears – Brown bag ‘em and place them in your fridge for longer storage. They will do just fine for a few weeks on your counter.

Watermelon – Let watermelon ripen at room temperature for about 7-10 days.

Pineapples – You can store pineapples in the fridge – be sure to cut off the top. You can also slice them and put the pieces in an airtight container. Take care not to use tin foil as this will alter the taste.

Strawberries – Keep strawberries away from wet places as they do mold quite easily. Place them in a paper bag and they’ll do fine for about a week if the bag is kept dry.

Jesse Herman is a contributing staff writer for REALfarmacy.com. He writes and produces video  at PowerfulPrimates.com. Jesse began his alternative health journey after chronic back pain and has not looked back since. Follow him on Youtube and Facebook (also more Facebook), broadcasting out of Brazil, Florida, and in a dark distant cave (with internet).

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Collector and recycler

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letter C cartoon alphabet
collector

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letter-a-cartoon-animation-F
and

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letter R cartoon alphabet clipartrecycler

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letter E cartoon alphabet clipartextraordinaire

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Ha haThis combination of words for CARE– letters came to me in the middle of the night. I was “up” before four o’clock to start the message (before I forgot).

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Tarp covered storage areaYes, I’m a collector. “I might need that some day.” It has been such a joy to have the storage shelter so I can hide some of my garden clutter. So valuable this Winter for protection of my perennial plants.

Recently, I’ve recycled medicine containers, nutrition supplement bottles, and other small plastic items in the bottom of large planters. My neighbors are contributing to “pebbles for planters.” (Sadly, there is no effort to “recycle” in Livingston, Texas.)

Cardboard (in moderation) is good in compost piles. (Recycling. 😉 )

Cutting up cardboard (1)

Cutting up cardboard (2)

Land-fill

Bag of bags

 

Containers adapted…

Letter C in pink
containers

Letter A purple
adapted

for / to

Letter R bold red (2)
respectable

Letter E purple
element

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Sadly, my neighbors are only interested in low maintenance perennial plants in their yard (or no plants at all). I’m preparing these large empty containers (from a farm store) with ample drainage. On my other blog, I wrote about pebbles for planters.” (Currently, FIVE [5] containers to prepare but owner of farm store will save more for me as they become available.)

Holes in bottom of planter

Pebbles for planters

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Black planter with holes in bottomHoles drilled in large containers

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Five large plantersSmiley face two thumbs up

Planting by the moon

Planting by the moon. I’m intrigued–and consulted the Old Farmer’s Almanac. It tells me January 21 and 22 are good days to plant above ground crops. Two days ago, I set up a seed-starting container in front of a window that gets lots of sunshine. I limited this planting to ten (+/-) Burpee Looseleaf Blend lettuce seeds. I want to stagger my crop. (These are seeds just purchased.) Additionally, I planted ten (+/-) Burpee Salad Bowl organic lettuce seeds. The package had never been opened and bears a “sell by date” of 11/14.

Seed starting kit

Loose leaf blend lettuce seed

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In separate, individual, planters: Burpee cucumber organic seeds with “sell by date” of 11/14 (only five seeds remaining in the package). “Nothing ventured, nothing gained.” I’ll see if I have success with out-dated seeds. ~~ I’m using Organic Seed Starting Jiffy-Mix in the individual pots.

Rutgers tomatoFurthermore, in separate, individual, planters: Rutgers tomato seeds. (They will not be planted in the Garden Tower because [imho] plants too large.)

Individual planters

Seed starting Jiffy-Mix

Making preparation

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Question mark and exclamation marks with facesThe kitchen/living room floor was the “stage” for some of the pictures. My workbench was the kitchen counter!!  Questions: How long will I be sharing my tiny living room with seedlings? Am I starting too early??

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How deep?Seeds I can see

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Double foil wrappedGetting ready

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Sprinkled top with Jiffy mixToday, the “nitty-gritty.” A nice day to work indoors because cloudy, with occasional light rain. I have to smile 😉 because it appears I’m approaching this like a science project.

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Old seed but double packageTwo type planted

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Soaked cucumber and tomato seedsMission accomplished

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In front of the window

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Peppers on my plantPeppers from my plant

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Planted several fresh seedsThis is an experiment: Will seeds just removed germinate and grow? I really enjoyed these small peppers. I bought the plant from Lowe’s (last summer) and believe it was identified as “heritage.” ~~ How to grow peppers.

Shade cloth ordered… and received

From Greenhouse Megastore, I ordered this shade cloth. Even before I plant the FIRST seeds, I’m thinking “long-range” to the extreme summer heat in southeast Texas. From time-to-time, I have the valued assistance of a strong young man. As he has time, I’ll have him help me prepare the framework and secure the fabricated cloth cover.

Shade clothLetter C red color with eyes
cloth

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Letter A with stick figure (2)
arrived

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Letter R red and gold flame
realistic

solution (imho) against

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Letter E in red and orange color
extreme

Texas summer temperatures

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Green shade