Keep it Fresh

Aug 07, 2023

This week is National Farmers Market Week! This is a great chance to support your local farmers and producers by purchasing fresh food, but once you’ve stocked up on fruits and vegetables, is there a way to make them last longer? Luckily, the answer is “yes!”
Keep reading our helpful tricks for keeping your farmers market bounty fresh for longer!
Before you store strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, or any other type of berry in the refrigerator, wash them with a 1:3 mix of vinegar and water, then rinse and dry thoroughly. This will disinfect the fruit against mold, which will help to significantly lengthen their life.
If you washed a bit too much lettuce for your salad, store the leftovers in a bowl with a paper towel on top, then cover with plastic wrap. The paper towel will absorb the moisture that turns leaves soggy and brown. When the towel becomes damp, replace it. Another trick is to sprinkle the leaves with a dash of salt, which will also help to draw out extra moisture.
Carrots tend to dry out quickly, so they do best with a little moisture. Put them in a container with water, cover with plastic wrap, and store in the refrigerator. If you bought your carrots whole, first chop off the leafy greens as they can pull nutrients out of the roots.
Apples produce ethylene gas, which can make most other fruits ripen too quick when stored close by. However, this gas can actually help to keep your potatoes fresh for more than eight weeks and will stop those pesky sprouts from popping up after just a few weeks. So, store your potatoes with apples!
Sliced apples won’t last long before turning brown. Soak leftover slices in a bowl of cold salt water for five minutes to prevent oxidation, then dry and store your slices in the fridge in an airtight plastic bag. Just remember, don’t use more than a ½ teaspoon of salt per quart of water or you will taste it in your apples.
Wrap celery in aluminum foil before storing in the fridge. Unlike a plastic bag, the foil lets ethylene gas, which causes moisture loss and spoilage, to escape.
Asparagus often dries out before you have the chance to cook it, but there is a trick to keeping it moist enough for your next recipe. Just like storing flowers, place the asparagus upright with the cut stems submerged in a cup of water. Place it in the fridge and cover the tops of the asparagus with a plastic bag.
Once again, ethylene gas is the culprit for making your fruit ripen too quick. Separating each banana from the bunch and wrapping each individual stem in plastic wrap can stop the spread of gas. If they are already too ripe, peel them and store them in the freezer for an easy addition to your next smoothie.
The grow experts at your local Co-op are here to help your gardens flourish. Visit us for a variety of seed and supplies for your second round of gardening, and don’t hesitate to reach out for area-specific advice and expertise. Find the nearest location here.
For more content like this, check out the latest issue of The Cooperator.

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