Caring for your share

June 17, 2010 at 6:31 pm 3 comments

Make the most of your share and avoid waste by following a few helpful when-to-eat tips and storage guidelines!

Prep ahead:
Prepping will make it easier to use up your produce on busy nights. Rinse or scrub vegetables as soon as you get home. Exceptions are cabbage, root vegetables that you don’t plan on eating right away, and berries and stone fruits. These store best whole and dry. (Be sure to dry all produce thoroughly before storing to prolong life.) Remove green tops from root vegetables to prolong the life of your carrots, radishes, beets, etc.

Eat strategically:
Delicate leafy greens and fruits, and certain vegetables such as corn, fava beans, and okra, should be eaten first because they go bad quickly. Hardier greens (e.g., kale) will last for a couple more days and veggies (e.g., cucumbers, peppers, zucchini) can last up to a week in the fridge. Root and late season vegetables (think garlic, onions, carrots, radishes) will last for a long time.

Not sure what to do with your produce? Check out the newsletter and CSA blog for recipe ideas!

Store smart:
Don’t store fruits in the same drawer or bag with your veggies. Fruit emits ethylene gas that will make veggies spoil faster.

Not everything should be refrigerated! Tomatoes and eggplant are best kept on the counter; onions, garlic, potatoes, and squash (including pumpkin) in a cool, dark, well-ventilated cupboard.

Thoroughly dry your produce, especially delicate greens and herbs before storing. Store salad greens in a bag or salad spinner with a couple paper towels to absorb moisture. Herbs do well when shaken dry and stowed in a jar or cup with an inch of water, cover with a plastic bag and stow on the lowest shelf in the fridge. You can also roll them up in a paper towel and store in a bag.

Consider investing in green bags for refrigerated items. These bags (available at some supermarkets or cooking supply stores) absorb the ethylene gas that causes spoilage.

Preserving:
Save your produce for later before it spoils. Freeze, dry, pickle, or can it. We hope to hold a canning workshop later in the season. Stay posted!

Share the bounty:
It’s not possible to preserve salad greens, so it’s either eat ‘em, share ‘em, or in the trash (or compost) they go. If you find that you are unable to consume your salad greens or any other produce on a particular week, share them with a friend or neighbor!

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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. liz  |  June 18, 2010 at 3:49 am

    so helpful! Thank you!

    Reply
  • 2. Sara  |  June 28, 2010 at 7:25 pm

    This is a wonderful, helpful piece! However, I was wondering if you have any tips for avoiding plastic bags as vegetable storage? I find that even if I try to reuse plastic produce bags, they get gross after a few weeks. Not even a rinse will get them back in shape, and then they end up in the garbage! Reusable shopping bags seem too bulky and thick.

    With all that we know about plastic bags and the environment, are there any more durable alternatives to produce storage in the fridge?

    Reply
    • 3. nyccah  |  June 29, 2010 at 9:17 pm

      Unfortunately, we are stuck with plastic when it comes to preserving veggies effectively in the refrigerator. However, there are many reusable veggie plastic bags on the market that cleans up well and can be used over and over again. Check out your local supermarket in the aisle where you find ziploc bags and other storage containers for all the options available to you.

      Reply

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