How To Store Fruits and Vegetables : Tips and tricks to extend the life of your produce without plastic.

June 15th, 2010

From the Berkeley Farmers’ Markets :  Which have gone plastic free!  Here’s the link if you want to read more about it.

http://fakeplasticfish.com/2010/05/how-to-store-produce-without-plastic

Fruit:
Apples‐ store on a cool counter or shelf for up to two weeks. For longer storage in a cardboard box in the fridge.
Citrus‐ store in a cool place, with good airflow, never in an air‐tight container.
Apricots‐ on a cool counter to room temperature or fridge if fully ripe
Cherries‐store in an airtight container. Don’t wash cherries until ready to eat, any added moisture encourages mold.
Berries Don’t forget, they’re fragile. When storing be careful not to stack too many high, a single layer if possible. A paper bag works well, only wash before you plan on eating them.
Dates‐dryer dates (like Deglet Noor) are fine stored out on the counter in a bowl or the paper bag they were bought in.
Moist dates (like Medjool) need a bit of refrigeration if they’re going to be stored over a week, either in cloth or a paper bag‐ as long as it’s porous to keeping the moisture away from the skin of the dates.
Figs‐ Don’t like humidity, so, no closed containers. A paper bag works to absorb excess moisture, but a plate works best in the fridge up to a week un‐stacked.
Melons‐ uncut in a cool dry place, out of the sun up to a couple weeks. Cut melons should be in the fridge, an open container is fine.
Nectarines‐ (similar to apricots) store in the fridge is okay if ripe, but best taken out a day or two before you plan on eating them so they soften to room temperature.
Peaches(and most stone fruit)‐ refrigerate only when fully ripe. More firm fruit will ripen
on the counter.
Pears‐ will keep for a few weeks on a cool counter, but fine in a paper bag. To hasten the ripening put an apple in with them.
Persimmon‐Fuyu‐(shorter/pumpkin shaped): store at room temperature.
Pomegranates‐ keep up to a month stored on a cool counter.
Strawberries‐ Don’t like to be wet. Do best in a paper bag in the fridge for up to a week check the bag for moisture every other day.
Veggies:
Always remove any tight bands from your vegetables or at least loosen them to allow them to breath
Artichokes‐ place in an airtight container sealed, with light moisture.
Asparagus‐ place them loosely in a glass or bowl upright with water at room temperature. (will keep for a week outside the fridge)
Avocados‐ place in a paper bag at room temp. To speed up their ripening‐ place an apple in the bag with them.
Arugula‐ arugula, like lettuce, should not stay wet! Dunk in cold water and spin or lay flat to dry. Place dry arugula in an open container, wrapped with a dry towel to absorb any extra moisture.
Basil‐ is difficult to store well. Basil does not like the cold, or to be wet for that matter. The best method here is an airtight container/jar loosely packed with a small damp piece of paper inside‐left out on a cool counter.
Beans, shelling‐ open container in the fridge, eat ASAP. Some recommend freezing them if not going to eat right away
Beets‐ cut the tops off to keep beets firm, (be sure to keep the greens!)by leaving any top on root vegetables draws moisture from the root, making them loose flavor and firmness.
Beets should be washed and kept in and open container with a wet towel on top.
Beet greens‐ place in an airtight container with a little moisture.
Broccoli‐ place in an open container in the fridge or wrap in a damp towel before placing in the fridge.
Broccoli Rabe‐ left in an open container in the crisper, but best used as soon as possible.
Brussels Sprouts‐ If bought on the stalk leave them on that stalk. Put the stalk in the fridge or leave it on a cold place. If they’re bought loose store them in an open container with a damp towel on top.
Cabbage‐ left out on a cool counter is fine up to a week, in the crisper otherwise. Peel off outer leaves if they start to wilt. Cabbage might begin to loose its moisture after a week , so, best used as soon as possible.
Carrots‐ cut the tops off to keep them fresh longer. Place them in closed container with plenty of moisture, either wrapped in a damp towel or dunk them in cold water every couple of days if they’re stored that long.
Cauliflower‐ will last a while in a closed container in the fridge, but they say cauliflower has the best flavor the day it’s bought.
Celery‐ does best when simply places in a cup or bowl of shallow water on the counter.
Celery root/Celeriac‐ wrap the root in a damp towel and place in the crisper.
Corn‐ leave unhusked in an open container if you must, but corn really is best the day it’s picked.
Cucumber‐ wrapped in a moist towel in the fridge. If you’re planning on eating them within a day or two after buying them they should be fine left out in a cool room.
Eggplant‐ does fine left out in a cool room. Don’t wash it, eggplant doesn’t like any extra moisture around its leaves. For longer storage‐ place loose, in the crisper.
Fava beans‐ place in an air tight container.
Fennel‐ if used within a couple days after it’s bought fennel can be left out on the counter, upright in a cup or bowl of water (like celery). If wanting to keep longer than a few
days place in the fridge in a closed container with a little water.
Garlic
‐ store in a cool, dark, place.
Green garlic‐an airtight container in the fridge or left out for a day or two is fine, best before dried out.
Greens‐ remove any bands, twist ties, etc. most greens must be kept in an air‐tight container with a damp cloth‐ to keep them from drying out. Kale, collards, and chard even do well in a cup of water on the counter or fridge.
Green beans‐ they like humidity, but not wetness. A damp cloth draped over an open or loosely closed container.
Green Tomatoes‐ store in a cool room away from the sun to keep them green and use quickly or they will begin to color.
Lettuce‐ keep damp in an airtight container in the fridge.
Leeks‐leave in an open container in the crisper wrapped in a damp cloth or in a shallow cup of water on the counter (just so the very bottom of the stem has water).
Okra‐ doesn’t like humidity. So a dry towel in an airtight container. Doesn’t store that well, best eaten quickly after purchase
Onion‐ store in a cool, dark and dry, place‐ good air circulation is best, so don’t stack them.
Parsnips‐an open container in the crisper, or, like a carrot, wrapped in a damp cloth in the fridge.
Potatoes‐ (like garlic and onions) store in cool, dark and dry place, such as, a box in a dark corner of the pantry; a paper bag also works well.
Radicchio‐ place in the fridge in an open container with a damp cloth on top.
Radishes‐ remove the greens (store separately) so they don’t draw out excess moisture from the roots and place them in a open container in the fridge with a wet towel placed on top.
Rhubarb‐wrap in a damp towel and place in an open container in the refrigerator.
Rutabagas‐ in an ideal situation a cool, dark, humid root cellar or a closed container in the crisper to keep their moisture in.
Snap peas‐ refrigerate in an open container
Spinach‐ store loose in an open container in the crisper, cool as soon as possible. Spinach loves to stay cold.
Spring onions‐ Remove any band or tie and place in the crisper.
Summer Squash‐ does fine for a few days if left out on a cool counter, even after cut.
Sweet peppers‐ Only wash them right before you plan on eating them as wetness decreases storage time. Store in a cool room to use in a couple a days, place in the crisper if longer storage needed.
Sweet Potatoes‐ Store in a cool, dark, well‐ventilated place. Never refrigerate‐‐sweet potatoes don’t like the cold.
Tomatoes‐ Never refrigerate. Depending on ripeness, tomatoes can stay for up to two weeks on the counter. To hasten ripeness place in a paper bag with an apple.
Turnips‐ remove the greens (store separately) same as radishes and beets, store them in an open container with a moist cloth.
Winter squash‐store in a cool, dark, well ventilated place. Many growers say winter squashes get sweeter if they’re stored for a week or so before eaten.
Zucchini‐ does fine for a few days if left out on a cool counter, even after cut. Wrap in a cloth and refrigerate for longer storage

Asparagus Frittata Recipe

June 11th, 2010

Ingredients

2 teaspoons olive oil
1 small onion, thinly sliced (or 2 or 3 purple scallions)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 pound asparagus, tough ends snapped off, spears cut diagonally into 1-inch lengths
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup shredded Gruyere or Swiss cheese

Method

1 Heat olive oil into a 10-inch oven-proof frying pan over medium high heat. Add onions and salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are softened, about 3 minutes. ip owner . Add asparagus, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook, covered, until the asparagus are barely tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Pour in eggs and cook until almost set, but still runny on top, about 2 minutes. While cooking, pre-heat oven broiler.

2 Sprinkle cheese over eggs and put in oven to broil until cheese is melted and browned, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from oven with oven mitts and slide frittata onto a serving plate. Cut into wedges.

simplyrecipes.com

Honey Garlic Vinaigrette

June 11th, 2010

Ingredients

  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (or 1 stalk young garlic)

Directions

  1. In a container, combine oil, vinegar, honey, and garlic. Cover, and shake until blended. Set aside for 45 minutes, to allow flavors to combine. Shake again before serving.  allrecipes.com

Rhubarb Cheesecake Pie

June 11th, 2010

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 cups chopped rhubarb
  • 1 (9 inch) prebaked deep dish pie shell
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup white sugar

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C.)
  2. In a saucepan, combine cornstarch, 1 cup sugar, salt, water and rhubarb. Cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened. Pour into pie shell.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and reduce temperature to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C.)
  4. In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese, eggs and 1/2 cup sugar until smooth. Pour over rhubarb in the pan.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven for 35 minutes, or until filling is set. allrecipes.comrhubarb

Scramled Eggs with Spinach

June 11th, 2010
  • 12 oz  spinach leaves
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 cup minced onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 4 Tbsp. heavy cream
  • 8 eggs, beaten
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme leaves
  • 2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese

Preparation:

Coarsely chop the baby spinach leaves. Heat oil in a large heavy skillet and cook the onion and garlic until crisp tender, about 5 minutes. Add blackjack the chopped spinach and cook, stirring often, until spinach is tender, about 5-7 minutes.In small bowl, beat cream with eggs, salt, pepper, and thyme until foamy. Add the egg mixture to the skillet and cook and stir so the eggs scramble with the spinach, about 4-5 minutes longer. Sprinkle with cheese and serve.

www.busycooks.about.com

Packing out the CSA boxes.

June 8th, 2010

rufus picking in the rain

June 9th was a cold, wet, muddy, rainy harvest day.  It’s not quite as much fun working out doors when the weather is unpleasant.  But we splashed through it and packed out 98 CSA boxes!!  In case you did not read the previous posts I have reprinted the next couple of paragraphs to give you a glimpse of what it takes to produce your CSA box.

98 CSA boxes

We harvest as quickly as we can and hydro-cool most of the produce (some vegetables are left unwashed to increase shelf life) in a large stainless steel tank full of cold water.  You should always wash your veggies again to get any soil that may have clung on before eating.  Then we store everything in a cooler until all the produce is picked, washed and bagged.  At this point we set out all of the boxes, pack them and put them back in the cooler.

There were five people on the harvest crew Shannon, Adolfo, Alejandra, Lorenzo and Douglas.  With Rufus and I jumping in throughout the day.  We worked from 8am till 6pm.  With the exception of Douglas the rest of the crew lives in our community.  Our children attend the same school.  These same Fabulous Five have planted and weeded all the vegetables as well!  We have about 7 acres under production so far.

rain harvestField shot

I hope this gives you a taste of what it takes to produce this spectacular box of organic vegetables.  From our farm family to your family with love.

CSA June 9th 2010 (600 x 450)

Notes from the Field

June 2nd, 2010

IMG_4190 (600 x 450)

Last Monday (5-24-10) found us frantically trying to get transplants into the field.  Did we take it easy because it was 90 degrees with high humidity?  Oh no.  We planted about 5,000 lettuce head plugs for CSA and wholesale.  We desperately needed to get those plants in the ground before the rain.  After it rains it takes a few days before we can get into the fields again.

Tuesday was cool and rainy for harvesting the Salad Share.  It was such a different climate from the day before.  Farming and being in drastically changing weather can take quite a tole but its worth it just for the view alone!

Barn and Sky

We’ve been spending a good deal of our time and labor weeding.  We have about 7 acres that we are trying to keep up on.  Our cultivating tractor has been out of commission thus far and we have been doing it all by hand!  We use an assortment of hoes; traditional, stir-up and wheel.  As well as a long scratching fork and a lot of,  good old fashioned, down on your knees and elbows in the dirt!

Field shot

Yesterday we harvested, washed and packed out 75 CSA Boxes!  We harvest as quickly as we can and hydro-cool most of the produce (some vegetables are left unwashed to increase shelf life) in a large stainless steel tank full of cold water.  You should always wash your veggies again to get any soil that may have clung on before eating.  Then we store everything in a cooler until all the produce is picked, washed and bagged.  At this point we set out all of the boxes, pack them and put them back in the cooler.

The weather was beautiful and spirits were high!  There were five people on the harvest crew Shannon, Adolfo, Alejandra, Lorenzo and Douglas.  With Rufus and I jumping in throughout the day.  We worked from 8am till 6pm.  With the exception of Douglas the rest of the crew lives in our community.  Our children attend the same school.  These same Fabulous Five have planted and weeded all the vegetables as well.  They deserve a lot of credit! (pause for applause)

Harvesting Radishes

I hope this gives you a taste of what it takes to produce this spectacular box of organic vegetables.  From our family to your family with love.

CSA Week 1

Asparagus with Parmasan Cheese

June 1st, 2010

Ingredients:

Asparagus

Garlic

Parmasan Cheese

Olive oil

Garlic Salt to taste

Directions:

Preheat oven 350 degrees.  Chop Asparagus into two inch pieces.  Cut garlic into small bits.  In a bowl toss Asparagus, garlic, olive oil and garlic salt together.  Use enough oil to coat everything.  Lay flat on a cookie sheet and cook in the oven for 10 minutes.  At the end sprinkle with parmasan cheese  and leave in oven just long enough to melt.  The asparagus will be crisp, tender and juicy all at once.

-my stepmother told me this recipe.

asparagus