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Colleen's CSA Corner Week 5

Posted 7/20/2020 3:11pm by Colleen Quiram.

This week’s box is full of produce that is in my kitchen regularly, and I am very excited about the beans! I thought as the items are a bit more common, I might write a bit more about storing your items at home.

I use the FridgeSmart system from Tupperware for all my produce. I have found that my items keep much longer in these containers, and I like them so much that I have 2 full sets! Rubbermaid I believe, has a similar system where you can adjust the humidity by produce item. Even here on the farm we use the same storage techniques on a larger scale. Certain items like to be colder, around 36°, such as apples, carrots, green beans, beets, kohlrabi, cabbage, and cauliflower. Others such as zucchini, eggplant, cucumbers, and peppers prefer it a bit warmer around 40°. The humidity in your refrigerator will affect produce as well, which is why I like the keeper systems where each container can have a different humidity level. Check your refrigerator temp as they can sometimes be around 45°, not nearly cold enough to keep items at their best.

Carrots – Our carrots will store best in the refrigerator, cold and in a little ice water. This will help them keep their crunch for a week or more. Do not clean carrots until you are ready to use them, cleaning them will make them deteriorate faster.

Sweet Corn – Stored best in the refrigerator but keep them damp! Once the husks start to dry, the corn kernels will also dehydrate and lose their sweetness as the sugars convert to starch. Keep them wrapped in a damp paper towel in the fridge, use within a few days.

Potatoes – New potatoes such as these will do best in the refrigerator as well. Keep them in the coldest part of your fridge in a plastic container. Do not keep them in a plastic bag.

French Green Beans – These will keep well in a plastic bag, but only for a few days. Try to use them earlier in your week as they do not have a long shelf life.

Onion – as our onions have a higher sugar content, they do not ‘cure’ well for storage. Keep them in the fridge near your potatoes. They will last for a month or more un-cut. Once cut, they will dry out quickly. Use within a few days.

Cucumber – Cold and crisp! Place a damp paper towel in the bottom of a plastic container and keep in the fridge. Do not wash until you are ready to use.

Tomatillos – These can be stored on your counter in the husk until ready to use. They will keep for a week or so as the husks start to dry. Make sure to take them out of the plastic bag. Jalapeno – Fridge is best, but not too cold.

Broccoli – Best used within a few days, but you can keep it in a plastic bag in the coldest part of your fridge if needed. Don’t forget to use the stems! Cut off the woodiest part of the broccoli stem, reserving the top portion. Peel the thick outside layer off and cut into disks.

Tomatoes – these should never be kept below 50°, it affects the flavor of the tomatoes and will cause them to deteriorate faster. Leave them on your counter, top side down, until ready to use.

Here is a sneak peek of other items we hope to feature in your shares in the coming weeks. As you all are aware, crops can fail, we sometimes just don’t have enough for everyone, and weather happens! Start gathering your favorite recipes for some of these items we hope to send you soon.

Green Peppers

Sweet Italian Peppers

San Marzano Roma tomatoes (paste tomatoes)

Heirloom tomatoes

Mini Italian Peppers

Okra

Garlic

Melons

and Apples in late August!  

~Colleen