Parks & Recreation

Storing Vegetables, Fruits & Herbs

STORING VEGETABLE, FRUITS AND HERBS:

Never leave apples in a bowl on the counter if you want them to keep. Apples keep well for about 6 months at temperatures between freezing and 45 degrees F. If you dont have a root cellar, a double cardboard box in a cool mudroom or basement can approximate the conditions . You can also store apples in the fruit drawer of your fridge. It helps to have a damp paper towel nearby to increase humidity.

BERRIES:

Never rinse before storage. It washes off the thin, protective epidermal layer. Berries are highly perishable so they dont store for long. If you must store them, place on a paper towel in a tightly-covered container and store in a cool, dry place (or the refrigerator) for 2 to 3 days .

HERBS:

Dill and parsley will keep for about 2 weeks with stems immersed in a glass of water tented with a plastic bag. Most other herbs and greens will keep for short periods unwashed and refrigerated in tightly-sealed plastic bags with just enough moisture to prevent wilting. For longer storage, use moisture and gas permeable paper and cellophane. Plastic cuts off oxygen to the plants and promotes spoilage.

MUSHROOMS:

Keep them in the refrigerator in a paper bag. The bag absorbs some of the moisture and keeps the mushrooms from spoiling.

ONIONS AND GARLIC:

Mature, dry-skinned bulbs like it cool and dry -- so dont store them with apples or potatoes.

ROOT CROPS:

Carrots, parsnips, potatoes, beets and other root crops should be brushed clean of any clinging soil and stored in a cool, dark place. Never refrigerate potatoes - it will turn their starch to sugar. Dont store apples and potatoes together. Store in a cool, dry place.

TOMATOES:

Store at cool room temperature out of direct sunlight. Never refrigerate fresh tomatoes.

TROPICAL FRUITS:

Tropical fruits do not keep well in the cold. Store bananas, avocados, and citrus fruit, as well as pineapples, melons, eggplants, cucumbers, peppers and beans about 50 degrees F is possible.

Enjoy the summer months and have fun with your garden and produce.


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