Making the most of your spring and summer bounty

by | May 3, 2024 | Environment, Food Waste

Navigating the vibrant stalls of a farmers market, it’s easy to get carried away with the allure of fresh produce. But with a little planning and savvy storage, you can keep your haul of fruits, vegetables and herbs fresh for as long as possible. Here’s how to make the most of your farmers market haul. 

Leafy greens

Remove rubber bands from the greens, which damage plant cell walls and fastens spoilage. Pick out any discoloured and bruise leaves, wrap leafy greens in damp kitchen towels and store them in a breathable produce bag in the crisper drawer of your fridge for longer-term storage.  

If you’re planning on using them soon, give them a wash to remove dirt and dry them well in a salad spinner before arranging them between layers of kitchen towels in a box or produce bag.  

Tomatoes 

Keep tomatoes at room temperature away from direct sunlight, preferably in a single layer on your kitchen counter. Avoid storing them in the fridge, as it can cause them to lose flavour and become mealy. 

Berries  

To keep berries fresh, remove any damaged or moldy ones from the intact berries. Then store them unwashed in a single layer on a paper towel-lined tray in the fridge. Wash them just before eating to prevent them from becoming mushy. 

However, if you still like to wash your berries before storing them, make sure you thoroughly dry them afterwards — spinning the berries in a salad spinner lined with towel paper works best.  

Root vegetables 

Store root vegetables like carrots and potatoes in a cool, dark place such as a pantry or cellar. Keep them in a breathable bag or container to prevent them from sprouting or rotting prematurely. 

Herbs 

Trim the stems of fresh herbs like basil and parsley and place them in a jar of water, just like fresh flowers. Cover them loosely with a plastic bag and store them in the fridge.

Citrus fruits 

Store citrus fruits like oranges and lemons at room temperature away from direct sunlight. If you’re not going to use them right away, you can prolong their freshness by storing them in the crisper drawer of your fridge. 

Avocados 

To ripen avocados faster, place them in a paper bag with a banana or apple. Once ripe, store them in the fridge to slow down the ripening process and extend their shelf life. 

Cucumbers 

Wrap cucumbers in a dry paper towel and store them in the crisper drawer of your fridge. This helps absorb excess moisture and keeps them crisp and fresh for longer. 

Peppers 

Store whole peppers in a produce bag in the crisper drawer of your fridge. For sliced or diced peppers, place them in an airtight container lined with a paper towel to absorb excess moisture. 

Green beans (string beans) 

When possible, buy untrimmed beans, and only wash and trim them before eating. Remove any brown or damaged beans from the bunch and lay them flat on a paper towel-lined tray or up right in a tall container. 

Next time you visit the farmers market, remember these tips and savour the flavours of the season with confidence, knowing that you’re making a positive impact on the planet and your community. 

Learn more storage tips by playing our game, Still Good to Eat.  

 

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