Every week (if you’re lucky), you receive a bag of fresh produce as part of Blue Sky’s CSA program. Bags include oodles of goodies, ranging from kale to leafy greens to beets and even fruit. It’s great having fresh, organic produce in the house, but how do you keep it fresh the longest? How do you ensure that one bag lasts until you receive the next? We have a few tips to help you make the most of your weekly CSA.
1. Don’t store fruits and veggies together!
When fruits approach maturity, they release something called ethylene. While this is a completely natural occurrence, the release of ethylene can cause premature ripening or even damage in other produce. As a general rule, keep fruits and vegetables in separate storage areas to reduce your chances of damage. (For a full listing of ethylene-producing fruits, visit HERE.)
2. Don’t wash your produce until you’re ready to eat it.
Although there is some debate about this, most experts agree that washing produce days before consumption can lead to mold and rot. There’s nothing wrong with clean produce, of course, but most people who wash early tend to not dry the produce properly. The leftover water is harmful during storage.
3. Store nothing near bananas.
Bananas are SUPER ethylene producers, especially when they have brown spots. Keep other fruit away from them at the risk of ruining your brand new batch of fresh goodness you just brought home from Blue Sky. Plus, bananas have a way of … smelling up the place. In other words, other fruits tend to absorb the smell of banana. Weird but true.
4. Make sure your storage bag or container has holes so the produce can breathe, and don’t pack things tightly together. Again, let your produce breathe and stay fresh.
5. Don’t use a knife on greens or lettuce you plan to store, because it causes browning.
Finally, one more tip just in case you haven’t been treating your CSA bag with enough love and your fresh greens end up wilted. According to Something Good Organics, “Wilted greens and lettuce are often just dried out which can still occur even if the greens remain in constant refrigeration. Submerge the wilted greens in cold water by placing them in a dish, filling it with water, and putting it in the refrigerator overnight. It should bring your greens right back to life.” (For more detailed instructions on each item of produce, click HERE.)
Now, you know! Rejoice, and use that CSA bag to its full potential. And hey, if you’re not a member of our CSA program, be sure to sign up HERE!!!!