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TOPIC: storing vegetables

storing vegetables 8 years 2 months ago #4565

  • forest
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  • Old Growth Forest
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It hard work producing food from the backyard. Here is my guide for storing vegetables so they will last until you need them.

Let's start with the most popular home garden food, tomatoes.
Tomatoes
They are best picked when they first start to go pink. Bring them inside and store them out of the sunlight. I store mine on a big enamel tray that sits on my kitchen bench. They will slowly ripen and develop flavour. If you have tomatoes that have fully ripened and you aren't yet ready to eat them, put them in the fridge.
Celery
Wash the celery and shake off the water, leaving some clinging to the stalks. Get two wide pieces of aluiminium foil and tighly wrap the celery in the foil. The secret to this method is to tighly wrap the celery so no air can get in. Celery will keep for at least 6 weeks stored like this. Each time you use the celery, re-wet it and re-wrap as before.
Lettuce
After harvesting, cut off the roots and any outer leaves that are damaged or eaten. Wash the lettuce in the kitchen and wrap it in newspaper and place on the bottom shelf of the fridge (old fashioned method) or into one of those plastic lettuce crispers and store in the fridge.
Cabbage, Cauliflower, Brocolli
Cut off the rrots and wash. Discard any damaged or eaten outleaves. Store in their own plastic bag and seal the opening. Store in the bottom of the fridge.
Potatoes
After harvesting, leave them outside under shelter to dry for a day. Do not expose them to sunlight. Bring them inside and store in a basket in a cool dark place. Don't store in plastic as the potatoes will sweat and rot.
Pumpkins and Squash
They are ready to harvest when the leaves start dying off, the vine starts to shrivel and the fruit sounds hollow when tapped. Cut from the vine, leaving a long piece (3" - 10") of vine attached to the pumpkin or squash. Leave them outside in the sun for a couple of weeks to dry out and harden. Check the skin has not been damaged, if it has, or the stem has fallen off, drip white or beeswax cadle wax over the stem hole or the damage. This will help stop the pumpkins rotting from that point. Store in a cool cupboard or in an enclosed hessian bag outside.
Cucumbers and Zucchini
These will go off fairly quickly and should be eaten soon after harvest. After harvest, place them in their own plastic bag, seal and store in the fridge.
Sweet corn and Peas
Sweet corn and peas should really be eaten as soon as they're harvested. If this isn't possible and you want to leave them for tomorrow, wrap in a moist paper towel (peas unshelled), place in a plastic bag, seal and store in the fridge. If they are to be kept for a loinger period of time, it would be better to blanche and freeeze (seperately) in portions big enough for your typical family meal.
Beans
Pick them when they slightly smaller than fully grown. Eat straight away for the best flavour or blanche and freeze for laster eating.
Carrots
Take the tops off as soon as you harvest them as the tops suck moisture from the carrot. Wash the carrots and store in a sealed plastic bag for a week or two in the fridge. Carrots are also excellent blanched and frozen.
Onions and garlic
Onions and garlic can be harvested when the tops have browned off. Lift them and allow to dry off outside for a few days. When you bring them inside, store in a basket in a cool dark place.
The highest reward for a person's toil is not what they get for it, but what they become by it.
John Ruskin.
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RE: storing vegetables 8 years 2 months ago #4570

  • Artemis
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Thanks for the list :)
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RE: storing vegetables 8 years 2 months ago #4575

  • becca
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Very informative, thanks! Especially about the celery - mine will be ready to pick soon, and it always ends up floppy and sad when I get it from the supermarket! Hopefully that's a thing of the past now :)
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