How to store your produce so it lasts longer. A tip from the farmer’s wife.
When you receive your delivery, if you can invest just 5 minutes of your time to store the produce correctly, you’ll find everything will last longer, and stay fresher. There is no need to spend any money purchasing special bags, buying rolls of paper towel, or covered containers. If you have a crisper drawer in your fridge and some old towels we are ready to go!
Start by unpacking your box and separating the fresh items from the ‘storage’ items. Generally potatoes, onions, garlic and ginger are what I would call storage items. In my house there is a basket under the sink where they are kept. A cool dark place is best, you may prefer to use an area in a cupboard, pantry or drawer. Grab the fruit and place it in a pretty bowl to encourage everyone to grab a piece as the go by.
Next fill a clean sink with cold water. All of the green leafy veg, the carrots, radishes, broccoli, cukes and tomatoes etc can be quickly dunked to cover. No need to soak. Pull them out with a shake and stack into your drainer so the excess will drip off.
TIP: if you have whole heads of lettuce or similar be sure to drain them upside down. Any water accumulating inside the head will quickly rot.
Now we grab the crisper drawer out of the fridge. If it is your first time getting organised then go over all the produce in your drawer, and sort out what you can keep, and what you should compost. Give the drawer a good clean so we start fresh.
Once dry and clean, we line the base with a piece of clean old towelling. An old bath towel cut to fit is perfect. Failing that, use a thick terry style tea towel. The idea is we are creating a soaker pad to catch any moisture, and keep it away from the veg.
With the base lined, we start stacking vegies. Give the vegies a good shake to remove any excess water. The aim is for slightly damp, not soaking wet. I like to keep items in an area together. For example greens to one side, veg in the middle, herbs on the other side. As you can see in my pic the leek was too big so it is draped across the top. If I look in the drawer though it is easy to find what I need for dinner as it is all on display.
The next image shows our final step! Grab an old tea towel and dunk it into the cold sink water. Wring it out until it stops dripping. We want damp, not soaking. Cover the whole of the drawer and tuck in the sides, like you would a cot. As you access the drawer during the week, just pull the cover aside, and close back over once you have what you need. It will dry out, and that is fine.
When your next box arrives, the whole process starts again. This time the produce in your crisper drawer can be picked over and popped in the sink for a quick refresh before packing back into the drawer.