2016 CSA – Week 2: Storing Produce

CSA Week 2 Graphic

CSA Newsletter – Week 2


Storing Produce

Storing produce is not only important for you to make the most of your box, but it is also an essential part of our farming operation. Throughout the season and especially during fall, we will harvest large quantities of a crop that matures at the same time such as cabbage, winter squash, beets, carrots, and other root vegetables. These crops are stored in large totes, cardboard boxes, or wooden crates. Some produce does best stored just above freezing while other produce keeps best at warmer temperatures.

Proper storage is so critical for our farming operation because we often harvest more produce than we can sell immediately. Proper storage techniques help us hold our harvest so that we can sell it gradually, over time. On the farm, we have two walk in coolers where space is at a premium, especially during fall harvest. But we also have to get creative when space is limited. In the fall we convert our propagation houses into winter squash storage and the shelves in our packing shed fill up with bins of onions.

This week is all about proper produce storage so that you can make the most of your CSA. So don’t feel overwhelmed if you have more potatoes or carrots than you can eat this week. Store them properly and you can eat them several weeks from now!  The backside of the newsletter has a storage guide that we have compiled over the years. If you have any storage tips or tricks that you would like to share, we would love to hear from you!

– Lily Walton, CSA Coordinator

 

Table of Box Contents:

☐ 1½ lbs Potatoes ($4.50)

☐ Swiss Chard ($3.00) separate the stems from the leaves for cooking. Great sautéed and cooks a bit quicker than kale.

☐ Bunch Beets ($3.50) roast or boil the beats and use the greens for sautéing. Balsamic vinegar and goat chèvre with beets is a personal favorite.

☐ Arugula ($3.00) Use as a salad green, in sandwiches, pasta salad, or even make pesto!

☐ Baby Onions ($2.50) Onions with a bonus! Use the greens as you would scallions.

☐ 2 Zucchini ($1.50)

☐ Kohlrabi ($1.25) Delicious fresh or dressed in salads

☐ 2 cucumbers ($2.00)

☐ Dry Garlic ($1.50) Bend this up with some arugula or basil for fresh pesto

☐ Storage Onion ($1.50)

☐ Bunch Basil ($3.00) trim the stems and place them in a glass or jar of water, just like cut flowers. Loosely cover it with a plastic bag and leave it on the counter.

☐ 1 Siletz Tomato ($2.50)

☐ 1 Pint of peas ($4.00) great for eating fresh, in salads, or in stir-fry.

☐ Lettuce ($2.00)

Box value at the farmers’ market: $35.75

 

Storage Tips:

VEGETABLE & storage time HOW TO STORE LONG TERM STORAGE TIPS (The big four: Freezing, Canning, Pickling, Dehydrating)
GREENS AND HERBS: Tender greens last about1 week; hardy greens 2 weeks. Store wrapped in a paper towel (or a mesh greens-bag if you have one) inside of a container or bag in the fridge.  Greens with their roots still attached keep well in a bowl of water. * Many types of herbs can be dried by hanging upside down with twine in a dry, sunny place.

* Many greens can be blanched and frozen. Or, make greens-pesto and freeze it.

* Hardier greens like kale can be coated with oil, salt & pepper, and baked to make chips.

DRY ROOTS

like potatoes, onions, garlic:

1-2 months

Keep them cool and dry. Keep potatoes in the dark lest the sunshine turn them green. * Potatoes do NOT freeze well.

* Make vegetable stock! Throw in almost any veggies and herbs, bring to a boil, simmer 30 min, strain, and freeze until you need it.

FRESH ROOTS like beets, carrots, radishes, onions:
1-2 months
Break off tops so the greens don’t continue to draw sugar out of the roots. Store in a closed container in fridge. Don’t scrub or peel until you’re ready to eat them, or they will get soft faster. * Many roots make good refrigerator pickles. Slice and cover with a mixture of your favorite vinegar, a spoonful of salt and sugar, and spices (like mustard seed, dill, coriander, etc.). After about 3 weeks the flavors will start to meld.

* Slice, coat with oil and dehydrate for chips.

TOMATOES

1-2 weeks

Store at room temperature. Don’t put them in the fridge or they will get watery and weird! Keep them dry. Tomatoes are superstars for canning or dehydrating. Sauce can also be frozen, but the texture and flavor will not be quite the same.
MISCELLANEOUS VEGGIES  (broccoli, fennel, cabbage, etc.) and FRUITS (any “vegetable” with seeds inside, like zucchini, pepper, cucumber, etc.):
1-2 weeks
Most veggies like to be kept dry in the fridge with limited air exposure. DO NOT GET FRUITS WET. Plastic or glass containers are great; plastic bags are not quite as good because they limit air circulation too much.

Melons, eggplant, tomatillos, and peppers can stay at room temp a few days, but they prefer it cooler for longer storing.

* Many veggies can be blanched and frozen.

* Grate carrots or zucchini into muffins, and freeze to pull out for breakfast later.

* Refrigerator pickles (see above). Pickled peppers and cucumbers are especially popular, but there’s no reason not to get creative with veggies like broccoli, green beans or fennel!

* Make sauerkraut out of extra cabbage by slicing and keeping it immersed in salt water.

* Brush thinly-sliced veggies like squash, beets, parsnips, etc. with oil and salt. Dehydrate for chips.

* With tomatillos, make salsa verde for canning or blanch and freeze.