Storing Your Vegies at Home
Keep them in a cool, dry, very dark spot. Potatoes go green when exposed to light. It’s not only sunlight that is harmful ..... all lighting does the same thing. The green is not only on the skin. The flesh inside also gets discoloured. Although only poisonous when consumed in large amounts, the potatoes won’t taste good. If you want to keep them for an extended period of time then store them in the fridge to stop them sprouting, as warmth is their trigger to shoot. Between 4 and 15 degC is ideal for lengthy storage.
Garlic will keep for absolutely ages if stored correctly. Do not put garlic into the refrigerator. Instead find a cool, dry and well aerated location in your pantry. Ideally it should be stored in a breathable net type bag or cloth .... I've even heard of people hanging the bulbs in panty-hose .... just be careful where you pinch them from!! Lol. You can also tie them up by their stems and let them hang. Another good trick is to braid the garlic for hanging. It's not only practical but it's also decorative. The garlic braid can be hung in the kitchen and a bulk removed as needed.
When choosing a nice jap pumpkin in the store aim to buy a whole one and look for the stripey parts to be a creamy-pinky-salmony colour rather than a whiteish or pale green colour. This will ensure that the flesh inside the pumpkin is nice and rich coloured not yellowish. These guys make a tastier soup. We find it best to buy a whole pumpkin as it will keep longer even after you cut it. To store prior to cutting, leave it in a cool dark spot like your pantry. Once cut pop the whole pumpkin into the fridge with no wrapping. Plastic makes it go slimey. We have been continually asked how to best store pumpkins and have found this the trick. Each time you cut a slice off the pumpkin make sure it's from the fresh side. As you move around the pumpkin it's always nice and fresh and dry and once you get to the end there's only a very small slice that's usually not good enough. Another trick I use, once much of the afore-mentioned pumpkin has been consumed is to cut out the seed part and put the remainder of the pumpkin into a special vegie storing container (mine's a Tupperware one) that has the sealable lid, adjustable breather holes and a ribbed botttom to allow moisture to stay away from the pumpkin surface. They work a treat. A third option is to use the green vegie bags and you can buy organic ones now too.
Keep them in the bottom of your fridge in the plastic bags they come in or even an airtight container. To prolong their life and keep them firm and crispy, make sure that you really restrict the air flow around the carrots. Air and heat are the enemies. Buy carrots with the tops cut off. When you leave the tops on the carrots you actually have the leaves still trying to draw moisture and sustenance from the root - ie. the carrot. This is inclined to really reduce their keeping quality.
Store your sweet corn in it’s husk in the refrigerator. Ideally it should be cooled immediately after harvest and consumed within a couple of days. The period of peak freshness for sweet corn is measured in hours not days. The best corn is simply the freshest corn, so don’t try to store it for long periods of time. The sugars turn to starch and you lose that real sweet corn flavour.
The ‘quick-cooling’ principle is much the same as for carrots .... keep your celery in the refrigerator and keep the air away from it. Cutting the leaves off the top also helps as these ‘transpire’ the moisture and celery is 95% water. A reasonably airtight container is good and green vegie storage bags also work a treat.
Refrigeration is essential. Keep broccoli in the bottom of your fridge. We cool it super fast on the farm, and pack it in ice to travel, to ensure it’s freshness. As with carrots it’s a good idea to restrict the air flow around the broccoli. As it’s basically a flower it even helps to pop the stem into a small container of water.
Vegies in General
Buy your vegies as fresh and local as possible and in season for best freshness, flavour and goodness. Remember it’s even more enjoyable when you know who grew them for you, so don't forget to ask your friendly organic shopkeeper for Bauer's Organic Farm produce!!! Thanks. :-)
Photos are all of Bauer's Organic Farm produce!