This section is a work in progress. Send us your favourite bit of produce advice!
This is a very general overview of some of our best ways to keep the harvest sprightly until it's time to eat 'er up! Try searching the web for other ideas if the ones below don't work for you. Try YouTube as well for helpful how-to videos.
Will keep for a few weeks in the refrigerator if stored loosely. Pears need to soften at room temperature prior to eating to ensure ripening. Do not store apples at room temperature.
Should be stored at room temperature. You can place them in a paper bag with ethylene-producing fruit such as apples and pears to accelerate ripening, especially if green or hard.
Should be stored covered in the refrigerator, preferably with a towel and then with plastic. Any berries that are soft should be eaten immediately and not stored with other berries. Do not store in the high humidity drawer since moisture accelerates spoilage. Alternately wash, sprinkle with a small amount of cane sugar and store in a covered glass bowl.
Should be stored in a cool place outside the refrigerator if eaten within two days. It will keep up to two weeks if stored in the vegetable drawer of your refrigerator.
Should be washed and dried prior to storing in the refrigerator. Remove any soft grapes and do not stack bunches too deeply, as the skins are quite thin and sensitive. Grapes are easy to freeze and make great frozen snacks for kids (and adults too!).
Mangoes have a large almond shaped seed. To cut hold the mango on its skinny edge and slice off one whole side of the mango. Then slice the other side off. There will be a little bit of fruit left on top and bottom that will slice off more easily now. Peel and slice onto a fruit plate or eat out of the skin with a spoon! Ataulfo Mangoes (a.k.a. Champagne mangoes) are a smaller variety with a heavenly taste.
Should be stored at room temperature and eaten quickly after ripening. Do not refrigerate unless very ripe or cut. Store cut melons with seeds in loose wrapped plastic or open side down on a plate.
Pomegranate seeds are the edible part. Here's how to seed a pomegranate. With a chef's knife, cut off the crown of the pomegranate. Cut the pomegranate into sections. Pry away the seeds from the peel into a bowl filled part way with water. The seeds will sink to the bottom of the water while pieces of membrane will float to the top, making it easier to separate the membranes from the seeds. Once you are done stripping the pomegranate seeds from the skin and membranes, skim the membranes from the top of the water, and strain the seeds from the water.
Peaches, plums, apricots, nectarines, etc. should be stored at room temperature until ripe. Storing in a paper bag with ethylene-producing fruit such as apples, pears or bananas will hasten ripening. After ripening, store in the refrigerator for up to three days. Storing peaches, nectarines and apricots in the refrigerator will affect quality as the chill robs the fruit of its juice and flavour.
Is very delicate and should be eaten within one to two days.
Arugula is a peppery addition to salads and sandwiches. It is also great on pizza, quesadillas and wraps. Chiffonade is a way of slicing it into thin strands for a different look. Layer 3 or 4 leaves together and roll them around the stem. Slice thinly crosswise.
Freeze leftover basil leaves – that’s the best way to preserve the fresh flavour for use in the winter. If making basil into pesto, try freezing in a log shape. Wrap in wax paper and foil. Then when you want to use some just open up the package and cut off the amount you need.
Should be stored in plastic in the refrigerator. Do not wash until ready to eat.
Should be stored in the crisper section of the refrigerator. Alternatively, store loosely tied in a plastic bag. Leave the plastic wrap on cauliflower until ready to use. They should keep for up to a week, but preferably use them within four days. Soaking in water prior to cooking will help revive limp broccoli.
Bunched carrots should be stored in an open plastic bag. Remove tops as they draw the moisture from the root.
Should be stored in plastic bags in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator. Peas keep better if stored very cold (1 C), but cucumbers and squash prefer slightly warmer temperatures. Snow peas, unlike snap and sugar peas, should be stored in a perforated bag, as the moisture will cause spoilage
Should be stored in the husks in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator. Eat quickly since the sugar turns to starch the longer corn sits.
Fresh dill is wonderful with potatoes or fish. Add it to a yogurt based salad dressing. To dry fresh dill: Remove stems. Spread the soft feathery leaves on a bamboo tray and keep in a dark warm place (like the top of the fridge) until dry.
Can keep up to five days if stored in a plastic bag in a warmer section of the refrigerator. Eggplant is a member of the nightshade family along with peppers, potatoes and tomatoes. This lovely purple egg-shaped fruit is always cooked. It can have a bitter taste, so should be cooked over high heat first and then simmered. Using it sliced for a casserole place slices brushed with olive oil under the broiler to brown up. In sautés, stir-fry to brown before adding sauce. Used in Mediterranean cooking it goes well with tomato sauces, but eggplant is also used in Indian curries and Japanese dishes. Very versatile! Japanese Eggplant is a smaller variety with an elongated shape. They come in many beautiful colours!
Have an edible skin, so no need for peeling. They are grown on trellises and so grow straight down hanging from the vine. Peeling some of the skin off in stripes gives a nice affect.
Other cucumber varities have skin that is too bitter to eat. Peeling and running the tines of a fork lengthwise down the sides give a lovely edge when sliced.
Grow partially underground, so can be tricky to clean. Cut the leek lengthwise leaving the roots on to hold it together. Now hold it under running water and rinse well.
Like high humidity and cool temperatures. You can also store them loosely in a plastic bag with a cloth. Eat greens within five days, but if stored properly, they can keep for a week, especially our farm fresh greens. If they seem a little dry, sprinkle a little water on top of the leaves before bagging. Alternately wash the greens, drying them in a salad spinner and then storing them in a tightly sealed plastic container with a cloth in the bottom to soak moisture.
Should be stored in a paper bag that is placed inside a plastic bag to allow mushrooms to breathe without going dry. Keep them away from other foods to avoid absorbing odours.
Should be stored at room temperature in a dry, dark cupboard. They should keep for a week or longer, but check for softening. In the spring when their biological clocks are ticking, they may begin to sprout.
Like cool, humid (but not wet) and dark places. Do not store in plastic bags (unless well ventilated) for longer than a few days. Unwashed potatoes store much longer than washed potatoes and will keep for a month. Our local potatoes are unwashed. In the spring when their biological clocks are ticking, they may begin to sprout.
Should be stored in warmer parts of the refrigerator in plastic bags. Keep away from ethylene-producing fruit such as apples and pears.
Are ripe green peppers! It is the same plant just left longer to ripen on the vine or in storage. A member of the nightshade family, these sweet peppers can be used raw or cooked. Try roasting them on the BBQ. Preheat grill to high. Place one whole red pepper on grill and cook until charred on outside. In oven, place pepper under broiler and cook turning until skin is charred. Cool, peel skin and chop.
Beets, Carrots, Celery Root, Parsnips, Radishes, Rutabagas, Sunchokes, Turnips, etc. should be stored in ventilated plastic bags in the high humidity drawer of the refrigerator.
Should be stored at room temperature. Ripe tomatoes will keep for three days. Green tomatoes should not be ripened on the windowsill. Instead, place them in a paper bag with or without ethylene-producing fruit such as apples and pears.
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