We have been enjoying the fresh organic fruits this summer, especially the local blueberries, peaches, and melons. Thank you Mirit. As part II to an earlier post – Storing Your Organic Produce , where I listed how to store vegetables, I would like to share tips and tricks to extend the life of your fresh organic fruits, without plastic.
We have been moving more and more to paper bags for storage in the refrigerator. You can write on the side of the paper what is in it. Additionally, waxed cardboard boxes work well too. I personally think it will take time, but we will soon not use plastic or at lease greatly reduce our use of plastic as a storage containers. This is a personal choice.
Please send comments and suggestions about how you store your fruits and vegetables. We would love to hear about your successes and the many different ways that work. And as always contact us if you have and questions or if we can help.
- Apples – we have enjoyed so many great apples this year. Lately we have found that cardboard boxes work well for refrigerated storage., but you can store Apples on a cool counter or shelf up to two weeks.
- Citrus – your oranges and grapefruit like good airflow and a cool place. Keep them away from air-tight containers.
- Apricots - after apricots are ripe from being in a cool room, store them in the refrigerator. I eat them too fast for the latter.
- Cherries - For those that purchased the wonderful organic cherries last week, I am sure they were gone within a day. If you need to store cherries, never wash them until you are ready to eat them and use an air tight container. Washing, then storing cherries will promote mold.
- Berries – Oh how we love berries! These fragile beauties need careful attention. We never stack berries over a single layer. Again, never wash until you are ready to enjoy and use a paper bag, of course refrigeration is a must in Florida.
- Dates – Our medjool dates are some of the finest. Remember in the first Indiana Jones movies when Indiana was about to eat a “bad” date from a bowl? Well storing dates in a bowl is fine, just don’t let the monkey near them. If you need to store your dates longer than a week, a bit of refrigeration in either a cloth or paper bag is fine as long as it is porous to keep the moisture away from the skin of the dates.
- Figs – Figs grow in Florida, but they do not like humidity after they are picked. At first, you think “paper” for humidity, but storing figs on a plate in the refrigerator works best up to a week. Of course, un-stacked.
- Melons – Nothing quenches my summer time thirst like a cold melon. Uncut melon needs cool dry storage out of the sun. They should be fine for a couple of weeks. Refrigerating cut melons in an open container is fine.
- Nectarines – we store them like apricots but take them out of the refrigerator a day to two before we eat them.
- Peaches – Ripen on the counter then store ripe peaches and keep only ripe peaches in the refrigerator.
- Pears – if you need to speed the ripening of your pears, place an apple in a bag with the pears. Pears are fine for a week on a cool counter.
- Persimmon – I can hardly wait for them. We have a great post by Mary Whitham of Bunnell Organics on “Eating Persimmons“. Her post refers to the small Saijo persimmon, which are the sweetest of the persimmons. When storing Hachiya (longer / pointed end): keep at room temperature until completely mushy. To hasten the ripening process place in a paper bag with a few apples for a week, check now and then, but do not stack. They become very fragile when really ripe and the astringentness subsides with ripeness.
- Strawberries – Keep dry and in a paper bag in the fridge for up to a week. Check the bag for moisture every other day.
- Zen Fruit – This is the best fruit of all. No refrigeration is needed. Keeps well in all conditions. As sweet on day eaten as on first day picked.