How to Make Your Produce Last

Even though produce can last for a few days to a few weeks after it is picked, it begins to die right away. Not only this, but it starts to lose nutrients! Most people don't have the time to stop by the farmers market every day to get fresh fruits and vegetables for their meals. Don't worry, we have some tricks and tips for you in this blog!

1. Grow it yourself!
This may be the best option you have, however we know that not everybody has the time, desire, or know how. Agriscaping has a few options to help. We can teach you how to do it yourself, have it done for you or purchase CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) bags to receive fresh produce every week. If you don't have the space to grow your own, don't worry we have solutions from indoor gardening to wall gardens we can use to help bring fresh fruits and vegetables right to your fingertips.

2. Make it last longer.
There are some tricks to keeping your produce fresh a little bit longer. We thought we would share a few:
a. Leafy Greens - place them on a couple paper towels to soak up any moisture that could lead to sogginess. If they start to wilt, don't worry, just stick them in the freezer and use them later to whip up a tasty batch of smoothies.
b. Herbs - just like the greens, you can freeze these as well to make them last a bit longer. We suggest putting them in an ice cube tray with some olive oil, this way you can grab a cube, toss it in your pan and start cooking up a tasty meal.
c. Carrots- place your carrots on a couple of soaked paper towels to keep them from drying out.
d. Tomatoes - keep all different types of tomatoes on the countertop or somewhere at room temperature. After you have sliced and diced your tomatoes you should store them in an airtight container inside the refrigerator.
e. Mushrooms - these are best stored inside a paper bag, plastic will make them slimy.

3. Use it before it goes bad.
There are a few ideas we have to use up the produce before it turns to compost.
a. Juice it up! That's right, when you see your fruits and veggies on their last leg, mix them up in a blender to create a tasty treat.
b. Clean with citrus. Citrus has many other benefits besides ingesting it. Toss a chopped up lemon down the garbage disposal for a fresh kitchen aroma. You can also use citrus to clean your glass and your wood!
c. Brew up a broth. Right before your root vegetables (such as potatoes, celery, carrots and onions) are about to go bad just boil up some water, toss them in and let it simmer for about an hour to create a delicious vegetable broth that you can store to use another time.
d. Roast 'em! Take your tomatoes that are starting to wilt, slice them up, put them on a baking sheet and cook them in the oven on low heat for 12 hours (yes, that's right 12 hours) and they will become delicious "sun dried tomatoes" you can use for salads, bruschetta and more.
e. Create a topping. If you didn't get a chance to eat your berries you can heat them up in a pan, throw in some sugar and stir constantly until the mixture is a spreadable thickness. Once they are cooked you can store them in a glass jar in the fridge and use as a spread or a tasty ice cream topping.

If you are unsure if your produce is going bad give it an evaluation by looking at its color, feeling its firmness, and checking the aroma. If anything is questionable or moldy it's best to not risk it, just add it to your compost. If you have any ideas you would like to share with us, send us an email to marketing@agriscaping.com.