Storing winter Veg

With the change to collecting every two weeks, I have been asked for advice on storing veg so here are a few tips.

In general do not store veg in plastic be that bags or boxes, veg needs to breathe or it will go slimy and rot. The exception to this is listed below.

Root veg
In general, you should store root veg in a cool, dark, dry, frost-free place. Having said that if it is too dry they will eventually shrivel up so if you are keeping them for a long time some form of covering can help, for instance, we keep beetroot in slightly damp sand at the farm, this is generally only needed if you are keeping for a long time, however. Cool and dark makes them think its still winter, once it gets warmer they will try and sprout.

Potatoes MUST be kept in the dark or they go green which can make you ill if you eat it.

Most root veg does not need to go in a fridge unless you have nowhere outside the fridge which is cool.

Onions, garlic
Again cool and dry but dark is less needed, hence the traditional image of strings of onions hanging from ceilings. Keep the dry outer layers of skin on them until you use them as they protects them and keeps them fresh.

Try to store these away from other vegs especially potatoes as they tend to interact badly. Don’t keep them in the fridge, they will taint everything with an oniony taste.

If they start sprouting you will often find most of the onion or garlic clove is not very good anymore however you can plant them and eat the shoots instead, the garlic ones are very potent.

Leeks
Being softer these are generally best kept in the fridge and don’t have the strong smell that onion has so doesn’t taint other food in the same way

Squashes
These are pretty happy to just sit on the side until you are ready to use them. remember to check them, particularly the underside for any sign of damage or rot and use them quickly if you spot any.

Cabbages
The solid white cabbages are actually able to last quite well in a cool dark place much like root veg, the outside leaves dry out and protect the rest however in general cabbage is best kept in the fridge in most houses.

Leaves like Kale, salad etc
This is the exception to the plastic rule. They are the only things we pack in plastic bags because otherwise, they wilt very fast. If kept in the fridge they can stay in the plastic bags or be transferred into salad drawers or a box. If you wash them and want to store them for a while afterwards put between layers of kitchen roll or cloth to absorb any excess water.

Herbs
If the stems are long enough putting them in a small glass of water like a bunch of flowers works very well, otherwise treat like salad leaves.

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