Just like people, some vegetables love cold, dry air and others like moderate, moist air. These garden favorites are a fickle bunch, but using the right harvest techniques and storage conditions, you can maximize the marketability of your garden’s harvest.
Ideally, you’ll pull your vegetables out of the field and whisk them off to your customers at the farmers’ market in a refrigerated truck the same morning. This isn’t always reality, especially for small-scale and part-time farmers. Improper produce storage and handling can result in 10 to 40 percent product loss. By learning your vegetables’ temperature and humidity preferences and taking care to cool them quickly after harvest, you’ll be able to extend their life, thereby extending your profit at the farmers’ market.
The information here will help you with your home garden, as well. Even if you’re just growing food for your own family, it’s hard during the growing season to use all of the veggies that you’re producing. Use this guide to know which foods to eat first and which will still be good come next week’s dinner plans.