Five Intriguing Techniques To Keep Your Produce Fresh


Tossing too much of the gorgeous produce you’ve brought home from the farmer’s market? I recently came across a post with intriguing ideas for extending the freshness of your produce picks. Out of ten tips, five were new to me. Here they are — which have you tried?

  • Bananas. Wrap banana stems in plastic wrap to keep them from ripening too fast. Banana stems release a natural gas to ripen themselves. Wrapping them snuggly retards that process. (I just wrapped up a new bunch — will keep you posted.)
  • Potatoes. Store them with an apple. This tip came from America’s Test Kitchen; they found potatoes in an apple-free bag sprouted in three to five weeks, while those stored with an apple stayed relatively sprout-free for eight weeks. (I store my potatoes in the frig, which a few sources say is a no-no. I guess I’ll give this trick a try. How do you store yours?)
  • Tomatoes. Store them at room temp stem-side-down, and they’ll stay fresh for about a week. (Don’t store them in the frig — they get mealy.) If you can’t store them stem-side-down, apparently a bit of scotch tape over the stem works the same way.
  • Berries. Bring them home, and wash them in a vinegar-water mixture (one part vinegar to three parts water), which serves to disinfect the fruit and kill mold. Dry them thoroughly, and store them in a container lined with a paper towel.
  • Lemons. If you need only a few drops of lemon juice to top veggies or a salad, don’t cut the fruit in half — just skewer it and squeeze. The fruit will stay fresh longer than if you dissect it. (Love this tip, because love lemons.)

Why waste food unnecessarily? Give these techniques a try — and please report back with your results!

Image Credit: Steve Hopson via flickr/CC

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About the Author

Hi all! I'm Mary Gerush - a recovering corporate worker bee turned good-farm-real-food advocate and writer who wants to help people understand what they're eating. I tend a tiny urban farm in Dallas, TX, and hope to scale up one day soon. Omnivore through-and-through, there's not much I love to eat more than a butter-basted grass fed steak fresh from a searing hot cast iron skillet. Follow me on , , and !
  • Karen Case

    LOVE this site and the very helpful information!! As my garden grows it will be helpful to have these tricks to extend life of veggies and fruit! Thanks!

  • Love these tips! We just keep potatoes out on the counter. We have one of those two-tiered fruit stand things. Usually, potatoes and apples live in the big bottom part and garlic and ginger live up top.

  • Great tips! Never thought of them before.


  • Val Larson

    The tip about the berries really works, I rinsed off raspberries and strawberries, pat them dry, and they were good in the produce section of the fridge for TWO weeks, without a bit of mold forming. There is no vinegar scent either! Great tip! Will try the rest.

    • Mary Gerush

      Thanks Val! Good to know that about the berry tip working. Will definitely give it a try!

  • Joycee

    Have used the vinegar & water trick with most of my fruit and veg – leaves no vinegar aftertaste and they ALL benefit as the vinegar kills the mould spores. I have noticed a particular difference with cucumbers and citrus – I often buy my limes and lemons in bulk and they usually go mouldy before I get a chance to use them but not anymore! I love the tip about the lemon! Also, in a lot of Asian cooking, a squeeze of lime or cumquat is often added during cooking and I know a lady who squeezes then freezes the juice into ice cube trays, then adds during cooking. Fantastic way to store the juice!

    • Mary Gerush

      Thanks for the tip on using the vinegar wash for citrus and veggies. I like to have lemons and limes on hand, but sometimes they go south before I get to use them. Will give it a try!

  • AEM

    These are great tips! I’m especially excited about the bananas–I can’t stand them with the brown spots.

  • Lisa

    I wrap my celery in tin foil. It keeps it crisp for a really long time. Not sure why. Just make sure all is covered… the parts sticking out will get wilted and rubbery (even thought the covered stuff inside is still crisp).

    • Mary Gerush

      I will give this a try! Thanks!

  • SaraH

    bananas alway turns black in my fridge i will try your tip