Newsletter 5/14/14 – Greens Storage Tips
Other bird-y activity on the farm is watching the beautiful harrier hawks hunt in the wetland. They soar so close to the ground, darting down when something catches their eye. The sun glinting on their golden-brown backs is so dreamy and relaxing. Sights like watching the hawks hunt against the backdrop of Center Valley bathed in sunlight remind me why I have chosen this life.
More scaled than feathered, the toads have also been making a mighty impression on me of late. For one, there are so many this year! They seem to have taken up housekeeping in our cold frame greenhouses. Every time I go in there, I see baby toads leaping out of the way. It really is so cool. I can only guess that they are finding a healthy meal of slugs on a regular basis, which makes me even a bigger fan. And then there is the symphony they create at night- gorgeous and loud. From the sound of things, there are more croaking creatures in the greenhouses than in the wetlands. Since I know amphibians are sensitive to all kinds of pollutants and chemicals, it makes me feel great that so many toads are thriving here, especially when in so many greenhouses around the world, a toad would never survive.
Greens Storage Tips
I was talking with a couple lovely CSA members at market last week and they brought up storage of greens- tips and questions. Which made me realize that possibly many of you would appreciate a few tips to dealing with fresh produce and keeping it fresh as long as possible.
#1 Produce loves water. Ideally, when you get you share home, dunk everything in cold water (or run under cold running water in a pinch). Then shake out excess water, put in plastic bags, not completely sealed but mostly closed. This process should keep produce very well for 3- 4 days. Need more than 3 days storage? Then after 3 days repeat the process and you should be able to extend the storage life to 7 days. Most produce is going to have much higher quality and nutritional value when eaten within 7 days.
Loose greens store well in the cellophane bags they come packed in, though they will tend to dry out. If that happens, you can re-hydrate them in cold water and refrigerate. Ideally you will catch them when they are on the edge of drying out and not completely dessicated. Alternatively, you can transfer greens to a plastic bag, while the greens will stay more moist, they will also tend to rot much easier. I suggest keeping them in cellophane and re-hydrating. FYI the cellophane bags are made of tree fiber and are breathable and compostable.