December 16th, 2014

Best Ways to Store Your Winter CSA Share Box

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Our Winter CSA Shares are huge! These shares are designed for storage, and if you plan carefully they’ll last for several weeks. The full bushel produce box comes with a lined with a bag that you can just wrap up and put in the refrigerator. You’ll want to remove some things first! Start by separating out any greens, leeks, onions, brussels sprouts, and cabbage.

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Root Vegetables. (Carrots, Beets, Rutabaga, Radishes, Daikon Radish, Turnips, Parsnips) If you’d like you can just wrap all of the root vegetables in the bag they came in. I often do this. Check periodically for any roots that look like they should be used right away. If you prefer separate each type of root vegetable into their own bag. Then you’ll have bags of carrots, beets, etc. It’s nice to have the roots organized, and during the season I often save the box bags for organizing roots. I find that they store for many weeks this way! (Full disclosure I have a huge bag of beets from the main season in perfect condition right now).  We also like these Reusable Produce Bags on the farm. A good investment for any CSA member!

Onions. Onions are fine unwrapped on the counter if you use them quickly or unwrapped in the refrigerator if you go through them slower.

Winter Squash. The official temperature for winter squash is 55 – 60°F, so if you’re not using them right away a cool dry place like  the garage or basement works great. If you will use them quicker the counter is fine. The winter squash is nearing the end of it’s storage life, so we recommend using it within a week or two, but it may last longer.

Greens.The kale tops in the winter boxes store surprisingly well! It’s still one of the first things in the box you should use, but wrapped in a bag it should last for up to a week. If you want to store it for longer, clean and chop into bite-size pieces. Boil a large pot of salted water, and boil the kale for one minute, then dunk the kale in ice water (or just drain it). Freeze in 2 or 4 cup containers. Pull out later and braise with garlic, oil, spice, etc. Great for a quick side on a weeknight!

Cabbage. Store directly in the vegetable crisper unwrapped. Just remove the outer leaves before use and the shelf life is pretty long. If you have a particularly large cabbage, remove the outer leaves for recipes, slice in half or quarters, and wrap the leftover wedges in plastic wrap. Cabbage stores for a surprisingly long time this way, and you can just slice off the cut sides if they discolor.

Brussels Sprouts. Often called mini cabbages Brussels sprouts do store well! The Brussels Sprouts in our CSA Shares come bagged, and they will store in your refrigerator for a week or more. They will be freshest if used within the week. Remove the bottoms and outer leaves for recipes.

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