How to Keep Homegrown Produce Fresh for Market



If you sell your homegrown produce in a local market, keeping it as fresh as possible so that it is appealing for sale is important. You are already at an advantage by being able to source your produce from your own plot and take it to market straight from your own property and there are several things you can do to build on this positive.

Steps

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    Pick your produce at the last minute. The freshest will be that which is picked the latest.
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    Wash off any mud or dirt. Muddiness will detract from the appeal of the produce in the eyes of many consumers. Don't dig or scrape the fruit, however; gently wash off what will come off easily.
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    Keep cool and covered. All fresh produce appreciates being kept cool and if you have soft fruits, this is especially important. Keep covered from insects.
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    Put fragile produce into appropriate containers. Make sure to provide buffers between your fragile produce and the knocks and bumps of transportation. Keep items in plastic bags, crates, small plastic punnets etc. as needed.
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    Use refrigeration. If the climate is hot and the turnover is not fast, refrigeration is essential. Investing in suitable equipment can be a long-term savings if you plan on selling fresh produce frequently in a hot climate. If you don't have access to electrical refrigeration, innovate with ice chests or a pot-in-pot refrigeration system.
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    Keep herbs and green vegetables standing in water. Keeping the roots or stems in water helps to keep such produce fresh.
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    Consider how you display your fresh produce. If you at a market stall in hot weather, it is worth investing in a canopy to give shade over your produce during the day. If you are indoors, you might want to consider the backdrop that you use to highlight your produce - keep it simple, clean and bright to encourage customers to look at your produce.

Tips

  • Potatoes are one exception to cleaning off dirt; many consumers understand the need to keep potatoes coated in dirt to guard against light penetration.
  • Root vegetables are best kept in the dark at a cool temperature if you plan on long-term storage for a longer selling season.

Things You'll Need

  • Suitable containers
  • Washing equipment
  • Refrigeration (optional)

Article Info

Categories: Harvest and Storage