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Tips for Washing Produce & Extending Shelf-Life

When you buy produce from Nonni's Farms, you are directly contributing to regenerative, sustainable agriculture right in your local community.

It doesn't take many bites to figure out that our produce is much, much different [better] than regular, store-bought produce. But there are a few things that our customers should know to make their experience with Nonni's produce even better.

You might notice some specks of dirt on your lettuce, radishes, or carrots upon delivery. This is normal and totally okay. Immediately upon harvest, our produce goes right into our walk-in cooler that Uncle John and Mike built. We usually do not wash the produce until right before delivery, at which point, we spray it down with water to remove as much dirt as possible. The reason behind this is that the veggies last much longer in storage this way--the dirt acts as a natural preservative by holding the moisture in the crop.

On top of not using any harmful chemicals or pesticides in our agricultural practices, this washing process helps keep the produce safe and even more nutritious for our customers. Many people don't know that pre-washed produce bought in stores are processed in a chlorine solution that reduces the nutritional value of the vegetables.

The best way to wash lettuce or any other vegetable is to soak it in cold, clean water for at least 2 minutes prior to consumption. At our home, Kaitlyn usually does it for 5 minutes, which is great. If you plan to wash the produce and store it again, it is important to drain it as much as possible so that it's not sitting in water. Additionally, store it in an air-tight container or zip-lock bag to reduce airflow, and throw in a dry paper towel. This will help make it last longer too.

For root veggies like carrots, beets, or radishes, remove the green tops as soon as you can. It makes a huge difference in shelf-life. We are not a certified organic farm, but we use as much organic seed as possible, and all of our fertilizers are certified organic. Let's face it, organic food doesn't last as long. But organic means it's alive. This is why we do what we do.

Zucchini and cucumber can go straight into the fridge. These veggies last a fairly good amount of time, which is a plus. For tomatoes, it's actually best to not refrigerate them. The optimal storage temperature for tomatoes is between 45-55 degrees Fahrenheit, which means the typical refrigerator is way too cold. Tomatoes begin to lose their nutritional value as well when they're refrigerated or frozen, which is why store-bought tomatoes never taste as good as garden tomatoes-- they're chilled during the transportation process.

We are always available for our customers to answer any questions about our agricultural processes or produce in general. We are committed to being an ethical food source you can trust, and are very thankful for your continuous support and patronage.

See you around town!

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