Welcome to Dinihanian Farm's blog. Keep up with what's happening at the Farm, find a recipe, learn about your veggies, classes, CSA and more. We supply recipes and suggestions for our CSA members about what to do with the contents of their weekly share and we'd love to share them with you, too. The stories, recipes and suggestions here are posted often, so check back soon!
1. Wash everything, even if you do not plan to eat the skin, such as bananas, melons or oranges. Germs can adhere to the surface of produce and can be passed to the flesh when cut. Don't assume that because produce is pre-packaged it's ready to eat. It is actually ready to wash.
2. Washing before storing produce will cause it to spoil faster. Many fruits and vegetables have a natural protective coating that keeps in moisture and freshness. This is a big reason that we do not wash anything before taking it to market. Sometimes busy people find it easier to wash several days worth of produce at one time, then refrigerate it. Just make sure that anything you wash and store is very dry before you repackage it to store it.
3.Temperature: All firm fruits and vegetables, such as apples, pears, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, and avocados, should be washed in water between 80 and 110 degrees Fahrenheit.
4. Washing in slightly warm water brings out the flavor and aroma of the fruit or vegetable you are preparing. Leafy vegetables can be washed in warm water but washing in cold tap water will help maintain crispness. Judge the temperature to use by the nature of the vegetable but if you use do warm water, remember not to get it too warm!
5. Spraying: The best method for washing ripe, soft, or fragile fruits such as berries is by spraying with a kitchen sink sprayer. Use a colander so you can gently turn the fruit as you spray.
6. Immersion: If you do not have a sink sprayer, berries and soft fruit should be placed in a wire basket or colander into a 5 to 8 quart pot of warm water. Move the basket in and out of the water several times. Change the water until the water remains clear. Do this process quickly. If the fruit absorbs too much water, it will lose flavor, texture, and aroma. You can make the final rinse cold water if you like.
7. Remember that the produce you get directly from the farmer is generally straight from the field to you. That may occasionally be a "hitchhiker" that comes along with your items. Just make sure you briefly look over the items as you are washing them. Insects, good and bad, are an integral part of an organic garden. Remember that if you bought organic produce you bought it because no pesticides were used to grow it!
8. DO NOT wash produce with detergent or bleach solutions. Even if residues are not left on the produce, fruits and vegetables are porous and can absorb the detergent or bleach, which is not intended for use on foods. Consuming them on fruits and vegetables have the potential to make you sick.
9. Commercial produce sprays or washes are available in some supermarkets. Many of these products include surfactants. Surfactants are cleaning agents that attach to oil and dirt and loosen water-resistant substances for quick removal. These work with water by decreasing surface tension and creating emulsification or a lifting action. The value of spending money on these washes is dubious when compared to using simple, proper washing methods, however.
10.I f you are using conventional vegetables, try not to store them co-mingled with your organic vegetables. You will want to remove as much of any pesticide residue as possible in conventional produce. Don’t worry if you can’t buy all organic --any vegetables are better than no vegetables at all. To clean your non-organic vegetables, soak them in a sink full of water with 8 ounces of distilled (from grain or apples ONLY) vinegar for 30 minutes.