Properly store your fall produce to enjoy in the months ahead

Use Michigan Fresh fact sheets from MSU Extension to help you properly store fall produce.

It is that time of year when fall produce is in abundance. Apples, squash, onion, potatoes, beets, carrots and other root vegetables are now being harvested and readily available at farm markets and produce stands. Michigan State University Extension has created Michigan Fresh fact sheets that provide information on using and storing fall produce.

The following are some basic preservation techniques that you can use with your fall produce:

You can store apples in the refrigerator in a plastic bag with holes for ventilation. If you have large quantities of apples store them in a cool place, between 32 and 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Properly stored, apples will keep up to a month.

Winter squash should be stored in temperatures between 45 to 50 degrees. If stored properly, most varieties will keep up to 3 months. Once squash is cut store it in the refrigerator and use within a week.

Onions store best in cool, dry storage. To store, remove the dry top to within 1 to 3 inches from the top of the bulb. Remove any loose dirt and trim the roots. Leave the outer protective dry skin in place around the bulb. In cool, dry storage with temperatures between 35 and 55 degrees and a relative humidity of 50 to 60 percent, the onions should store for 1 to 8 months.

The best storage location for potatoes is a cool, dark place that is between 45 to 50 degrees, with good ventilation. When properly stored, potatoes will remain fresh for up to a month. Throw away potatoes that are shriveled or green or have many sprouts.

After you harvest beets, trim the stem to 2 inches above the beet. Do not trim the tail. Store the beets in a plastic bag in the refrigerator at or below 41 degrees for 7 to 10 days.

Carrots will keep for several weeks in the crisper of the refrigerator at 41 degrees or lower in perforated plastic bags.

You can get more information on varieties, food safety and preserving techniques on fall produce and many other Michigan grown fruits and vegetables at the Michigan Fresh site.

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