START A PETITION 25,136,189 members: the world's largest community for good

8 Tips for Keeping Vegetables Fresh Longer

  • a Care2 favorite by Gardenista
8 Tips for Keeping Vegetables Fresh Longer

Some people shop impulsively for shoes. Erin, associate editor of Gardenista, shops impulsively for vegetables. But unfortunately, her vegetable crisper is where her “good intentions go to die.” Luckily, Ecology Center in Berkeley has put together a cheat sheet to help extend the life of your fresh produce.

Here is a helpful guide to knowing how one might stretch the longevity of vegetable purchases.

Photographs by Erin Boyle.

Above: A fresh haul of vegetables from the Union Square Greenmarket. Below are guidelines for a few basic vegetables:

Carrots: Cut off the tops, store in the refrigerator in a closed container with plenty of moisture.

Celery: Place in a shallow cup or bowl of water on the counter or in the refrigerator.

Summer squash and zucchini: Leave on the counter; wrap in a cloth and refrigerate for longer storage.

Eggplant: Leave on the counter; don’t wash until ready to use.

Beets: Cut off the tops, then store in an open container covered with a damp cloth.

Onions, garlic, shallots: Store in a cool dark, place.

Tomatoes: Store on the counter.

Peppers: Keep free of moisture until ready to use; store on the counter or in the crisper for longer storage.

Above: Root vegetables like carrots and beets send energy into their leaves even after they’ve been harvested. Keep all the nutrition in the root itself by storing them without leaves. Save the beet greens and use them as you would chard. Some vegetable nuts eat carrot tops, but most folks agree that they’re toxic.

Above: Carrots like to be kept moist and cool. Erin has been storing hers in a ceramic crock from Canvas Home. Designed to hold coffee; She thinks the Handmade White Covered Coffee Jar from Canvas, makes the perfect sealable container for a refrigerator.

Above: Alliums like garlic, onions, and shallots should be kept out of the refrigerator in a cool, dark place. For me, that’s my kitchen counter. Erin uses a Small Bisque Handmade Bowl.

Above: Tomatoes belong on your counter, not in your refrigerator. Erin keeps her Sungold and other cherry tomatoes in a Tourne Berry Bowl. For larger tomatoes, store them in a single layer, upside down on a plate to keep them from rotting too quickly. Eggplant and summer squash are happiest on the counter, too.

Above: Celery does well in a small cup of water in the refrigerator.

Do you find yourself with too much zucchini? If so, you’re not alone.

6 Tips to get the Most Nutrition out of Your Produce

Read more: Food, Gardenista, Green Kitchen Tips, Home, Natural Remedies, Raw, Reduce, Recycle & Reuse, Vegetarian, , , ,

have you shared this story yet?

go ahead, give it a little love


Gardenista is a one-stop sourcebook for cultivated living, a guide to outdoor design and gardening. Helmed by former New York Times columnist Michelle Slatalla, Gardenista features inspiration, garden visits, and advice for all things outdoor living, from patios and peonies, to tables and terraces. Gardens matter, and Gardenista celebrates tomatoes on the fire escape as much as rolling acres of green.


+ add your own
5:46PM PDT on Oct 24, 2014

Thank you

3:45AM PDT on Oct 23, 2014

Thanks for posting!

9:37AM PDT on Oct 22, 2014

Thanks for sharing.

6:08AM PDT on Oct 22, 2014

o dzieki, teraz będe wiedzial jak je przechowywać :)

10:40PM PDT on Oct 21, 2014

As Debbie S. shared last year: "I remember when I was a child my grandmother used to wash and prepare radishes, celery, carrots as soon as she came home from the store and put them all together in a bowl of water in the fridge to keep crisp longer, then she just took them out as needed for salads, munching, etc. Grandma had a lot of smart tips ; ) "

This is a generation-spanning family tradition for me, as well. It is very helpful to have that pretty bowl of fresh and crispy snacks right in front of you when you open the fridge for a "browse." Keeps me out of the cheese drawer, or gets me to eat cheese with vegetables for CRUNCH in place of crackers.

7:44PM PDT on Oct 21, 2014

thank you

9:40AM PDT on Oct 21, 2014

Thanks for the storage tips.

7:31AM PDT on Oct 21, 2014

Great info!
Store berries in the refrigerator and don’t wash until ready to use.

5:03AM PDT on Oct 21, 2014

Good info, thanks for sharing.

2:12AM PDT on Oct 21, 2014

A way of making herbs last longer is to rinse them, then shake of excess water. Place, spread out on a tray lined with a damp tea towel, then cover with another damp tea towel and place in the fridge. I learnt this from a cooking class, and it works!

add your comment

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

people are talking

The best book on Chakra healing: A Handbook of Chakra Healing from Kalashatra Govinda.

cinnamon and apple, yum!


Select names from your address book   |   Help

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.