The time has finally come: the harvest is in and you need to properly store your vegetables so that your hard work doesn't go to waste. This post is a quick cheat-sheet on how to best store vegetables for 1-4 weeks (depending upon the crop). If you have more then you can use in that time, look for follow-up posts on food preservation techniques for check out the National Center for Home Food Preservation.
Green Beans - Refrigerate in a plastic bag. Best when used with 7-10 days.
Beets - Cut off stem one inch from the crown, and store the beet roots unwashed in the refrigerator for 2-3 weeks. Wash and dry greens and store in a plastic bag with a paper towel. Greens will keep for up to one week.
Broccoli and Cauliflower - Store unwashed heads in a plastic bag with a paper towel in the refrigerator. Only trim the large leaves. Use within 1-2 weeks.
Cabbage - Uncut and untrimmed cabbage heads can last for up to two months in the fridge. Do not remove outer leaves before storing. Once head is cut, store in a plastic bag or wrap in plastic wrap. Use cut cabbage within 1-2 weeks.
Carrots - Remove tops and store carrots unwashed in the refrigerator for 2-4 weeks. Greens are edible and can be used within the week for vegetable stock.
Corn on the cob - Refrigerate with husks on and use as soon as possible for best flavor, preferably with 5-7 days.
Cucumbers - Store uncut and unpeeled cucumbers in the refrigerator. Use within 1 week. Use cut cucumber within 1-2 days.
Eggplant - Eggplant is best stored at a cool room temperature, but can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 week if needed.
Garlic - Store whole heads of garlic in a cool, dry, dark place with good ventilation. Do not refrigerate.
Greens (this includes: Asian Greens (Bok Choy, Tatsoi), Beet Greens, Arugula, Chinese Cabbage, Chard, Collards, Kale, Lettuce, Mustard, Spinach, and Turnip Greens) - Wash and dry greens and store in a plastic bag with a paper towel. Greens will keep for up to one week. If your greens do become wilted, follow the trick below, provided by Farm Fresh To You.
Okra - Best if used immediately, to avoid mold. Otherwise, store unwashed in the refrigerator for up to 5-7 days.
Onions - Keep the fresh green onions in a plastic bag in the fridge, use within a couple days to keep greens fresh. If onions are prepped for storage, keep in a cool, dry, well ventilated area to avoid mold and sprouting. If properly stored, onions can last for months.
Peas - Use as soon as possible. Refrigerate in a plastic bag for 4-5 days. Storing peas will cause them to lose some of their sweetness and crispness.
Peppers - Refrigerated unwashed for 1-2 weeks.
Potatoes - Refrigerate baby new potatoes if not used within 2-3 days. Most varieties can be stored at room temperatures for up to 2 weeks unwashed, but keep away from light. For longer storage, store in a cool, dark, and humid place.
Radishes - Cut off greens and store the roots unwashed in the refrigerator for 1-2 weeks.
Summer Squash (Yellow Squash and Zucchini) - Since summer squash dehydrates quickly, use as soon as possible. Store in the plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Sweet Potatoes - Store unwashed in a cool, dark place for up to a month.
Tomatoes - Keep at room temperatures until ripe. Use quickly once ripened. Do not refrigerate.
Turnips - Cut off stem one inch from the crown, and store the turnip roots unwashed in the refrigerator for 2-3 weeks. Wash and dry greens and store in a plastic bag with a paper towel. Greens will keep for up to one week.
Winter Squash - Can be stored at room temperature for at least a month. Can be stored for several months in a cool and dry location.