Kids can store the harvest of organic veggies from their backyard raised bed garden in a way that extends their freshness. Kids should store tomatoes at room temperature; with an abundant harvest, kids can roast or cook them and make tomato sauce and salsa to can or freeze. After harvesting garlic and onions, kids can let them dry out for a couple of weeks and then store in a cool, dark, ventilated place. Potatoes and sweet potatoes can be stored in a paper bag or box in a cool, dry place and scrubbed just before they are used. Kids can store cabbage as it is in the refrigerator for several weeks; don’t wash it, just remove the outer leaves.
Plastic containers contain phthalates, man-made, endocrine-disrupting chemicals that mimic the body’s natural hormones; these chemicals leak into the food. Glass, stainless steel, bamboo, and other eco friendly containers can be safely used and reused to hold veggies and keep them fresh. Broccoli, cauliflower, celery, cucumbers, and leeks can be stored in a reusable container in the refrigerator and washed before using. The leaves and green tops of root veggies can be washed and stored separate from the roots. The roots which will keep for up to 2 months in reusable container in the refrigerator and should be washed before using. Leafy veggies, like kale, lettuces, Swiss chard, and collards, can be washed, removing any withered leaves, dried, and stored in a reusable container in the produce drawer of the refrigerator. Place fresh herbs in jars of water in the refrigerator or on the counter.
Gardening is the best way to get fresh, organic, in season food with outstanding heirloom flavors and varieties. Kids can also get fresh harvested veggies at the Farmers’ Market; in a community supported agriculture, CSA, program that provides weekly harvest shares; and at local organic farm stands. These veggies taste so good, kids enjoy eating them.