Veggie Storage Tips

A few tips to help keep your produce as fresh as possible!

Posted on Aug 23, 2021 by Jack McCann
Tags: newsletter

Tips for storing your produce to keep it as fresh as possible! Storing and ripening produce is the key to enjoying them.

There are three basic storage options for produce:

Room temperature

  • Fruit which needs to be ripened, ideally in a paper bag, and then refrigerated (examples listed below)
  • Well ventilated area: Onion, Garlic, Potato
  • If fridge is set on the cold side: peppers, cucumbers, eggplant, winter squash or other sensitive produce like herbs (which can be kept in water like a cut flower)

Refrigerated and high humidity
(In crisper drawers + closed vent =“veggie” setting)

  • Things that wilt: greens, herbs, legumes
  • Produce that does not ripen on counter: strawberries, cucumbers, squash, citrus, nightshades

Refrigerated and low humidity
(In crisper drawers + open vent = “fruit” setting)

  • Counter-ripened fruits: avocados, banana, pear, mango, stone fruits, tomato
  • Other fruits that produce ethylene: apples, avocados, cantaloupes, honeydew, kiwi

Ripening Pears

Similar to the avocado tips we've shared, it is best to buy unripe pears and ripen them yourself. They are just hard to buy in a grocery where so many people handle the fruit and “test” the pears prematurely. Those pears wind up with so many more damaged spots due to poor handling.

Store your pears in a paper bag on the counter for a few days. You can check for ripeness on the neck of the fruit (not base).

Once it gives a bit, then put them in the fridge in the low humidity drawer to slow ripening until you want to eat them.


There is a lot of conflicting information on the Internet about how to store tomatoes, the right way. Let us set the record straight.

Unripe tomatoes:
Keep Out of The Fridge!

Unripe tomatoes are especially sensitive to cold temps, damaging their membranes and leaving you with a mushy, mealy and bland tomato. Yuck.

Like many fruits, tomatoes continue to ripen after they have been picked. As they ripen tomatoes let off ethylene gas and the more ethyne gas around them, the more they will ripen.

You want the tomatoes to ripen but not get moldy so place them stem down on a plate in a shady part of your kitchen.

If you want to speed up ripening, along with your tomatoes add a banana avocado or apple to a breathable container like a paper bag, carboard box or plastic bag with holes cut into it. Bananas let off the most Ethelyne gas, but other fruits work too.

Intact plastic bags and containers will trap too much humidity along with ethylene, making the tomatoes rot, often before they have a chance to ripen.

Check them regularly and remove them from the bag when ripe.

Storing Ripe Tomatoes
At 55 ° F tomatoes will be held in stasis, neither ripening nor becoming damaged by cold. Unfortunately, most refrigerators hover around 35°F to 38°F. However, ripe tomatoes are less sensitive to the cold but they should be allowed to sit at room temperature for a day or two before eating for maximum flavor.

If you are planning to eat your tomatoes within a couple days, then they can be stored stem down (to help prevent moisture from escaping) in shady part of your kitchen.

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