Tips on Produce Handling


1. Strawberries – The best way to store strawberries is to NOT WASH THEM UNTIL YOU USE THEM. When you get your strawberries home in your Fresh Harvest box, take them out of the bag and their pint baskets. Pour them into a plastic bowl or container with a lid and put them in your refrigerator. This is especially important when you purchase a large quantity like a half flat of berries from a grower. If you leave your berries exposed to the air in your fridge, they will start to dry out and shrivel up.
2. Talley Farms Lettuce – Whether it’s Romaine, Green or Red Leaf, our lettuce is very fresh and has been cooled to take the field heat out. For convenience, take your lettuce out of the bag, place each head in your kitchen sink and cut off the butts, using a plastic knife (some people feel this keeps your lettuce ends from turning brown.) Open up the head and wash the leaves under running water. If you have a veggie wash, spray the leaves and rinse. Place the leaves in a plastic container (a rectangular crisper or bread box size works best). Turn the container upside down to drain out excess water. Seal the container and place in your fridge. Your lettuce is washed and ready to use for salads or sandwiches. You can also do this for spinach and arugula.  Another way to liven up wilted lettuce is to trim the butt and put the head in a cup of water.  Leave it for a few hours or overnight before cutting the butt off, washing in sink and putting in your lettuce box holder. 
3. Wash the outside of all your melons before placing them in your fridge. Remember, melons grow sitting on the ground, outside where critters and birds roam and dust blows with the wind. Just use hand soap to rub over the melon, rinse thoroughly, dry and place in your fridge or on your counter.
4. Avocados – We harvest our avocados a week before you get them, but still, they are very hard. It may take another 7-10 days before they are ready to eat. Leave them out on your counter and keep an eye on them. When they turn dark and soften, you can put them in your refrigerator or eat them right away. We know it would be great to have them almost ripe when you get them, but they are freshly harvested and if you get some every week, just rotate them and you’ll always have ripe fruit ready for that fresh salad.
5. Tomatoes – Don’t refrigerate your tomatoes.  Leave them on your counter to ripen.  They lose their flavor when they get too cold!
6. Cilantro – Cilantro will stay fresher longer if you wrap wet paper towels around the bottom of the stems, place the bunch back into the plastic bag and store in your vegetable crisper. 
WHY DO WE PLACE SOME OF OUR PRODUCE IN BAGS? We have found that most of our leaf and bunched vegetables dry out and become limp if not in a bag, especially after you place them in the refrigerator. Our root vegetables may have dirt on them or be wet after we wash them. Plus, bags help keep items from becoming damaged in your box. Please reuse the bags whenever you can!
WANT TO KNOW WHAT’S IN OUR FRESH HARVEST BOX THE WEEKEND BEFORE DELIVERY? Sign up for our newsletter on our website and you’ll receive notice on Saturday morning what’s coming in our Fresh Harvest box the next week. Otherwise you’ll get an email notice on Monday. Feel free to contact Andrea at or 805-489-5401. Thanks again!