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When I first started to grow produce for sale and not just for my own use, one of the hardest parts was figuring out how to preserve what I had grown so that it would last not only through a Saturday farmers market, but maybe to the next Wednesday market as well. (Side note: it’s a myth that farmers get up and harvest hundreds of pounds of produce the morning of a farmers market – they don’t. It takes too long to process produce to do it the morning of, and then also pack it and get it to market. Most things are harvested the day before).

During my research on how to handle produce for optimum holding, I ran across a phrase that was new to me: Field Heat. Field heat is the temperature the produce is at when its picked and how active the plants metabolism is at the time of harvest. REMOVING the field heat as soon as possible after picking is critical for making produce last longer. Turns out, this is also true for your own garden vegetables.

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Jennifer Kleffner

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