Berries are bite-sized fruit filled with sweet flavors, fresh juices, and satisfying tastes. However, once plucked from their bush, they begin to deteriorate quickly. After a time, berries lose their crispness, making them less attractive and unsuitable for selling or eating. To ensure your berries stay in their prime for longer, here are three best practices to keep them fresh after harvesting.
Diluted Vinegar Bath
Lingering dirt and germs increases your berry's chances of molding. A quick soak and rinse ensures your berries stay clean and out of mold's reach. Giving your fresh harvests a diluted vinegar bath sterilizes them and prevents early mold growth. When it comes to washing your fruit in vinegar, the best practice for doing it effectively requires a salad spinner and a solution mixture of 1 cup of vinegar and 3 cups of water.
The salad spinner acts like a washing machine. They spin the fruit around the solution, thoroughly covering, coating, and rinsing all of the berries. If you don't have a salad spinner, simply putting the berries in classic plastic berry baskets,
rinsing them, and shaking the clam-shaped container gives your fruits a substantial clean.
Drain, Dry, Then Store
Washing the berries after harvesting ensures the fruit doesn't carry any dirt or grime that can encourage mold growth. However, like lingering residue and unsanitized surfaces, storing wet berries also increases your chances of mold growth. Mold thrives in dark, damp spaces. Placing your wet berries in the fridge or storage creates ideal growing conditions for mold. After your berry bath, draining the berries, drying them, and then storing them ensures you don't encourage mold growth.
Temperature Control Storage
Along with moisture and light exposure, certain temperatures also create perfect mold growing conditions. Mold flourishes anywhere between 60 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit, giving it a large window of atmosphere to culture in. Refrigerators make an ideal storage location for berries because they reach lower temperate ranges.
Whether your harvest includes strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, or blackberries, no matter the type of berry, the best temperature for berry storage is anywhere between 35 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit. The cooler temps keep the fruits fresh and crisp, preserving their juiciness while also minimizing mold growth. Typically, berries can last up to a week before starting to deteriorate fully and degrade in quality.
Implementing some of these best practices for keeping berries fresh after harvest ensures you keep or sell quality, fruitful berries. A good berry comes with flavorful juices, perfect texture, and a mold-free figure. Get the most out of your berries with proper after-harvest care.