"Bendy" cukes and squash - compost?

2ajsmamaAugust 16, 2013

I also have carrots I got from another vendor at Wednesday's market since mine went rubbery, I cut the tops off right away and stuck them in the fridge but they still are bendy too (more than the cukes and squash) - not sure how grocery stores keep carrots crisp. Oh, and a small head of cabbage from last Wed.

My dad likes chow-chow - think all these 3-to-10 day-old veggies will work in that, or are they better off as compost or chicken feed? The cukes and squash aren't very flexible, but they are 3 days old, cukes have been in fridge (except for 5 hours on Wed) squash has not.

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Bendy is fine, it just means they are a little dehydrated.

You can rinse them in water, then put them wet in a plastic bag and back into the fridge overnight. Soaking them in a bowl of cold water might work, too. If you are cooking them, it doesn't matter because they will get soft with cooking anyway :).

I'm a little concerned about leaving squash unrefrigerated for 3 days in summer, bendy or not. 10 days in the fridge is fine.

In the future, try to get your vegies into the fridge within half an hour if you can, maybe an hour max, and keep them in plastic bags (not sealed, or they will spoil fast -- just loose, open plastic). Go straight home from the market :).

And remember that, even when the food does not rot, you lose vitamins with every hour they are out of the fridge and every day that they are in it. Try to buy stuff right before you will eat or preserve it, when you can.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2013 at 1:11PM
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I will not sell any 'bendy' cukes, carrots or zukes. They are getting older.

Grocery stores will mist their produce, carrots are usually in bags.

Squash can be left out, but try to keep them cool. I had the situation where I couldn't get the zukes in the frig, but I had put a towel under them in my crate. The towel had got very wet one market day, soaked in rain, I had wrapped the towel over the top. I was really surprised for them not to have got bendy at all. They looked as good as the new ones out of the garden.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2013 at 2:40PM
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Linda_Lou(SW Wa.)

Are you sure your fridge is cold enough. It needs to be at 40 degrees or below. I keep mine at 35 degrees.
If they are soft, soak in icewater to crisp them up.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2013 at 7:47PM
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My fridge is at 39 degrees. I was very surprised the cukes and carrots got that soft (esp. the carrots, and yes they were firm when she gave them to me).

I know it's b/c they're older, I won't sell them either but the mail carrier was glad to take them for free.

I don't worry about leaving a half bushel of squash (Nila, it's my own, not store-bought, I don't buy fresh veggies, just frozen in the winter) out in the garage right now - high is only about 70, night about 50. No room in fridge with all those cukes! At least I got the pickling cukes (kept in ice water at market, so many people ask me if they're pickles) all processed yesterday. Supermarkets don't refrigerate their squash.

So about the carrots - besides cutting the green tops to about an inch, would they have kept better if I'd put them in a bag with a damp paper towel? Will the ice water perk them up at this point? I got them for DD since she loves the real baby carrots but she won't eat them like this, so I have to use them or compost them.

Still have the cabbage though - guess I'll have to make coleslaw. Cooked 3/4lb of green beans for dinner tonight, and a couple pints of edamame to make a cold bean salad with, so the fridge is emptying out (though the bowl takes up room). Think an ice water soak will perk up the carrots enough for a salad? It needs some color anyway ;-)

And now I think I have room for the squash - or most of it. DH asked me if we need another small fridge for produce - I thold him I need another full-sized fridge, even if we only run it a month out of the year! I'll have to scan Freecycle. We already have a chest freezer and a small upright freezer in addition to the bottom freezer of the kitchen fridge.


This post was edited by ajsmama on Fri, Aug 16, 13 at 20:03

    Bookmark   August 16, 2013 at 8:00PM
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They might absorb the water faster if it's cold-water-tap cold, and not iced or refrigerated.

I hear you on the extra fridge! You can use it for seeds the rest of the year ;).

Sorry about my assumptions in my first post. I am new here and don't know everyone yet, and something led me to think you were less experienced. Oops!

    Bookmark   August 17, 2013 at 11:03AM
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I have 2 extra frigs for produce with a backup at son's place. They are running during season and not during off-season. They were all ones that another son hauled off from an apartment complex that was replacing all with new. I'll use them til they're dead, then they will go away.

Definitely try the ice water, at this point what do you have to lose?

    Bookmark   August 17, 2013 at 12:27PM
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I did stick the squash in the fridge this AM, and put the carrots in a container of ice water (with cubes) in the fridge. Stems weren't submerged but it did the trick since I just snapped one! Wish I hadn't composted all my nice big carrots now, they could have been salvaged (for us if not market).

Went to fair today and was nice to see that recipes with processing times were attached to jars. But the Grange was selling jams, jellies, etc. in its "Country Store" - I think they must have been from a copacker since they were "made for" the Grange and nutrition info on labels. Only $4-5 for 9-12 oz jars but weird thing was the preserves looked like jam, not chunks or whole fruit floating in syrup, and the jellies (which used pectin) were a soft set as soft or softer than I get without pectin! DH picked up the apple butter and it had not only dextrose and corn syrup but HFCS as well!

Nila - no problem, I haven't been around much lately, been busy with the farm so I'm over on Market Gardener and Vegetable forums more than here. I just had to laugh when you said to "buy stuff right before you eat it" or preserve it, b/c I don't buy fresh veggies at all - I grow them, or buy frozen (or canned beans, we eat a lot of those), or sometimes barter or beg for something from another farmer if they have something we don't. Oh, exception is corn, since I don't grow that, but I haven't seen any good local corn yet this year. I did break down and buy 6 ears at store on Monday to have with the clams the menfolk dug. And I usually leave things on the vine (except beans, cukes, and tomatoes) until we're ready to eat them, except on market days when I pick everything close to ready, but then if it doesn't sell I have to use or preserve it as quickly as I can, which sometimes can take a couple of days.

And I don't preserve any produce but my own - though if pole beans don't do well now that they're finally starting to produce (bush beans were a bust this year), I may buy beans and freeze them myself since they taste so much better than store-bought frozen beans. Have to see how much room I have in freezer. The good thing about buying at the store is that I can do it throughout the winter/spring instead of stocking up now. I prefer to use the freezer for meat (and a couple loaves of bread so I don't have to keep running out to buy it). Have a whole pork loin in there now I have to defrost and cut, then refreeze. I bought it last month when my sister was here and I didn't have time to do it then, I usually have butcher do it but I went to store late at night and they'd gone home. BJ's has a sale ($5/lb) on whole beef strip so I want to get that next week too.

I'm not very experienced - this is my first year growing carrots successfully, I'm disappointed that I wasted half of them not knowing how to store them. Cukes were maybe a tiny bit more flexible than grocery-store cukes (not that I touch them that often, I can't stand the wax, but DD checked for me), squash were about the same as store-bought, but carrots were rubbery.

This post was edited by ajsmama on Sat, Aug 17, 13 at 21:35

    Bookmark   August 17, 2013 at 9:30PM
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People use a company to produce their preserves and it's just relabeled for them. that gets around the certified kitchen.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2013 at 11:04AM
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That must be what the Grange did (not sure where the produce came from), there was nutrition info on the labels. Just strange that the "preserves" weren't really preserves and the jelly would have been too runny for a ribbon if it had been entered in the contest. I would have thought that the Grange would have held copacker to same standards they would judge entries to.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2013 at 5:53PM
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