Tips on how to extend your fruit and veggies shelf life!

Farmer giving box of veg to customer on a sunny day

Every year the American Heart Association recognizes June as Fresh Fruit and Veggie Month. Or what we like to call it just another reason to celebrate because fresh fruits and veggies are what we do at Orr’s Farm Market. We plant them, grow them, harvest them and deliver them straight to you.

One question that is often asked is how do you store your fresh fruits and vegetables? No one wants to waste perfectly good food or money. The American Heart Association has this great set of tips on how to handle that question.

In the pantry or cellar

Light isn’t good for some vegetables because it reduces shelf life. Keep the following in a cool dark place such as your pantry or cellar:

  • Onions, garlic, shallots
  • Sweet potatoes, potatoes and yams
  • Hard squash — acorn, butternut, spaghetti, winter
  • Watermelon


These fruits and vegetables can be put on the countertop, but keep them away from heat and light.

  • Bananas
  • Citrus fruit. Store fruits such as lemons, limes, oranges and grapefruit loose or in a mesh bag. Refrigerate for longer storage.
  • Stone fruit. Ripen apricots, avocados, nectarines, peaches and plums in a paper bag. Then move to the fridge to extend shelf life.
  • Tomatoes


These fruits should be stored in plastic bags with holes in them in your produce drawer (unless otherwise noted).

  • Apples and pears
  • Beets and turnips. Remove greens and keep loose in the crisper drawer.
  • Berries, cherries and grapes. Keep dry in covered containers or plastic bags.
  • Broccoli and cauliflower
  • Carrots and parsnips. Remove greens.
  • Celery
  • Corn. Store inside their husks.
  • Cucumbers, eggplant and peppers. Store on the upper shelf because it is the warmer part of the fridge.
  • Fresh herbs, except for basil. Keep stems moist and wrap loosely in plastic.
  • Green beans
  • Lettuce and leafy greens. Wash, spin or pat dry; wrap loosely in a dish towel or paper towel and place in a plastic bag in the vegetable drawer. Keep stems moist.
  • Melons
  • Mushrooms. Keep dry and unwashed in a container or paper bag
  • Peas
  • Zucchini and summer/yellow squash

Keep them apart

  • Fruits such as apples, bananas and pears give off ethylene gas, which can make other produce ripen and rot faster.
  • Store vegetables and fruits separately.
  • Keep apples, bananas, broccoli, cauliflower, cucumbers, onions, pears, potatoes and watermelon away from other produce.

The American Heart Association has this information and even more online in a handy booklet

So come down and celebrate Fresh Fruit and Veggie Month with us!

We’re open Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

10 replies
  1. Pamela
    Pamela says:

    I was there just yesterday (4th of July, 2019) and not one single bison did I see. What’s the deal?

    • Katy Orr-Dove
      Katy Orr-Dove says:

      We decided to get out of the bison business this past spring. We posted some newsletters and Facebook updates about it before they left. They’ve gone as a group to a bison farm in Maryland who specializes in the raising of bison. With the growing number of guests visiting our farm, we were uneasy about the safety of having them so close to our customers. Thanks for your inquiry!

  2. Rebecca Gardner
    Rebecca Gardner says:

    It’s good to know that citrus fruits like oranges and lemons can be stored on the countertop or refrigerated to extend their shelf life. I’m interested in using a grocery delivery service to stock up on produce so I can cook fresh food at home without the stress of going to a crowded store. Thanks for teaching me the basics of stories fruits and veggies so I can keep the produce fresh and usable for as long as possible!

  3. Curtis Butler
    Curtis Butler says:

    It’s good to know that vegetables and fruits should be stored separately. My brother needs help finding a way to transport the produce from his farm to local grocery stores. He may benefit from finding a service that knows how to handle produce.

  4. Mia Evans
    Mia Evans says:

    Thanks for pointing out that there are fruits and vegetables that are kept on the countertop, but they must be kept away from the light and heat. I will keep that in mind since I will be starting to buy my food supplies on my own after moving to another town. Hopefully, I find a supplier that I can trust in this town this weekend.

  5. Eve Mitchell
    Eve Mitchell says:

    Thanks for the tip about storing fruit in a dark place. My husband and I grow apples and we are looking for a better way to ship them. I’m sure that there is a good way of doing that.

  6. Millie Hue
    Millie Hue says:

    Thanks for pointing out that citrus fruits would have to be stored in a refrigerated area to keep them for a long time. I guess sich retail product storage options would have to be available for agricultural companies. It will give them more chances of preserving their products and prevent any wasted items that they might not be able to sell.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] course, bread is not the only consumable that you can prolong the shelf life. This also applies to fruits and vegetables as well […]

Comments are closed.