Just because fruits and vegetables grow outside does not mean that those conditions will keep your produce fresh once you bring it home. Heat and light, while beneficial to growing plants, cause fruits and vegetables to deteriorate faster. Keep your produce fresh longer through the correct storage methods. Consider the types of fruits and vegetables to store. While most refrigerate well for longer storage, root vegetables such as potatoes, onions, garlic and winter squash keep better in a cool root cellar.
Keep your produce whole and unwashed when storing, because cutting and excess moisture increase the rate of spoilage. Wash the produce thoroughly before consuming to prevent food-borne illness.
Poke several holes into the sides of zip top bags to create airflow and prevent moisture buildup in the bag. Separate fruits and vegetables into individual bags, sealing the bags closed.
Store vegetables and fruits in their bags in the refrigerator's vegetable crisper drawer.
Use a root cellar, basement or cool pantry for storing the following: onions, garlic, potatoes, winter squash and apples wrapped in newspaper. Avoid storing these items in the refrigerator, except apples, because the cold degrades their quality. Keep apples in a plastic, perforated bag refrigerated, but in a cellar for longer storage.
Wrap apples in newspaper by placing an individual apple into the center of a piece of newspaper. Pull the edges of the newspaper up and over the apple to cover all the sides of the apple. Turn the newspaper-wrapped apple upside down so it sits on the seam where the edges of the newspaper meet. Store apples wrapped singly in this manner in a single layer in a cellar.