Fall is just around the corner and as the days grow shorter and the temperatures cooler, we realize fresh local produce will soon be gone until next season. Whether you have your own garden or visit your local farmers' markets and farm stands, you can enjoy local foods well into the fall and early winter by using a few preservation and storage methods.
Here are some of the fruits and vegetables that are in season that can be put away for later use:
Apples - Refrigerate at 32-35 degrees in a perforated plastic bag
Beets - Trim tops to ". Refrigerate in plastic bags for up to two weeks. Beets will keep 2-4 months in a cold (32-40 degrees) cellar.
Onions - Store in a cool, dry dark place. Cured onions can be stored in loosely woven or open-mesh containers for several months. Talk to the grower to learn which varieties store well.
Potatoes - Store in a cool (45-50 degrees), dark well-ventilated area. Keep above 40 degrees as potatoes will develop a sweet taste due to an accumulation of sugars. This also causes potatoes to darken when cooked.
Winter squash - Will keep for several months with stem attached when stored at 50-60 degrees in a dry area.
Berrie s- Red raspberries are in season. Spread berries in a single layer on a cookie sheet and freeze. When frozen, place berries in freezer bags or containers and use as needed.
Tomatoes -Tomatoes can be frozen or juiced for use in winter soups. Try placing green or slightly ripened tomatoes in a single layer in a box with crumpled newspaper and store in a cool dark closet. With a little luck, you will be enjoying tomatoes long after the first frost.
For more information on food storage and preservation contact The Ohio State University Extension at 740-695-1455 or visit us online at our site on the web at http://ohioline.osu.edu/lines/facts.html