Updated: Apr 17
Greens of all kinds are going to be some of the most perishable items you get in your box, so it's important to know how to take care of them so they last as long as possible.
Inevitably some of those greens will pile up so it becomes important to have proper storage practices and exit strategies so they don't go to waste.
As soon as you get your box, take care of it. Read this post for the 5 Steps to Efficiently Use Your Local Box Each Week.
The most important step is getting your greens refrigerated ASAP. Greens are delicate and will last longer the more consistently they are kept cold.
The next most important step to keep your greens nice is to get them in a plastic bag or container to preserve the moisture in the greens so they don't dehydrate in your refrigerator. This is important for almost all veggies, but it's extra important for greens.
Lettuce is almost entirely water, so if it's not in a container that will help retain that moisture it will quickly wilt to an unusable state. This is also true for lots of other vegetables too, so be sure to get them all in appropriate bags or containers.
If you want to go even further to extend the shelf life of your greens, it helps to wash and spin dry them in a salad spinner right away and store them in an appropriate bag or container.
By doing this you are getting through the step of washing your greens (we do wash all greens we sell at the farm before you see them but it's always a good idea to wash them again).
Washing and using a salad spinner to dry your greens means you have a chance to sort your greens, portion them into smaller containers if you want, and control the amount of moisture on the greens.
You do not want your greens to be too wet. Many folks find it helpful after washing and drying their greens to add a paper towel to the bag or container, which helps pull out any excess moisture so your greens don't sit in an overly wet container. If greens are too wet for too long it encourages spoilage.
The last thing to do is eat them. The shelf life is pretty short on greens so plan on eating lots of salads the first few days after you receive them.
Delicate greens like salad mix, arugula, spicy greens, and micro greens should be eaten first. Heartier greens like head lettuce, kale, chard, bok choy, and sunflower/pea shoots will last longer so they can be used after the delicate greens have all been consumed.
If you take the time to do these initial steps of preparation and care for your greens, you'll find that you have less food waste and nicer-looking greens for much longer!