Harvest Hub – What We Mean when We Say, Fresh.
Harvest Hub’s food is fresh, seasonal and local. These aren’t marketing terms but the stuff of our day-to-day ethics and experience.
Fresh is often used by the food industry as a marketing and branding tool.
When Harvest Hub says fresh we mean newly picked: Our fresh greens go to our Hubs® daily (except Sunday).
Broccoli and Cauliflower come from our grower’s harvest to you within 48 hours.
Onions and potatoes are harvested and then in your Harvest Hub insulation blue bag within three to four days.
No other supplier can get you fruit and vegetables within ‘cooee’ of these just-in-times because they rely on warehousing and the days it takes them to distribute their produce to their many stores. For many suppliers that’s a minimum of five days for much of their produce and longer.
A great example is the recent Value Bag peaches, when they were in season, which were firm but ready to eat. They were to be eaten straight away. Newly picked, not stored and firm but when you cut them they oozed with juice. No sitting on window sill for those peaches. Sitting around just makes them rot.
Fresh figs are picked ripe, travel to market and then in our to home fridge last another 2 to
3 days but need to be kept really dry and not touching each other… they like their space. Wrap a paper towel around them, pop into a paper bag and into the fridge. They are kept dry.
We rely on good conversations with our growers so we can let Harvest Hub members know what is seasonal, local and let them know what is good for the Value Bag in the coming week. When ordering online you have time to consider whether you wish that ‘Value Bag’ item that week and have the ability to adapt the bag. Again, no other grocer is offering this online service – they have mixed but fixed boxes.
Harvest Hub delivers in cooling trucks to keep the fruit and vegetables in their recently harvested state. We keep the integrity of our produce so that it’s vitamin content remains potent. Your carrots, corn and beans are sweet because their sugars haven’t had time to convert to starch.
Continuing into March and April while it’s humid and the produce becomes wet due to condensation as it comes out of the cooling truck and hits the humid air we encourage you to air dry the contents of your Harvest Hub blue bag or wipe them dry. Check your fridge temperature. Is is freezing one section and too low the other. Think about where you will put your produce.
How to manage freshly harvested produce? … It is different to warehoused produce. Here are TIPS for STORING.
FRESH GINGER: Fresh ginger should be kept in the fridge unlike dried ginger. Keep it dry by wrapping it with a paper hand towel.
Some of our members peel their ginger, and place it in a freezer bag so it keeps well. It grates frozen or can be thawed and sliced or chopped with a sharp knife. Or just freeze the ginger and then grate.
FRESH GARLIC: Keep garlic together with onions, but don’t store onions with potatoes – they’re not good companions as the wet from the onions transfers.
HERBS: Herbs with, or without, roots will keep in a glass of water with a plastic bag over them in the fridge. If you have too many fresh herbs you can always chop them and stick them into ice cube trays. Top the trays with olive oil and freeze. Then you’ve flavour to throw into a pan for your next soup or stew.
Some tips for storing broccoli, cucumbers, and shallots:
Use the vegetable crisper in your fridge. It’s warmer than most other places in the fridge and better, and for that reason better for vegetables that will get damaged by extreme cold. Don’t store fruit and vegetables together if you can help it. Take those pears out as they are heavy breathers and will over ripen everything else. Keep them separate unless using them to ripen produce.
- To extend broccoli’s freshness it should be kept air-tight but dry and with a small amount of ventilation. This means do not wrap in plastic and put in fridge and leave it there for 4 to 5 days. Check that condensation is not on it and it is kept dry. It needs to have a light paper towel to absorb the condensation (even change this). Note that broccoli and broccolini are meant to be eaten with 3 to 4 days as with any greenery. If using a specially designed container that allows breathing pop one hole open so some ventilation can occur. If you have a vegetable storage bag use with care and keep the vegetables dry (the plastic tends to allow condensation to collect), put your broccoli in that,lightly wrap the vegetable in a paper towel to absorb the fridge condensation but check it every few days.
- Beans – make sure they are dry before you store them. Again make these the first when planning your meals. Beans like some air flow but not too much. Enclosed and damp beans will go black and mouldy.
- Continental cucumbers are wrapped in plastic because cucumbers have a hard time tolerating cold so keep the plastic on until you plan to use the cucumber.
- Wrap the shallots in kitchen paper; the paper will stop them going slimy.
If you’ve other ways of storing your fresh produce that works do please let us know.