Monthly Archives: March 2014

Fruit Tip: How to Make Strawberries Last Longer

With spring finally here fresh berry season is just a few months away. In just a short time the sweet fruits will be available at the farmer’s market, road-side stands and grocery stores. Fresh strawberries are beautiful and delicious but they have a tendency of spoiling quickly.

The normal shelf life for strawberries isn’t very long and though many families have no trouble finishing off a carton of berries in a couple of days, or even hours, sometimes you’d like the edible fruit to last a little while longer. The good news is that there is an easy tip that will help keep strawberries fresh longer, allowing you more time to enjoy them. The secret is vinegar.

It might sound surprising but a mixture of water and vinegar can help extend the life of your fresh strawberries. The ph of vinegar helps to kill mold spores and bacteria on the strawberries. This mold and bacteria speed up the spoiling process of the fruit so killing them helps to keep the strawberries fresh longer.

Keeping Strawberries Fresh Longer:

• Rinse strawberries under cool water and then place them in a bowl.

Strawberries• For every 2 cups of water stir in ¼ cup of vinegar (apple cider or white)

• Pour the vinegar mixture over the strawberries agitating gently to dislodge dirt and bacteria

• Allow the strawberries to sit in the mixture for 5 minutes

• Drain the berries in a colander and rinse thoroughly with cool water to remove any remaining dirt as well as the vinegar flavor

• Allow berries to dry before placing them in a sealed container in the refrigerator. Line the container with paper towels which will absorb moisture extending the life of the strawberries.

*Note: This washing solution will work with other berries as well including raspberries and blackberries.

When to Plant Fruit Trees

With spring coming many people are in the mood to be outdoors and they are considering their gardens and planting fruit trees.  Naturally a common question that quickly follows is: when is the ideal time to plant fruit trees?

Planting a fruit tree at the right time of year and under the best conditions possible will give your tree the greatest chance of survival and production of delicious edible fruit.  Before purchasing a tree take into consideration the timing.

Container Trees
If you have a fruit tree planted in a 5 gallon container or larger, or if it has a root ball wrapped in burlap, and it has a sufficient amount of soil protecting the root system then it can be planted at nearly any time of the year.  The heat of summer is not an ideal time to plant fruit trees as the extreme hot and dry conditions can be stressful for newly planted trees.

Bare Root Trees
Bare root trees have no soil attached to the root system.  If you have a fruit tree with little soil (smaller than a 5 gallon container) or one that is bare-rooted, you will want to plant it when the tree is still in its dormant state, typically late winter or early spring if you live in a cold climate.  If you live in a warm climate you can plant the tree at any time of the year.  It is important to plant bare root trees promptly after getting them home.  Do not allow the roots to become dry.  The bare root fruit tree should be kept in a cool location with moist soil, sawdust or sand until it can be planted in the ground.

Fruit TreeIdeal Conditions
Planting trees in spring allows the tree to become established before the cold winter months hit.  When planting fruit trees in spring, wait for the ground to thaw and dry out enough to work with.  The soil should not stick together when squeezed but should crumble.  The best planting condition is a cool overcast day, avoiding rainy days as well as hot and dry conditions.