“The best way to put great vegetables into storage is to start with the right varieties. Then grow, harvest and handle crops the right way,” said Jan van der Heide, Northeast Sales and Product Development Manager for Bejo Seeds. van der Heide led a workshop called “Putting a Good Quality Crop into Storage” at the New England Vegetable & Fruit Conference.
Fall and winter crops grow more slowly and have smaller cells, hard skins and dense flavor and nutrients. Most late season crops are eaten cooked.
Growers should plan ahead for storage crops. These crops take 80 to 130 days to reach maturity. Most growers do not have time for a second cash crop on field growing storage crops. With fields tied up for the season, growers should earn a good return on that crop. smart growers plant a cover crop after harvesying their storage crops to protect and build soils before planting a new cash crop.
Growers should choose varieties specifically selected for storage qualities. Learn which varieties van der Heide recommends and read about his harvest recommendations and storage tips here.