Produce Storage with Eric Yuke at Terra Firma Farms

Tomato display

In addition to his role as Sales Manager at Terra Firma Farms, Eric Yuke, also has years of retail experience. On a recent farm visit, Eric shares his go-to tips on storage, temperature and displaying product. 

  • Tomatoes: Tomatoes are best stored around 45-55 degrees. This temperature holds the fruit, so it does not continue to ripen or deteriorate the texture of the tomato. When tomatoes are stored lower, they change texture, and it will result with a mealy consistency. When merchandising, continue to keep out of refrigeration. Placing the fruit stem down shows off the colors nicely.
  • Summer Soft Squash: Store in your regular cooler. These will hold best when merchandised in a refrigerated dry rack. They also look great on non-refrigerated table displays but keep an eye out as you may experience an increase in shrink by doing so.    
  • Onions/Hard Squash/Garlic: These items should be stored outside of refrigeration in a dry area away from sunlight with good ventilation.  
  • Leeks: Store in the cooler until you’re ready to place on the sales floor. When merchandising, these should be placed with your other wet rack vegetables. Trimming a ½ inch or so off the greens on the top makes them look nice in your displays. 
  • Bunched Beets and Carrots: Store in your cooler until ready for the sales floor. Merchandise these on your wet rack either laying on their side with the root facing outward or stand them up. If you have loose beets and carrots, cut the ends to remove the remaining stem and lay down with the trimmed end facing out.   
  • Green Beans: Store in your cooler until ready for the sales floor. Keep these with your other refrigerated dry items in bins. Alternatively, place outside of refrigeration on your sales floor, either in paper tote bags or open topped boxes. 

If you find yourself experiencing any quality issues or product having a short shelf life, try moving the product around and checking to see if the product is being stored correctly in the back stock area. Also remember, excess air flow is not a friend of fresh produce so always look for ways to protect your product from too much air flow. 

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