Shelf Life for Fruits and Vegetables

All fruits and vegetables are perishable by nature. To enable you to be satisfied with your fruit, we offer some suggestions.

1. Know the perishability of your fruit–these periods assume refrigeration.

  • Tart cherries, light sweet cherries, very ripe peaches– 1 to 3 days.
  • Firm peaches, nectarines, apricots, plums, black sweet cherries– 3 to 8 days.
  • Apples (refer to individual varieties on the apple page)
    • very short shelf life- up to 3 weeks
    • short shelf life – up to 2 months
    • medium shelf life- up to 4 months
    • long shelf life- up to 6 months
    • When storing apples, people don’t always have refrigeration available. If you can’t store in a refrigerator, here are options to consider:
      • Store apples in a cool place that is damp but not wet.
      • Don’t store where they will freeze or the temperature will exceed 45 degrees or shelf life will be greatly reduced.
      • If storing in a garage, keep away from gasoline, oil, or car exhaust as apples will acquire an off-flavor from them.
      • A cool unheated cellar works well for many people.

2. Know what you want to use the fruit for. If you want to only eat fresh, remember that flavor, crispness, and juiciness generally decrease with time. If you are using for cooking, these characteristics may not be as important to you. For instance, if you only want a McIntosh apple to eat fresh, buy only what you will eat in a month (refrigerated). But if you intend to make apple sauce with them, you can store longer and still be satisfied.

3. Handle your fruit carefully. We try to harvest our fruit tree-ripened. This means that it will generally not resist bruising if handled roughly. Also, don’t leave your fruit in the sun or in your car on a hot, sunny day, and never put them in the trunk of your car unless it is air conditioned.

4. Refrigerate most vegetables for freshness. The exception is tomatoes. Tomatoes should be stored at room temperature, not in the sun, until desired ripeness and juiciness is attained! Refrigerate at this point for longer storage.

5. For best sweet corn quality (if not using immediately), leave husks on to protect kernels from bruising. Run cold water over corn in husks for 30 minutes to remove internal heat from the cob. Refrigerate. If husked, wrap in plastic to maintain freshness and refrigerate.