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Incredible Edibles UF/IFAS St. Lucie County Extension

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Presentation on theme: "Incredible Edibles UF/IFAS St. Lucie County Extension"— Presentation transcript:

1 Incredible Edibles UF/IFAS St. Lucie County Extension

2 When is the right time to harvest? Learn how to store and exhibit the fruits of your labor Harvesting Your Garden

3 Vegetables Harvesting

4 When to Harvest Harvesting too late - less tenderness and poor quality - will drain the plant, causing less production Harvesting too early - may result in smaller vegetables and less flavor. pick and taste a few for readiness At Planting Time- Read seed packet for # of days to reach maturity List date planted, maturity date and variety on plant stake

5 Harvesting Harvest vegetables in the early morning while theyre still cool. Wash them thoroughly using plenty of cool, running water, and chill them in the refrigerator or in an ice bath. Vegetables should be canned or frozen as soon as possible after harvesting, since they can decline in quality within just a few hours.

6 Biggest is not Always Best Most crops can be harvested several times if only the part that is ready is harvested. The quality of vegetables does not improve after harvest. At maturity vegetables are at their peak for flavor and nutrition. This is not always true when a vegetable is at its largest stage.

7 Storing Bulbing Onions - when 20% of tops have fallen over, field cure the bulbs before harvesting - first undercut the roots and pull back the bulbs - stack them in windrows so that tops cover the bulbs (prevents sunburn) days of field curing, spread plants in thin layers in dry, well- ventilated area for ~ 1 week - remove tops and place in slotted crates or boxes or tie tops together and hang. -Store in cool, dry, ventilated area

8 Storing Irish Potatoes - harvest after tubers are 1 in diameter, anytime after flowering - harvest for storage after vines have died down - Remove all cut, bruised, green and diseased potatoes immediately - place good potatoes in boxes/crates and store in cool, dry, dark place -Do not store where they could freeze

9 Storing Sweet Potatoes -dig before frost and when soil is dry -handle carefully to avoid bruising -for prolonged storage roots should be cured -Curing: -remove all diseased potatoes before curing - place in crates for good air flow - wet roots thoroughly and cover with plastic - keep temperature 80-85°F, humidity 80-85% for 3-7 days -store in cool (60°F), dry place

10 Storing Tomatoes -Before frost, pick green fruits and spread in single layer in cool place - pull up entire plant and hang by roots in cool place - do not store unripe fruits in the refrigerator - once tomatoes are red ripe or cut for use, they may be placed in the refrigerator to reduce spoilage

11 Storing Dried Beans and Peas -allow beans and peas to mature thoroughly on the plant - spread in dry, ventilated area and allow to dry for 2- 3 weeks - shell or thresh and store in covered containers

12 Exhibiting Show off your hard work - local fairs - prepare them to be judged - based on size, color, type, and good eating quality - rules are posted in fair premium book - eligibility - starting times - location - # of items allowed

13 Fruits Harvesting

14 Starfruit -mid summer-early fall -green will fade and become yellow, slight tug releases ripe fruit - light green fruit can be ripened inside - be gentle with the ribs - green fruits can be stored up to 2 weeks on counter or 4 weeks in refrigerator Harvest / Store

15 Papaya - harvested green use as a vegetable - ripe when full yellow to orange color on the peel -pick when yellow color covers 1/5 to 1/3 of the surface peel - fruit left on tree increases in color and fruit sugar content -fruit should be placed at room temperature to fully ripen before being stored in the refrigerator -ripe fruit will keep up to 4 to 7 days. Harvest / Store

16 Passion -purple matures in late spring /early summer - yellow fruits Sept-early Feb - drop to ground when ripe -fruit naturally sweetens and wrinkles as it ripens - a shriveled fruit is ready to eat - Clean fruit can be stored in polyethylene bags at 10°C (50°F) for as long as 3 weeks without loss. Harvest / Store

17 Lychee and Longan - harvest by cutting the main stem bearing the fruit clusters several inches behind the fruit clusters - fruit may or may not be detached from the fruit clusters before storage -ripe fruit are sweet, plump, and of the size and color characteristic of the cultivar - fruit will darken in color if not kept properly refrigerated and well humidified -watch out for split skins. Harvest / Store

18 Mamey Sapotes -harvest when the flesh is completely reddish - if not completely red allow to ripen for a few days at room temperature - ripen at room temperature until soft - can become overripe very quickly and may decay or develop off flavors - soft, mature fruits will store well in the refrigerator at 50-55° F Harvest / Store

19 Guava - fruit are ripe when flesh softens slightly and turns a light yellow. Depending upon the variety, interior flesh can be white, yellow, pink or red - birds and insects will readily attack ripe fruit - ripen at room temperature until yellow, fragrant and slightly soft - handle carefully, since they can bruise easily - plant is invasive Harvest / Store

20 Storing Most tropical fruits can be safely stored for one week. - Keep at the proper storage temperature and relative humidity Avocados, bananas, star fruit, guavas, jackfruit, longans, lychees, mamey sapote, mangos, papayas, and pineapples – shelf life 5 days or less Kumquats, passionfruit, limes and key limes – 5-10 days Coconuts, and pummelos. Have day shelf-life

21 Herbs Harvesting

22 Harvest leaves, flowers, seeds or roots depending on the herb. Harvest the leaves when they contain the optimum amount of essential oils. Cut herbs soon after the dew has evaporated from the leaves in the morning. Harvest on a dry day that has been preceded by at least two sunny days. Cut stems for harvest when the flower buds are just beginning to open. Mints, however, have the most oil in the leaves when the spikes are in full bloom. Harvesting Herbs

23 Lets Eat!


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