This Is the Very First Thing to Do with Any Produce Box (or Farmers Market Haul!)

updated Jun 7, 2020
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Credit: Joe Lingeman/Kitchn; Food Stylist: CC Buckley/Kitchn

Have you joined a CSA this summer or signed up for another produce box delivery? Whether you’ve been part of a CSA for years or this is your very first season, getting that weekly box of fresh, local produce is always exciting. And it means you’re in store for a lot of fruit and veggies in those boxes. That’s great! But if you’re anything like me, it can be easy to get overwhelmed by that abundance and not have a chance to use everything up before the next box comes rolling in.

To make sure that doesn’t happen and that I don’t waste any produce, there’s one small thing I do with my CSA box (or farmers market haul!) as soon as I get home. It helps me make the most of my bounty and I think it will make a difference for you, too.

Wash and Store Your CSA Produce as Soon as You Bring It Home

It might be tempting to just tuck all the contents of your CSA box into the fridge immediately, but don’t. Instead, take the time to wash and prep everything so that it’s ready to be used. Rinse and dry greens, slice things like bell peppers and carrots, wash cherries and peaches, even trim the stems off green beans.

Read more: How to Be a Cook Who Can Make Any Vegetable Fun to Eat

Credit: Mia Yakel/Kitchn

Store your cleaned and prepped produce in airtight containers in the crisper drawers of your fridge and they’ll be ready for you to snack on or cook with all week long. You’ll hardly have any prep to do when it comes time to actually assembling or cooking a meal, which means you’ll be a whole lot more willing to work your way through your CSA stash. That also means there’s less waste, and you won’t be left with the overwhelming feeling of trying to use everything up the day before your next box arrives.

5 Colorful Recipes to Make with Your Produce Box

What’s your favorite way to make the most of your CSA box?