Posted on: 11 January 2018
Keeping farm-fresh vegetables unwilted from the point of harvest up to the time of sale is a common challenge for most commercial farmers. Besides the difficulty, customers almost always opt for the freshest vegetables in the market. To boost your sales and keep your customers loyal, you should ensure your vegetables stay unwilted for the longest time possible. Below are some key guides to help you keep your farm vegetables fresh from the time you harvest up to the point of sale, and probably even beyond.
Handling vegetables during harvesting and packaging
Vegetables easily go bad if bruised or damaged during harvesting and packaging. To keep vegetables fresh for longer, handle them with caution and take the necessary precautions needed when handling each variety of vegetables. For instance, you should not wash your potatoes, in fact it's advisable to leave a light film of soil on the surface. The film of soil reduces excessive moisture loss from the potatoes and prevents attack by fungi.
Below are some precautions to consider when harvesting and packing your vegetables for transport:
• Place vegetables carefully in harvest containers. Avoid throwing the vegetables or using too much force when handling the harvest containers to prevent dents and damage.
• For most vegetables, choose well-aerated packaging, preferably slated packaging containers so as to maintain low temperature and control humidity. High temperatures and humidity often quicken farm produce decay.
• After harvesting, protect your vegetables from direct sunlight to prevent overheating by placing them under a shade.
• Vegetables that don't form a compact package are prone to vibration damage. Use of cushion materials to fill in the gaps is advisable so as to prevent unnecessary damage to your vegetables when in motion. You can buy cushion materials from an appropriate farm produce and accessories vendor.
Tips to observe during transportation
Transporting vegetables from the farm to the market or during distribution to your customers is one of the most critical steps. Often, vegetables go bad when in transit more than any other time between the time of harvest and point of sale. Take the necessary precautions to ensure your vegetables stay fresh during transportation whether you're the one managing transportation or you've hired a transport company.
Air conditioning is one essential factor to consider during transportation. You should ensure that the car or truck you will use to transport the vegetables can maintain appropriate temperatures and humidity so as to prevent heat or moisture damage to your farm produce. Most perishable vegetables thrive under cool temperatures, and you may want to invest in a refrigerated truck or hire a company that offers one. It's advisable that you work with a transport professional well-versed in handling vegetables who is best placed to give you the best guidelines, advice, and services.
Garden-fresh vegetables are a great appeal to customers. The tips aforementioned can help you keep your farm vegetables fresh for longer, and in turn, keep your customers happy and loyal.Share