How to Wash Garden Produce

>> Friday, July 23, 2010

(This is NOT produce from my garden, I got this image when I googled, "Garden Produce.) 

Our garden, amazingly, is flourishing. I assure you, I have nothing to do with it.

Therefore, we had a million hearts of romaine that needed harvesting. I went out a couple of evenings ago, and starting plucking them up.


My attempts at "organic" gardening mostly mean that I don't put any kind of pesticide on the veggies, but I also don't do anything ELSE to keep bugs away. So the bugs were having a field day. I got most of them off, but still. I had  A LOT of lettuce and couldn't be sure we were in the clear. And really, if there is anything worse than eating pesticide-ridden lettuce, it's lettuce with a bug in it.

Rather than be discouraged, I took to ending the lives of those unwise insects that continued to cling to my lettuce. (It was mostly ear wigs,  not worms or anything. I have my limits...)

So, now, the HOW-TO in all this organic goodness:

You will need:
White vinegar (are you surprised?)
A deep pot or large bowl. (You could use your kitchen sink if you trust it to be clean enough.)
Someplace to put the veggies (Like another bowl or cutting board or SOMETHING)

Submerge veggies in water with about 1 cup of vinegar (You know I didn't actually MEASURE the vinegar!)

Leave for about 10-15 minutes.

Carefully rinse off the produce, a little at a time, piece by piece, to ensure all things "outdoors" are gone as well as all traces of vinegar.

Lay out in the other bowl to dry.

If your produce was like mine, the first bowl will have some drowned bugs in it.


Then, before you use the produce, just for peace of mind, give it an additional rinse if you're paranoid.

And then you have fresh, un-bugged produce.
 * * *
Now, why vinegar?

Well, I didn't want to BLEACH my veggies. I just didn't trust that good ole water was going to get all the bug poop off. Vinegar, as we know, is helpful in disinfecting things. The submersion of water drowns anything alive.

Best of both worlds. A good clean water rinse after removes any vinegar and your garden produce is ready for a salad.

Ahhhh Summer.


alilcrunchidoula July 23, 2010 at 7:46 AM  

That is awesome. I do the same trick with salt water. If you have an abundance of salt like we do (from drying hides) add a handful maybe a cup of salt to water in a big bowl or pot and let sit for 10 min. Then rinse again. I forgot to to that the other night with our broccoli harvest and it was so gross. Little inchworms reaching for the sky in a pot of steaming broccoli is not appetizing for me. Needless to say that broccoli went to the chickens. :P

Rebecca July 29, 2010 at 8:48 PM  

The only thing worse than biting into your salad and finding a bug is biting into your salad and finding half a bug. ;^)

I love your blog and look forward to reading more! Vinegar -- great idea! I absolutely hate the idea of using bleach and never thought of vinegar! Thanks for the idea!

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