03.04.2013

Leafy vegetables kept in the shade will maintain their quality longer than those exposed to full sun. Ice can reduce the temperature of harvested vegetables. Covering produce with a moist material, such as damp sacking or straw (taking care to keep the vegetables dry), is also effective in reducing the temperature by taking advantage of evaporative cooling principles.

Another simple technique is to use good-quality packaging that will protect the crop after harvest. Many growers put their newly harvested leafy greens in large polyethylene bags; during transport the leaves may be bruised or crushed. Bamboo baskets are not suitable for packing soft fruit vegetables such as tomato because the rough surface may damage the produce. Rigid containers with smooth surfaces reduce crushing, bruising and damage.

Training urban growers in proper handling methods and disseminating information to show the economic benefits of good post-harvest handling can help ensure that more vegetables of better quality reach the market.