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Owly

Dessicant box for salad life

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    I'm constantly frustrated by trying to keep bagged salad greens from going off.  I've tried various strategies, and none I've found really stretches the life as long as I need.....  Being single, I buy mixed greens, the only practical solution for me.   Unfortunately a good percentage of the time, there is enough moisture that the greens are ready go melt in a few days.   The other day I looked for some arugula, and the only packages I found were not fresh enough, and the  grocery store is 50 miles away... the nearer one 20 miles has only garbage most of the time... and overpriced at that.  

     I purchased a large Foodsaver box a few months back... about a $20 item, figuring that if I can dry refrigeration systems using vacuum, why not salad.......... I'm here to tell you it doesn't work, though it is a small improvement.     The  next step is a dessicant.  I have a sort of plastic trivet that fits into it that came from a Rubbermaid container that was designed to keep salad fresh.... which of course didn't work for me either.   This rectangular trivet keeps the salad greens elevated off the bottom.   At the  moment I have some rock salt in the oven, which I will bake for half an hour or so at 350 to drive any moisture off.  Once cooled, it is going into the Foodsaver container beneath the trivet, the salad will go on top of the trivet, and the lid will be installed and I will draw the container down to about 30 inches of vacuum using my vacuum pump.  It's designed to be pumped down using a food saver hose, so I was a bit nervous about using high vacuum the first time, but it stands it quite well. 

   

     I'd be interested in thoughts on this........ I've tried about every tip imaginable....... I'm  hoping this will extend the life.    I'm increasingly growing my salad greens at home indoors, but at the moment I have a lot of things starting over .  I have plenty of lettuce and kale, and my arugula is almost ready to begin harvesting, my "perpetual spinach".... a variety of Swiss chard has a few weeks to go.  My indoor grow chamber isn't really as large as I would like, and I have a bunch of dwarf tomato starts going.   I'll be moving them to another chamber shortly, and getting more arugula going.  My dwarfs are dwarf plants, not dwarf fruits  naturally.......  though I selected cherry tomatoes as I like them best.  Being determinant, the will grow to fruition and produce once.... otherwise they would not be dwarf plants.  I haven't tried this before.   Everything is hydroponic, and under grow lights.

 

     I will post a reply at some point just to confirm or not, the success of this project.........

 

                                              H.W.

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How long do they normally last?

 

You have probably already tried this because you're into advanced methods, but my wife got those mesh vegetable bags with draw strings, and the life of our leafy greens has extended noticeably.  We also only wash what we're about to eat and try not to overcrowd the drawer so everything can "breathe" through the bags.  Maybe you're refrigerator as a whole is too humid?

 

I've also seen people vacuum seal and freeze lettuce, but I've never had the finished product with that.  Good luck!

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