|Why are my greens wilted?|
Have you ever gone to a market, whether in Lynchburg or elsewhere, found the perfect head of lettuce, carefully escorted it home only to find it now wilted and sad? Unfortunately, many factors can effect the state of your produce from the time it is harvested to when it arrives home. Most often though the problem can be traced back to “transpiration.”
Transpiration is essentially when water is stripped out of a plant’s leaves or fruit by means of the sun, wind, temperature and even atmospheric pressure. This can happen both to the plant while it’s growing and to the veggies after they’ve been harvested. At your neighborhood grocery store, they minimize transpiration through temperature regulation, low lights and often times a mist system to replenish what the veggies have lost. Most of the time when buying from a farmers market your veggies have become wilted because of exposure to the sun or wind. Market vendors try to prevent this by setting up tents, keeping bags of greens closed or turned from the wind, setting up wind blocks and spraying their produce with a squirt bottle.
If you find that your fresh produce is a victim of transpiration, do not fret! An easy way to give your greens, lettuce, celery and other high water content veggies new life is to simply soak them in cold water! We recommend, if possible, cutting 1/2 an inch off the stems of your greens before soaking them to speed up the process. Adding ice is a great idea too. You will be surprised at how quickly they come back!
*Look below to see how we experimented this theory with a bunch of Swiss Chard earlier this year which became wilted due to the heat in our bakery store!