Vegetable harvest in the kitchen

GWloloSeptember 3, 2013

My vegetables from the garden are happy and profic in the warm California summer. Now that we are in the new kitchen, I desire a harvest container of some sort to harvest the veggies, bring them in to rinse off in the prep sink and possibly store the veggies until ready for use. Any suggestions that are practical and pretty so you don't mind leaving on the counter? I usually harvest 2-5 lbs at a time. It can be anything from egg plants to okra, chard, amaranth or tomatoes.

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Fori is not pleased

I use a Nantucket lightship basket made by a hermit in the Texas backwoods. I don't know if I'd want to rinse things in it but I generally wash veggies and fruit right before use anyway.

If well made, they're a sturdy, functional, and kind of attractive basket. Plus I feel like Dorothy traipsing through the yard with a basket over my arm.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2013 at 3:51PM
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karin_mt

Oh, do I know exactly what you mean! I had the same wish last summer. Fresh produce, especially that which you grew yourself, is beautiful to behold and thus requires an appropriately pretty container.

I found a perfect little basket, made in Germany, at our local nursery.
http://www.ernst-dippe-quedlinburg.de/index2.htm
Mine is the first one on that page
This web page is in German though, and I don't see any means to order them. Which makes me wonder how our nursery got them?

Lee Valley has a similar one
http://www.leevalley.com/US/garden/page.aspx?cat=2,2120,33278&p=68876

There are also garden "hods" with a mesh bottom and wood sides. I always worried about the wood sides, since I like to blast carrots or potatoes with the hose after digging them. So for me, the all-mesh construction is the ticket.

Another fun one for small harvests is the classic berry basket (you know, the green ones you see at the farmer's market) renditioned in ceramic. I love these for a quick harvest of berries or cherry tomatoes. A quick rinse, then right to the table for serving.

Good luck with your search! Objects like this are always fun to shop for.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2013 at 4:24PM
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jellytoast

I like these from Gardener's Supply ...

    Bookmark   September 3, 2013 at 5:00PM
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GWlolo

Karin - I agree with you on the berry baskets. They are perfect for picking a snack of tomatoes. Those dissapear fast in our house.

Jelly toast - I like the hods.can you tell me if the Gardeners Supply version has smooth finished wood or unfinished wood. Also how is the handle and wire attached to the body? DH really likes these but I want to check if it will work for young kids etc.

Dori - I never heard of Nantucket light ship basket and there is a whole world out there devoted to it! Who knew! I love the shape but I agree with you.. Too beautiful to rinse off veggies in.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2013 at 1:15AM
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kalindi615

I have a set of of wire baskets from a company called Esschert Design. They came in a set of three and have wooden handles. They fit this bill exactly. I absolutely love them. Mine were given to me and the metal is a brown color like the ones in the link, but if you do a search on Amazon for Esschert Design Baskets, they also have other versions of this and do have it in silver. I like the brown, they match my more rustic kitchen feel.

Because they are a set of three I always have a couple out with produce in them and one empty to go pick with. If at any time I have more than one empty, they nest.

I have also had them going on three years now and they look like they are brand new.

Here is a link that might be useful: Esscert Design Baskets

    Bookmark   September 4, 2013 at 9:17AM
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jellytoast

Sorry, GWlolo, I don't actually own them ... yet! A call to the company should net you that info, though. They are quite helpful on the phone.

Kali615, I have a basket similar to that from Sur La Table, made with that same wire. I found that because the wire is so thin, it tends to dent the softer skinned fruit if it is left in the basket. Bananas or peaches, for instance, will have the wire pattern indented on their skins. Have you found this to be the case with yours if the fruit is left in the baskets for a time? I really love the look of those!

    Bookmark   September 4, 2013 at 9:34AM
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mtnrdredux_gw

Sorry, didn't read all the posts.

But, do you have marble anywhere? If you do, this may be obvious, but do not put a wire basket with veggies on them.

Because I did.

First summer in the kitchen, i picked some of our heirloom tomatoes in a wire basket, and set them on the marble. I didn't notice one was cracked. It leaked and etched a ring.

Good thing I always keep a two tier bread basket on this same island. Now even the kids and the cleaning person know "the basket always goes over the ring!"

Happy harvesting!

    Bookmark   September 4, 2013 at 10:30AM
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kalindi615

jellytoast- yes, I would assume that would be the case though with any type of basket. I had an old wicker one before this and I had marks on my tomatoes if I had any on the bottom with weight on top. I am just sure to leave tomatoes and soft items on top if I am keeping them for storage (it would be silly to have them on the bottom anyway). To be honest, my tomatoes don't stay for long storage, so it is not really an issue. Mostly my tomatoes come in, I have a space I lay them out to finish ripening if needed, then they get dipped and peeled to be canned into whatever recipe I have going that week.

I also went peach picking and made the mistake of letting them sit in the cardboard boxes I picked in for the 2 days it took me to finish canning the 40 lbs, and the bottom layers all were so bruised and crushed from the weight of the other peaches they were unusable. I have learned some things just shouldn't sit in any type of basket or container unless they are carefully on the top with no weight pressing on it.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2013 at 5:49PM
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GWlolo

No marble counters but I thought about berries and soft skinned fruit as well. We just ordered the original Maine hod. DH wanted one without any logos and this one seems to have a dowel jointed handle compared to the gardeners supply one. I like the rigid handle and the stable shape as it seemed easier to move around while harvesting. Hope it is not too big!

Here is a link that might be useful: Orignl Maine Garden Hod

    Bookmark   September 4, 2013 at 7:57PM
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