Hi everyone. Thanks for the responses! Some folks asked to see them, so here they are:
Pick them early in the AM and put them in buckets or containers with water in the bottom... keep them in the shade. It's washing them that gives them black spots... it's the only crop I don't wash before bringing to market!
We usually do a quick wash in cold water, and then put the basil in the fridge in crates with a wet towel covering them - if they are dry and sitting in the cold, they will turn black, but we have found it to work well as long as they are not too exposed to the cold air, and have some moisture. In the past at another farm, we had a warmer fridge that was run by AC set at I believe about 60 degrees (don't remember exactly) and that worked as well.
I know the diggers deliver their basil with roots in water to the coop, in a 5 gal pail, but it takes some work to have a decent arrangement where one gets the 5 gal pails back.
Mimi; Happy Memorial Day; Never wash basil. If it is wet when you pick it, dry it under a ceiling fan if you have one, or just in the shade. Flip them over when the top is dry. When they are almost dry, store above 40 degrees in plastic bags. Wet basil stored lower than 40 degrees will spot very quickly. All the best. Bob and Jane Pomykala
I have mine Inside a greenhouse and don’t wash it. Harvest it into boxes and cover with plastic bags in the walk in then bunch and put in plastic bags.
we find that basil does best in a plastic bag, unwashed
re temp--that is tricky since basil likes 55 degree temp F
so a cooler is too cool, and a 90 degree day is too hot
I've had the best luck putting unwashed bunches on trays in the cooler and when cooled down putting in plastic bags. fine for small amounts but not good for big bunches.
don’t wash the basil! I pick it at the end of the day when the sun is down, or in the AM after the dew has dried and there are clouds. I bunch it and put it in plastic bins, but not too crowded, then I put the bins in the walk in. Our walk in is at about 45 degrees. The basils does fine in there as long as it is NOT WET. In a fridge that is set lower for dairy or meat, it will go black. I do not know what your quantities are. I tell my customers to put it in water on the counter like cut flowers, as long as just the stems are wet and not the leaves this is fine.
We plant on plastic to keep the dirt from splashing up after a rain, otherwise dirt can be a big problem on the leaves.
Basil goes against everything else I harvest. We do about
200 lbs a week to a pesto maker (am ashamed at how little we get for it). We
pick at midday, or as soon as there is no moisture on it. We pick as fast as
possible into the flip top plastic shipping boxes, and put them in the shade
immediately. Then, within 20 minutes or so they go into the walkin, all the
morning harvest is chilled at that point, so the heat goes out fast, after an hour
or so I turn the cooler up to 45 (coolbots are great!). It goes the next
morning to the processor. We do the same thing for the CSA. I think the
secret is never get it wet, if you are bunching it for the market or CSA, you
have to say it's unwashed. Also picking into a closed container, while there is
a lot of field heat, the leaves retain their moisture. It just melts away in a
black crate. Bunch it after it's chilled and put it in an ~airtight box and
back in the cooler quickly. It will keep for 3=4 days in the cooler if the
temperature isn't too low.
We leave the roots on our basil bunches and put the bunches
right into 3" of water, then we put buckets in a cool, shaded location. We
don't wash the basil. Nobody complains and the basil looks great. We tell folks
to put basil in a glass of water on the counter. That way they can pick off of
it for a week or two as they need to. Are you asking about wholesale or for
We pick ours first thing in the AM, do not wash it, bag it, and keep it in our squash and Zuke cooler which runs about 50 degrees. Wet basil in a cold cooler is always a disaster.
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