How to get the Freshest Vegetables and Fruit

To get the freshest and best-tasting vegetables and fruit you need to grow your own.  In this article, we will discuss why this is and how to get the freshest, best tasting, and have the least chemicals applied to the fruit and vegetables.

What does fresh truly mean?  When you go to the store to buy vegetables and fruit in the produce section of the supermarket how fresh is it?

We will show you How to get the Freshest Vegetables and Fruit for your family to eat.

Delivery time from farm to store

Typically to get these items in the store the farmer has to harvest the food and prep it for shipping, this can be a 1-2 day process just to get it loaded and ready to ship.

Next comes the shipping of the product even though this has improved with refrigerated trucks the time it takes to get from farm to store is still the same.  If it comes by freight driver it can take anywhere from 1-4 days across the country.

If you are talking about a product that is coming by air it can be similar but also it can result in delays due to logistics in transporting the product.

Once it reaches the store it may take 1 day to unload and place in the store for you to purchase.

Critical to stores selling vegetables and fruit is appearance and freshness.  If the produce looks over-ripe it will not sell well and will not last as long on the shelves, so it is critical for the temperature to be controlled and the shipping time to be as fast as possible.

Lastly, it may sit on the store shelves for several days before you arrive to buy the product.

So let’s count back how many days from the farm are in your hands to prepare for your family.  If we take the best-case scenario it will be 3 days and the longest to be in your hands 7-14 depending on how long it sits on the store’s shelves for you to purchase.

Harvesting for shipping

When the farmers are harvesting knowing the product is going to be shipped they must calculate that time into the best time to harvest to provide the best-tasting vegetable and fruit when it arrives for you to purchase.

This means that they are harvesting earlier than you would if you picked it out of your garden.  Here are a few examples for you to understand the shelf lifetimes for fruit and vegetables for shipping.

This is why it is critical for farmers to be as close as possible to the stores for shipping fruit and vegetables.

1-2 days shelf time 




2-4 days shelf time




7 days or longer





How are the vegetables and fruits handled for shipping

In order to maintain the freshest looking fruit and vegetables, farmers are treating the produce with preservatives to prolong their life.

There have been many improvements made to the chemicals used to prolong the shelf life and freshness of vegetables and fruit.  There are still chemicals used to extend the shelf life today, such as anti-microbial and anti-browning agents that you can avoid by growing your own.

To see what is used specifically on each vegetable or fruit you can go to for the shopper’s guide to pesticides in produce.

It is estimated that 70% of our produce that is not organic has some kind of residual pesticide.  You will also find the least contaminated fruits and vegetables to buy in the store.

Which fruit and vegetables have the most residual pesticides and chemicals?







Bell Peppers


What Fresh Grown in Your Garden Means

The ideal freshness is to pick a vegetable or fruit and eat it immediately.  If you have not had the opportunity to eat something that you have grown and eaten directly out of the garden you are missing an incredible experience.

The fruit or vegetable at its peak of ripeness and not green, over-ripe, or under-ripe is truly ripened to perfection and loaded with flavor and best of all it has not had chemicals and pesticides applied to extend its shelf life.

The next best for freshness is to pick and prepare the fruit and vegetables for use the same day in your kitchen.  The taste cannot be beaten when using your produce that was picked that morning.

If you are picking vegetables and fruit it is best to harvest them in the coolness of the morning hours not only is it best for the plant to reduce stressing the plant, but it is also good for the fruit and vegetable to retain the most moisture and flavor.

I recommend you grow strawberries, raspberries, or blueberries and have the experience of picking a fresh bowl in the morning to enjoy with your breakfast by serving them with your favorite oatmeal, yogurt or adding them to pancakes for an out-of-this-world experience.

If you still need convincing that fresh from your garden is better than store-bought do a comparison with tomatoes, I will guarantee that you will be convinced that the work to grow your own vegetables and fruit is worth the labor.

Go-To Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Experiences for you to try

First Slicer Tomato is used to make a Bacon, Lettuce, and Tomato sandwich.  Make sure you slice Tomato extra thick for an incredible experience.  See my best slicer to use for this sandwich on this link.

Blueberry Pancakes with the first of the season berries with fruit syrup.  Yum Yum!!

Caprese with fresh grown basil and tomatoes from your garden to serve your friends as an appetizer.  What a great way to share your garden experience with the people you love.

Fruit smoothie made with all your fresh fruit such as blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, and raspberries with yogurt to serve your children to show them how the garden work pays huge dividends for them.

For the more adventurest person, you can make a Mixed Berry Pie with all the fresh fruit by combining several fruits in the pie such as blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries for one of the most flavor-filled deserts. 

Now that you know How to get the Freshest Vegetables and Fruit you need to get out and explore what your options are where you live to get the freshest Vegetables and Fruit.

Grow it Fresh from the Urban Gardener!

About The Author

Scroll to Top