Storage Guides for Fruits & Vegetables

Videos for the preparation of many recipes and fresh food products can be found on the University of Kentucky’s website. Here are a few of interest:


Fresh produce is usually more affordable in season.  Consider this when planning the school menu.  Consult the Kentucky Proud Produce Availability Guide.  It provides information about which Kentucky produce is in season, as well as storage tips.

How Much Do I Need?

When planning to purchase fresh local food, the following resources can help you estimate how much raw product you will need:

How Much Will It Cost?

Here are sources for reliable cost estimates:

Planning Production

When planning to use fresh produce, storage space and delivery schedules should be considered.  The Cornell Extension document, “Storage Guidelines for Fruits and Vegetables” provides good guidance for planning these functions.

Preparation of fresh produce often requires more time and manpower than using canned or frozen products.  Safety is of utmost importance.  More information is provided on this website under “Food Storage and Preparation” and “Food Safety” resources.

Collaborating with Producers

Local purchasing is easiest and most successful when producers and purchasers plan together.  If possible, plan a conversation with producers to discuss:

  • Menu cycle (What is needed, how much, and when?)
  • Bidding process
  • School payment process
  • Processing needs
  • School storage capacity
  • Delivery needs
  • Requirements for safety certifications and insurance
  • Possibilities for future collaborations

Food Safety Links

Contamination of produce with harmful microorganisms can occur at all stages of production, processing, transportation, storage, preparation, and service. To prevent foodborne illness, fresh produce needs to be handled with care at each step from farm to table. Follow these links for resources to help you assure food safety in your school:

Junior Chef Program

One sure way to generate interest in Farm to School in your school district is to encourage students to develop a team to compete in the Kentucky Junior Chef program. This is a statewide high school cooking competition designed to offer youth the opportunity to learn valuable skills in recipe development, food preparation, marketing, public presentation, organization, teamwork and community involvement. Submissions from your school can be showcased in your cafeteria. Or showcase all of the winning recipes in your cafeteria and let students vote for a grand champion! More information about the Kentucky Junior Chef program can be found here:

Fruits and Vegetables Galore: Helping Kids Eat More

Fruits & Vegetables Galore is a tool for school foodservice professionals packed with tips on planning, purchasing, protecting, preparing, presenting and promoting fruits and vegetables.

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Agricultural Service Providers of Kentucky
USDA Local Food Hub Directory
  • The Food Hub Directory lists businesses or organizations that actively manage the aggregation, distribution, and marketing of source-identified food products to multiple buyers from multiple producers, primarily local and regional producers, to strengthen the ability of these producers to satisfy local and regional wholesale, retail, and institutional demand. Search for food hubs near you by distance or zip code:
Produce Auctions
  • A produce auction is a wholesale market outlet for local farm and greenhouse products. Fresh produce, as well as a variety of other agricultural products, is offered for sale to the highest bidder. For more information about produce auctions, visit the University of Kentucky Center for Crop Diversification website:
  • The following produce auctions operated in Kentucky during 2020:
    • Bath County Produce Auction
    • Casey County Produce Auction
    • Fairview Produce Auction (Christian County)
    • Hart County Produce Auction
    • Lincoln County Produce Auction
    • Speck Ridge Produce Auction (Taylor County)
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