Friday, August 1, 2014

Great Green Beans

Holy Moly!  After such a horrible garden experience last year, which produced absolutely no canning possibilities, this year we have been blessed!  We actually decided to cut down the size of our garden and cut out several items that we usually grow like cucumbers, cantaloupes, watermelon and corn.  We planted two rows of green beans; one row of flat Italian and one row of tenderette bush beans.  On the Thursday evening before I left for Florida, my friend Melia, sister Tracy, niece Kristen and my hubby Shaun all picked, washed and broke the row of Italian beans and the afternoon before we left was spent canning beans.  The row had a good yield of 48 pints!

I returned home the following Saturday and on Sunday morning, Shaun and I headed to the garden early to pull the plants in the second row of beans.  Instead of picking beans off of the plants we decided both times to pull the plants and pick the beans.  That way, on one hand you only get one batch to can, but on the other you are done... and sometimes that is a plus!  Shaun and I picked, washed, broke and I canned most of the afternoon on Sunday.  I have to say I did miss the additional hands in the picking and breaking but together we got it done.  Shaun's dad also came by to chat and broke a few beans with us. We'll put you to work!  Out of the tenderette row we wound up with 39 pints and 5 quarts of delicious green beans.  Enough to last the two of us a good long time.  I shudder to think of yet another and another afternoon spent picking and canning beans.... now on to the tomatoes!!!  I have already put up twelve half pints of salsa and plan on putting up some pasta sauce tonight.  Even though our garden this year is smaller it is still keeping us busy!  Oh... I didn't mention how wonderful our green bell peppers are doing!  I chopped and froze nine very large peppers last night too.  Whew!

Maybe it was due to our very cold winter maybe not but the bugs don't seem as bad this year so we opted to not use any bug killer at all.  We've had a little problems here and there and I've already seen a huge horn worm on my tomatoes... blick!  I hate those.

The beans actually got a little bigger than we usually like them to but they will still be divine!

Can you spot the okra?

A tip or two when using a pressure canner.  Note: my canners are old... I have no idea if newer pressure cookers leak or are any different but I can't imagine how they would be.

First, when building up pressure, I like to wait to put the weight on until I see puffs or a light steady stream of steam coming out of the top.  Then I put the weight on.

Be sure you know what weight of pressure you need.  Green beans take 10 pounds of pressure.

This is going to happen... water spewing or dripping out from around the lid while the canner is trying to build pressure to seal.  Wipe it up quickly and maybe hold a kitchen towel around the leaks until they stop.

For more pressure canning tips please visit my Pressure Canning Tips page and do ask questions if you want to!

And speaking of canning tomatoes... here's my recipe for Tomato Basil Sauce which is a great base for soups and pasta sauces.

Have a lot of cucumbers?  Here's my recipe and instructions for Dill Pickle Spears.

And if you come across any good potatoes or have grown them yourself and not dug them up yet or even if you have grown them yourself and want something else to do with them besides let them sit and wait you can check out my Potato Madness post from 2009.

Have a good weekend and get busy canning people!!!

Oh hey... I just can't hush can I, I found a few posts of mine on drying herbs.  You just have to get your plants and produce while you can... unfortunately Autumn is coming.

and Garden Friend or Foe

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