This month's notes: March 2014: The weather is great, apples are ripe (see our apple varieties guide), hayrides, Fall fun and corn mazes are open now! See this page for hundreds of easy canning and freezing instructions/recipes, canning equipment guide! Also make your own ice cream - see How to make ice cream and ice cream making equipment and manuals. Then see each state's crop availability calendar for more specific dates of upcoming crops. Organic farms are identified in green! See our guide to local fruit and vegetable festivals!. Please tell the farms you found them here - and ask them to update their information!!
How to Make Home-Canned Green Beans - Easily! With Step-by-step Photos, Recipe, Directions, Ingredients and Costs
Green Bean Picking Tips
Green beans (and yellow beans, string beans, runner beans, snap beans, lima beans broadbeans, etc.) are very easy to grow. They thrive even in poor soil. Whether you grow them yourself or pick them at a PYO farm, or buy them at the market, they're available fresh almost everywhere.
Here's what to look for!
When are they available?
Beans are a warm weather crop, and can not tolerate any frost nor cold soil. In the U.S. green beans typically peak during July through October in the South, and in August and September in the North. But they can be ready as early as early June in many places, as they only take 45 to 60 days from the time the seed is planted!
Before you leave to go to the farm:
- Always call before you go to the farm - it's hard to pick in a muddy field!
- Most growers furnish picking containers designed for green beans, but they may charge you for them; be sure to call before you go to see if you need to bring containers.
- Bring something to drink and a few snacks; you'd be surprised how you can work up a thirst and appetite! And don't forget hats and sunscreen for the sun. Bugs usually aren't a problem, but some deet might be good to bring along if it has been rainy.
Tips on How to Pick Green Beans
- Most beans these days are "stringless". That refers to a string, tough filament of the bean that runs along the outside from one end to the other. Some beans have two, one on each side; and some have one.
- I prefer to snap the bean off the plant just below where the stem attaches to the bean. If you do this, it will save time when you get home, because one end of the bean has already been trimmed. But this only makes sense if you will be using, cooking, caning or freezing the beans that day.
- If you won't be using the beans the same day, then break off the bean from the plant along the thin stem that connects the bean to the plant.
- The beans snap off pretty easily. hence the name "snap beans".
- Pole beans are the easiest to pick, because, since they grow up poles or twine, you don't have to squat down or bend over!
General Picking Tips
Whether you pick green beans from your garden or at a Pick-Your-Own farm, here are a few tips to keep in mind.
Look for beans that are :
- green (not yellowish - unless you're picking yellow beans!)
- smooth, not wrinkly on the surface - that's an old or dried out bean.
- not lumpy - those lumps are the beans that are developed - that's an overripe green bean! Of course, if you want mature beans (not including the pod) then that's a different story, but we're talking about green beans here).
The beans in the photo at right are, from left:
- old and yellowing,
- overripe and lumpy; and
- dried out and damaged.
- Avoid placing the picked beans in the sunlight any longer than necessary. It is better to put them in the shade of a tree or shed than in the car trunk or on the car seat. Cool them as soon as possible after picking. I prefer to bring a cooler with ice in it. Green Beans may be kept fresh in the refrigerator for 3 or 4 days
When you get home
- Put them in the vegetable crisper in the fridge, in a loose plastic bag.
- Now, get ready to can or freeze the extra green beans - It is VERY easy!
Click on the links for easy instructions.
How to can green beans
How to freeze green beans
How to make pickled green beans
Don't forget the Ball Blue Book!
Home Canning Kits
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Lids, Rings, Jars, mixes, pectin, etc.
Need lids, rings and replacement jars? Or pectin to make jam, spaghetti sauce or salsa mix or pickle mixes? Get them all here, and usually at lower prices than your local store!
[General picking tips and a guide to each fruit and vegetable] [How much do I need to pick? (Yields - how much raw makes how much cooked or frozen)] [Selecting the right varieties to pick] [All about apple varieties - which to pick and why!] [Picking tips for Vegetables] [ Strawberry picking tips] [ Blueberries picking tips]
Illustrated Canning, Freezing, Jam Instructions and Recipes
[ All About Home Canning, Freezing and Making Jams, Pickles, Sauces, etc. ] [FAQs - Answers to common questions and problems] [Recommended books about home canning, jam making, drying and preserving!] [Free canning publications to download and print]