Well we finally, FINALLY, had enough green beans from my garden to make it worth getting the ol’ canner out this year! After two or three summers of drought, we were pretty darn excited!
The weather forecast was calling for rain on Saturday, but the beans needed to be picked. So my three boys and I headed to the garden, with rain clouds looming in the distance. I gave strict instructions, “Pick beans. If it starts to rain, we will keep picking. No whining!” That last part drew groans from the mini men.
We started picking, and luckily my husband happened home from work, a little earlier than usual, and joined in our effort. We harvested what we could, luckily minus raindrops, and headed toward the house.
We picked about 3/4 of a bushel of green beans!!
Also some “pop beans” (name given to snap peas by my little W), a few zucchini, and a handful of cucumber; just enough to make cucumber salad. Oh and don’t forget the onions, a couple of those too!
Once we were in the house and eating lunch, the rain cut loose. But I had sooo much to do!! Trying to look on the bright side, I remind myself that rain equals firework shows, which we haven’t seen for a while! It also gives us time to can some beans!
So my boys and I got to work breaking the beans. After a little hard work, a slight bit of complaining, and a few attempts to quit, this is what we ended up with….
After processing them in a pressure canner, we had 13 quarts (and a couple handfuls for a supper side one night!).
I believe home-grown and canned food tastes better than anything you could buy in a store. Please don’t think you can do this to save money. Although that actual monetary cost is less, it takes quite a bit of time. But I love to do it. For me it is a hobby that my entire family can benefit from. I don’t add any salt to my beans, no preservatives, only fresh beans and some clean water!
If you are interested in trying to preserve your garden harvest there are many amazing resources:
A simple book, with great instructions and recipes: The Blue Book Guide to Preserving
The Ball Jar website is also a good resource, you can find that here.
I do hope I have peaked your interest and maybe even inspired you to give home canning a try! If you do, please make sure what instructions you use are from a reputable source, both so you preserve the food safely and to make it easier to learn. I basically taught myself using books I inherited from my Grandma and asking my mother-in-law some questions here and there. Good luck!
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