Tag Archives: Green Beans

A Bean Canning Fiasco

14 Aug

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

I'm a winner

This week started well. I was busy with #MondayBlogs (if you are on Twitter check this out on Monday) and Mike went out to pick the green beans on our extremely tall green bean bushes, more like trees. As an aside, we learned from this and will NOT use ten foot poles again. Monday Blogs tend to make me anxious, so many blogs and tweets, so little time, so I took a break and helped Mike string and snap our unexpectedly large picking. We had a grand time sitting on the back porch, rocking, snapping and talking. By the time we finished I decided it was too late to can them and popped them into the refrigerator to work on the next morning.

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Tuesday morning, I cleaned my kitchen making sure I had plenty of room to wash the beans and then began the canning process. I was expecting around eight pints but by the end of nine pints I had a lot of beans left. No worries. I decided to  start the others in the pressure canner then jar up the rest in quarts. I had five quarts!

I can outside using a Coleman stove and my husband set it all up for me. In my haste, I neglected to look at the pressure gauge. It was new last year so I assumed it was fine. We waited for the canner to vent, put the jiggler on and sat down to wait for it to work it’s magic.  I was dreaming of bragging about my beautiful green beans.  All was good until my husband said, why is the pressure gauge on fifteen? I, of course, suggested he had the flame turned up too high. After much “fiddling” we decided the pressure gauge was bad.

I was distraught? No, frustrated is a better word. I called the Macon County Agricultural Extension Office for advice. ( Surely there is an acronym for that?) and was told that Debbie the canning girl was not in, call tomorrow. Tomorrow? I had two canners of beans NOW. In the end, I cooled the pints(and myself) and put them in the refrigerator. I  froze the quarts. (That is a long  tale too traumatic to speak of at this time)

I am happy to say, that Wednesday, my husband was able to tinker with the gauge and zero it out and the MCAEC ^^^^ confirmed it was now accurate. I didn’t trust it though, so I pulled out one of my mother’s old canners with a weighted jiggler and finally canned the beans. The next time we pick, I think we may just eat them all week and share with whomever will take them!

9 pints

I totally forgot to tell you about Gus. We call him the best porch dog ever. He belongs to the neighbors but comes to visit while they work. He was with us the whole time, faithfully offering his head for a pat and ears to scratch.

photo 2

Beans Gone Wild

24 Jul

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

I'm a winner

 

We returned to North Carolina after nine days in Florida celebrating the launch of our daughter, Rebekah Lyn’s new novel,  Jessie. I couldn’t wait to see if our tiny garden had survived the days of neglect. I would say it has survived!

Beans Gone Wild

Beans Gone Wild

 

Gardening in North Carolina clay is very different from gardening in Florida  so our  garden is  an experimental project. The past two years we grew bush beans and they did quite well. This year we decided to try runner beans. Is this height normal? I suspect we may have made the poles too high as we have more vines than beans.  I picked this morning and the majority of the beans came from two bush bean plants  from last years seeds.

Picked beans copy

 

There should be enough for my husband and I to have one serving each for dinner tonight.

We have decided to give up on bell peppers. We just don’t have enough sunlight for them. The first year we planted, our tomato plants grew great but the last two years have been awful. We did plant them in different locations but it hasn’t helped.  Nasty greem tomato worms love to eat the foilage and have to be picked off by hand and smashed. This so grosses me out!  If anyone has suggestions for deterring them without pesticides please leave them in comments.

In the Fall we add in compost from our compost heap and in the Spring add mushroom compost to enrich the clay soil.  I have to admit, I took the Florida sand for  granted. I had no idea it was such a great soil for growing. So far, in North Carolina  we haven’t been able to germinate flower seeds directly in the soil, unlike Florida where one simply  fluffs the soil, spreads the seeds and gently push a thin layer of sand over the seeds. Within a week, the seeds have popped up.

Do you have any gardening tips you can share?

If you would like the chance to enter a super easy giveaway from Rebekah Lyn 

CLICK HERE

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