Our first epic garden was definitely epic… in size and work load. Not so much in harvest.
This past spring we tilled up a new 2500sq ft garden space and planted seeds on never-before-worked, nutrient-depleted ground. We knew what we were getting ourselves into with a lot of work for little produce, but we needed to start somewhere! And that somewhere wasn’t spending a fortune on organic fertilizer.
It wasn’t a total wash though. We were still able to get a good amount of vegetables. The green beans did the best by far, but so did the peas, carrots and radishes. We also picked a small amount of cucumbers, zucchini, eggplant, spinach and tomatoes.
5-6 Bushels of Green Beans
I’ve never been a fan of store-bought canned green beans. I ate them my entire childhood and basically shoveled them in my mouth just to get it over with…
Fresh green beans are a different story. They are entirely different tasting and delicious. The best way to eat them is raw, straight from the garden!
We picked around 5-6 bushels of green beans about a month ago and my garden is reloaded with beans again! Green beans are super easy & fun to grow because they are low maintenance plants.
Can or Freeze?
Freezing is quick and easy. It involves minimal processing time and you can be on your way. I wanted to can green beans but after some research, I decided NOT to risk botulin (a form of bacteria growth) since I only have a water canner. Botulinum spores are nearly impossible to kill with boiling water so a pressure canner is recommended for safer food preservation. This applies to all non-acidic produce with a pH of 4.6 or higher.
For more information on canning, please read the free USDA National Institute of Food & Agriculture’s Complete Guide to Home Canning pdf.
How to Freeze Green Beans
Just throw the beans in the freezer and call it good right? Well almost…
Step 1: Wash Green Beans
Step 2: Trim Ends of Green Beans & Cut into Desired Size
I simply trimmed the ends of my green beans and left them whole. You can also cut them into traditional 2-3″ pieces. If there are any bruises or brown spots, cut those pieces off as well.
Step 3: Blanch Green Beans For 3 Minutes
Look at those beautiful beans! They turn into a vibrant green during the blanching process.
To Blanch: Place beans in a pot of boiling water. After 3 minutes scoop them out with a slotted spoon or use a blanching basket made of stainless steel mesh. I found mine at a garage sale for 50 cent. My blanching basket looks exactly like the one pictured above.
Step 4: Dry Green Beans
Place the green beans on a kitchen and/or paper towel and let them dry a few minutes before placing in storage container. This will help prevent freezer burn and excessive ice buildup.
Step 5: Fill Freezer Bags or Plastic Storage Containers
Fill freezer bags leaving about 1.5 inches of space. Squeeze as much air out as possible and seal. Consider using freezer tape with plastic storage containers to keep air out. Label and date each bag or container. Place directly in the freezer.
Step 6: Enjoy in all your favorite recipes!
The sooner you eat them, the higher quality they will be. However, you can enjoy them up to a year later. After eating and giving away a ton of fresh green beans, I was left with 6 gallon size bags for the freezer!