Our normal last frost date here in zone 5A is around April 15. Most of my neighbors are just now planting green beans. But with the warmest spring on record ever for this area I just had a feeling that it would be a hot and dry summer. So we took a gamble and planted really early in hopes of getting a crop in to take advantage of that early spring rain before the dry weather set in. That has paid off. With the temperatures steadily climbing and no decent rain in sight I am relieved to be picking the first of our green beans. It seems that we have no sooner finished picking the last of the first planting of green peas that we look to the next crop in line. O Wise One and I got up before daylight and started picking 2 one hundred foot rows of Jade green beans. This is one of the few hybrid crops that we plant religiously because for our area I have never found an open pollinated heirloom that can compare with either the taste or performance of Jade. So we greeted the sun that morning from the middle of our bean patch picking beans. Serenaded by an indignant rooster that seemed put out that we had beat him up that morning.
Then I spent the next part of the day snapping beans while O Wise One finished working on repairing chicken tractors and other chores that he was in the middle of. Once snapped my beans were ready to wash and drain in preparation of canning. For those of you who would like to follow along with this process you can find the recipe on page 66 of the Ball Blue Book, 100th Anniversary edition. I am doing the raw pack method. Green beans are a great crop for beginning canners to start with.
Now is the time to put your clean jars in hot water to keep them warm, also heat a saucepan of water for 7 lids and rings which is how many quarts an average pressure canner will hold. You will need a large pot of boiling water to pour over your beans in jars. Also add water to your canner and heat on low.
Pack beans tightly into hot jars leaving 1 inch head space. Add 1 teaspoon of canning salt to each quart jar.
Pour boiling water over beans leaving 1 inch head space.
Remove air bubbles
Wipe rims to remove any salt or food particles from the rim that might prevent a good seal.
Place warm lids and rings on jars and finger tighten only.
Place sealed jars in warm water of pressure canner
Process quarts for 25 minutes at 10 pounds pressure. Then turn fire off under pot and let cool and return to zero. I like to let mine sit for an additional 5 minutes or so after they reach zero before I open that lid. Be careful of escaping steam.
Remove jars and allow to cool completely at which time the lid should pull in and make that familiar pinging sound. Once sealed I allow to sit overnight then remove rings and wash jars with warm soapy dish cloth. Dry and label with contents and date then your jars are ready to be stored until you are ready to use.
For our first green bean cooking of the year we canned 35 jars of beans, a great start to a full pantry for winter.
Blessings from The Holler