We raise standard green beans or snap beans, small podded "haricot vert" or French beans and yellow wax beans.
Beans need to be picked at the right stage of maturity for best quality. A particular planting of beans may only stay at peak quality for a few days in hot weather. At The Tree Farm, we plant four or five different varieties of beans every two to three weeks throughout the season to provide a continuous supply of beans to pick from mid July until frost. Although this system usually provides a smooth supply of beans all season, fluctuations in quality or even availability sometimes happen. We suggest that you call or check the "today" page of this website for up to date information.
Beans are easy to pick. It's easy to tell which ones are ready to pick. We encourage sampling in the field for "quality control". Bean picking is usually fairly fast for small to moderate quantities. But for people who want several tens of pounds for canning or freezing, a lot of bending, squatting, kneeling or sitting is necessary. A bucket to sit on or a kneepad might be helpful.
Brine (Enough to make about 4 quarts of pickles)
1/3 cup pickling salt
3 cups water
3 cups white vinegar
1 clove garlic (sliced)
Combine brine ingredients, cover and simmer. Turn heat down until ready to use. Remove garlic before pouring brine into jars.
Pack beans (or cucumbers) into sterile jars. Add:
1 or more whole hot peppers* (to taste)
2 heads of dill (the ferns will work too)
1 grape leaf on top of the beans (optional)
Pour brine over beans and seal. Process 10 minutes. Jars should be submerged in boiling water the whole time.
* We use two cayenne peppers per quart jar. (See hot peppers.)
(Also use this recipe with cucumbers to make Dill Pickles)