On a Farm, basically the same thing happens every year. The cool part though is that it has variations as you go, and the end result is always satisfying. We discovered, in this year’s garden, that the spacing recommendations on the packets don’t always hold true. With our green beans, this was absolutely the case. We harvested 2, 4×12 beds of green beans and came away with just as many beans as we had in our old garden spaces with a measured seeder. These beds were hand sown and way too close together. BUT! If you add a huge amount of chicken poop, no amount of crowding seems to matter because there is enough nutrient for all involved. We harvested several bushels of beans that translated to the 41 quarts plus give aways. This easily matched the old garden yields. We have enough canned green beans to provide beans as a vegetable once a week for over a year.
If you are striving for self-sufficiency, keep in mind that if you have a large organic garden (ours is a half acre of 40 raised beds), when you harvest your produce, you need to know how to store it. It is an immense job. I’ve found that no matter what the vegetable, the canning of it takes a whole day. My last 14 quarts are in the canner as I write this and it is 6 pm. I started at 9 this morning…. actually it took 3 days. I’ve been cutting off the ends and chopping them into bite sized pieces for the past two days. Of course, there are all the other chores that don’t disappear. My friend Eddie, who owned our local feed store, said that no one seems to understand that everything you add to a farm in order to expand, just compounds all of the care taking involved. Absolutely true. You need to take care so as to not grow beyond your ability to handle. Animals are just like children. Just because you are canning, doesn’t mean the donkeys don’t need feeding or eggs need collecting. Know your limits.
Tomorrow, pepper harvesting and cleaning the barn. We have a prego goat that needs a clean nest. She’s due in the next few weeks. Stay tuned. We are guessing (Hoping for) twins. She is really turning into Mother Waddles.
Those are impressive beans. No matter how careful I am with stuffing them, mine almost always get gaps on the bottoms of the jars as the beans soften and float to the top. I do not grow the bush beans that produce all at once for canning (or freezing). I still prefer the pole beans that produce slowly through summer. Even they produce too many, so some need to be canned, although in smaller quantities. I know that I should grow a ‘few’ pole beans for eating out of the garden, and more bush beans for canning. It makes more sense to do it at once (or twice) rather than a few times through summer.