Category Archives: Garden Tools

Canning Green Beans

Had a day off today wither I wanted it or not.  So I was able to can the green beans I picked.  I ended up with 6 pint jars and some left over for supper.  I’m thinking I’ll go up in the garden and pull up one of the potato plants and put the small potatoes in with the beans.  If only I had some bacon to add to it.  Now that is yummy, but fattening. Ah.

Anyway here’s a tutorial, of sorts, about canning green beans.

BeansStep1Wash your beans and snap them or cut them, I used scissors, into about 1 1/2″ links.

Place your cut green beans in a enamel or stainless steel pot and cover slightly with water.  Place on stove and bring to a boil.  Boil for 3 minutes.  Place your canner on the stove and add 2″ of water and bring to a low boil.  Make sure your canner has a rack in the bottom of it to keep the jars off the bottom of the canner.

BeansStep3

While the green beans are heating to a boil get your jars, lids, rings, canning salt, scoop or measuring cup, tongs, and bubble free-er at the ready.  My mother taught me to place my lids in a stainless steel  saucepan (see Pic #2 above) covering them with water.  Bring the water to a slight boil and reduce heat to low; just enough to keep the water good and hot. This softens the rubber on the lids and allows them to seal better when placed on the jar.

BeansStep4

Once the green beans have boiled for 3 minutes use your scoop or measuring cup to pour them into the jars.  Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt to each pint jar and fill the jar to within a 1/2″ from the top with the liquid from the green bean pot. Now you’ll want to remove any air that is trapped in amoung the green beans.  I use a bubble free-er which is a thin flat plastic stick.  You use the stick by sliding it along the inside sides of the jar. If you don’t have a bubble free-er you can gently tap the bottom of the jar on your towel covered counter.  You should see bubbles coming to the top. Next wipe the top rim of the jar with a clean moist dish cloth.  Remove the lid from the hot water, with a pair of tongs, and place on top of the jar.  Immediately screw the ring on the jar.  You might have to use your dish cloth to hold the jar while you tighten the ring.

BeansStep5

Place your jars in your canner leaving some space between the jars. Next tighten down your canner lid, leaving your pressure valve open for 7 to 8 minutes and then close it.  According to my Kerr canning book you bring the canner to 10 lbs. of pressure and let stay there 20 minutes for pints.  DO NOT LEAVE YOUR CANNER UNATTENDED.  Keep your eye on the pressure dial incase you need to raise or lower the temp. setting on your burner (stove).  It may take up to 10 minutes or more for the canner to reach 10 lbs of pressure.  Hang in there.

BeansStep6

After 20 minutes remove the canner from the stove and let sit until the pressure dial has gone down to zero and the canner has cooled some.  Remove your lid and take your jars out.  Sit them on a towel, away from a draft, and allow them to cool and listen for that wonderful lid popping sound of a successfully sealed jar.
Note: The canner I use belonged to my mother.  I’m not sure how old it is.

BeansStep7

Home canned things are so pretty.

Oh yeah, while the green beans were in the canner I made two quart jars of dilled mixed vegies: cucumbers, sweet banana peppers, and onions.

Tutoral to come…

Good news!  Sears called the other day and said my Craftsman Mini Tiller was not fixable and they would replace it.  I went to town this afternoon and got a brand new one.  YEAH!

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May YOUR garden produce beyond your expectations.

Oh I Wish It Would Rain

It has not rained in over 2 weeks now and the ground is very dry.  I’ve noticed that the ground in the deep woods along our lane to the house are looking dry.  Even though, the queens anne lace, yarrow, and the black-eyed susans are blooming like crazy along the road sides and fields.  There is a queens anne lace that bloomed last year right next to the mailbox and this year it is back; so pretty.
This is last yrs. bloom:

    The garden is doing well.  I am having to water something everyday.  I’ve a rotation on the watering of the corn, green beans and tomatoes to every other day.  I keep waiting for the green beans to bloom, but I’ve not seen any.  I just know that they would if the rain would shower on them.  There is just something about rain water that is better than tap water that just makes plants come alive.
     The potato plants still have blooms on top of them.  I’d say the blooms have been there a couple of weeks; looks like a flower garden. 

     My orange bell pepper plants are making, but the peppers are green so far.  I am new to growing these and I don’t understand why they’re green and not orange.  Perhaps they will turn orange as they mature. (?)  I know if they don’t I’ll have to give them away; green bell peppers don’t like me.
     It is time to plant the okra and I’ve got a bit of a grassy patch in the garden where they go.  This morning 7:00 ish  I headed up there to till and in the end it didn’t go well.  I started with the grassy patch (did I mention Bermuda Grass? Previous Post) and just as I finished that the tiller died.  I discovered it had Bermuda grass wrapped all around the blades; so I cut that out with some sissors.  The tiller wouldn’t start.  I looked at the blades and discovered that one of the locking pins was not sitting right  so I took it out with much effort.  I compared it to the other side and that sides pin moved freely.  So I reset the blades by pushing them toward the center (the blades are removeable for putting on an attachment) and replaced the locking pin.  The tiller did not start.  The tiller went back into the shed and I am in my cool house in front of my fan.  Bad side…I did need to till a few patches of grass here and there.  Good side of this story…I did what I went out to do.

Potato Farming

Yesterday morning I felt industrious and built up the dirt around the potato plants; all 55 of them. Oh MY! I’ve never planted this many and thank goodness I LOVE TO CAN.  I read that covering half of a 6″ tall potato plant helps it become stronger and gives the potatoes some looser soil to grow it.  I’ll repeat this process again when the potatoes grow a bit taller.  I did this last year and it worked well and made it easier to dig up the potatoes.
I used my favorite garden tool to pull the soil up from both sides, my metal leaf rake. I love the fact that it has a wide swath and with my sandy soil it is easy to use for raking the soil. It also picks up the loose dead pieces of Bermuda grass that are along the top of the soil.

The carrot seeds I planted have yet to make any sort of appearence. The package said “guaranteed to grow”, well we shall see; if not I’m sending for my money back. I paid over $3 for the package.

On another note your have to forgive the lack of post as of late. My father just had a new knee replacement last week and I’ve been busy working and going to the hospital…now going to Rehab. My Dad’s Dr announced him “amazing” after his heart valve surgery last Sept. and with this one he just shook his head and smiled. My Dad is 84 and a very active man. He will be helping me till the garden when he gets his strength back.

Later this week the planting signs will be right for above ground planting and I will be planting the corn and green beans.

By the way…Here’s a picture of my new toy.


A Craftsman Mini Tiller. I just LOVE it. Though it is a bit harder to handle than my Dad’s big one. I am sure with practice I will get better a handling it. Any suggestions?? Right now I can get it to skip along the top of the ground or dig in the soil about 4″ and then I have to pull it out. Slightly annoying.