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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
My first attempt at drying green beans. My wife and I planted 2 rows of beans, 1 row Roma II snap beans and 1 row contender snap beans. On Sunday June 1st I picked exactly 5 pounds of beans. I know it was 5 pounds because I used a scale.

My wife has been putting a bunch of the beans in the freezer, and we are going to can a bunch of them. To go along with the canning and frozen beans, I want to dry some using an old method of using a string.


Using sewing string for quilts I did one string of Roma II and one string of Contender bush bean.

I started on the stem end, which does not have a lot of meat to hold the thread. The ends of two of the bean pods broke off and another pulled off the string.

To fix those problems I started threading the string through the end of the pod where the last bean would have formed. These beans are immature and the beans have not formed. This making cooking them easier than cooking whole beans.

After I was finished threading the string through the pods, I took them out to my shed and hung them from a nail in the rafter.

I hope to do several of these strings, let them dry through the hot summer months, then cook and eat them in November, December and January.

So far this summer has been unusually cool. Here in southeast Texas we are usually in the upper 80s and sometimes in the mower 90s by the start of May. I do not think we have hit the 90s more than maybe once or twice so far this year. We are supposed to be in the 90s by this weekend.

As the beans dry I will post updates to their progress.
 

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Peas and Carrots!
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Grandmother ran the string about an inch in from the stem end of the beans and always hung them where they'd get lots of air but not wind until they started toughen up. If we were really good she would pull a few off the string after they were dried and we'd make "claw" necklaces out of them.

I'm sure she thought it was a bargain to send 8 grandkids outside with a hank of string and 16 dried green beans. We could play for hours with them.

They really didn't taste too good (the strung ones, not the ones we played with) in the fall when fresh beans were in our memories and she didn't use them as long as the canned green beans held out. But early spring before the new green stuff started coming in, they suddenly started tasting pretty good.
 

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Preparing
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I string leather britches with mature beans that I'm going to shell out and just hang them in the closet. I, too, string about a 1/2 inch to 1 inch from the end. Never had a mold issue. Stays good for months.

I tried doing green beans only once. Re: taste and texture, once was quite enough, thank you very much! :xeye:
 

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another way to store green beans

I had success salting them and putting them into canning jars. Do not add any water to the jar. They will keep for months in your cool cellar. When you get ready to use them, just take out what you want and soak them over night in water to remove the excess salt. You can then prepare them however you want. They have a texture closer to fresh than if you blanche them and can them in water. I have done this with grape leaves, too. This technique is useful for people who live off the grid and don't have a freezer.
 

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Don't be dumb
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So is this just dehydrating them so that you can "cook"/rehydrate them later? I've canned a ton of them and let them whither for seed but never heard of drying the whole green pod for use later. How will you store them?
 

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Super Moderator and Walking Methane Refinery
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There were some suggestions on youtube to run the needle through the middle of the pod.

I will do that on the next set of beans.
I've done leather britches beans a few times. I always threaded through the middle. The only time I had problems with breakage is if I had too many on the string and the weight started to break the lower pods. I used to hang them under my porch to dry out of the sun and weather.
 

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Super Moderator and Walking Methane Refinery
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I string leather britches with mature beans that I'm going to shell out and just hang them in the closet. I, too, string about a 1/2 inch to 1 inch from the end. Never had a mold issue. Stays good for months.

I tried doing green beans only once. Re: taste and texture, once was quite enough, thank you very much! :xeye:
They take a long simmer to get the right texture and flavor. I didn't try pressure cooking them, but I wish I had.
 

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I had success salting them and putting them into canning jars. Do not add any water to the jar. They will keep for months in your cool cellar. When you get ready to use them, just take out what you want and soak them over night in water to remove the excess salt. You can then prepare them however you want. They have a texture closer to fresh than if you blanche them and can them in water. I have done this with grape leaves, too. This technique is useful for people who live off the grid and don't have a freezer.
I would love more detailed info on this...I have never heard of it, but would love to try it...how much salt to how many beans, in quart jars??
 

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I would love more detailed info on this...I have never heard of it, but would love to try it...how much salt to how many beans, in quart jars??

Me, too.

Do you use iodized salt or canning salt?

Do you pour out the liquid that the salt draws out of the beans?
 

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So, O.K., here's what I'm trying this year with string beans.

I did leather britches with the Contender green string beans and I pickled the Golden Rod and Contender string beans with some store bought red bell pepper and garlic. The bay leaf is mine.

I just love the canned pickled beans - so spicy.

Guess I'll see how the leather britches turn out (pun intended :upsidedown: ) a few months from now.

0607141117a.jpg

Please click on image to enlarge.
 

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Ooops - missed heddle
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My husband's family (foothills of Appalachia, 16 kids) did leatherbritches. He remembers his grandmother's front porch being enclosed with strings of green beans. His Mom didn't do them much, and his far off memories are: can them if you can; do leatherbritches if you think you might starve.
 

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If you want a green bean that truly produces a lot of food then look into asparagus beans.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vigna_unguiculata_subsp._sesquipedalis

Beans grow over a foot and fast. They are water hogs but they really crank out the food. They have a faint asparagus smell when you steam them and thus one of their many names. They are very healthy for you too, as noted by Wiki:

They are a good source of protein, vitamin A, thiamin, riboflavin, iron, phosphorus, and potassium, and a very good source for vitamin C, folate, magnesium, and manganese.

If you let them set long enough then their pods will grow thin and dry, while the actual beans inside grow bigger. So you end up with two choices of food out of them. Either a crisp green vegetable or a proper bean.

The years I've grown them I eat all I that grow until I'm sick of them. Then I start to can them. What's really neat is you can cut them to the exact length of your canning jars so they are filled to the brim. Finally when I've got a lot canned I let the rest set on the vine and later shell them for the beans inside. Then I eat those until I'm sick of that too and dry the rest.

I recommend home gardeners in warm wet areas to try growing about an 8 foot length of the vines on about 7 feet of cheap vine netting their first time out. Try them out in their various forms and then save the beans. The bean is very hardy and that first crop will give you a decent pile of food as well as enough beans to greatly expand your plot of them next year. A couple 20 foot rows will feed a lot of folks after SHTF.
 

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I had success salting them and putting them into canning jars. Do not add any water to the jar. They will keep for months in your cool cellar. When you get ready to use them, just take out what you want and soak them over night in water to remove the excess salt. You can then prepare them however you want. They have a texture closer to fresh than if you blanche them and can them in water. I have done this with grape leaves, too. This technique is useful for people who live off the grid and don't have a freezer.
Sounds intriguing. How much salt approximately do you use for this process? Do you just put it in the bottom of the jar or do you coat the length of the bean pod itself?
 

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Planted asparagus beans for the first time this year. We shall see how many ways we are able to preserve them. I'm really looking forward to it.
I've had good luck with them. My climate is warm and moist. They grow like riot here.
 
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