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Squirreling Away for Winter

September 5th, 2017

It’s been a busy week and weekend. My evenings are filled with harvesting and preserving. The apples, tomatoes, beans, and peppers are coming in like mad. Green beans are blanched and frozen, peppers are chopped and frozen. Both things are frozen on cookie sheets and put into freezer bags to be scooped out in quantities needed.

The tomatoes are being put up in a few different ways. ‘Principe Borghese’ are dried in the sun dried tomato fashion. Some tomatoes are canned crushed for winter cooking, others are turned into conserve. Right now I’ve only finished up a batch of crushed tomatoes. Stay tuned for various posts this week about all the other things I’m making with all the garden bounty (including recipes for a few tried and true favorites). While this season seems a bit frantic, it will all be worth it in the dead of winter. When snow is deep on the garden, we can enjoy chili made with homegrown poblanos, tomatoes, and onions. There’s nothing better (and saves more money) than shopping in your freezer and pantry!

What are you preserving from your garden?

Bunches of Beans

August 7th, 2013

The beans in the 5×5 Challenge garden are producing like mad. I harvested a goodly number of them a few days ago and we’ve been enjoying them for dinner ever since. I love these tri-color beans, they add a lot of interest when you’re harvesting.
Beans galore
It’s really hard to believe that only 2 months ago they were barely peeking out of the soil.
bean seedling
purple beans 1
purple beans 2
Bush beans are very prolific garden plants. My little garden only has 2 three foot rows and we’ll probably eat more beans than we want to this summer. Beans are the perfect beginner garden plant. The giant seedlings are very exciting, they grow fairly quickly and they produce like made. I’ve known several beginner gardener who were happiest with their beans. Oddly enough, I don’t grow a ton of beans in the garden. Perhaps I ate so many growing up I’d rather eat chard or kale than beans.

Do you grow beans in your garden? Which is your favorite variety?

Pole Beans vs. Bush Beans

August 18th, 2012

This week, I’ve been reading Vertical Gardening: Grow Up, Not Out, for More Vegetables and Flowers in Much Less Space. I do a fair amount of vertical gardening here at Chiot’s Run because I like the structure that vertical features bring to the garden. They also take up less space, a very important thing when you’re short on garden space for all the things you want to grow.

On Tuesday I read that pole beans outproduce bush beans and decided to see if this was true. Luckily, I have both pole beans and bush beans growing in the garden. The pole beans are growing on a teepee in the lower garden and the bush beans are growing in a row beside the asparagus. I have about the same number of each, perhaps more bush beans than pole beans. The pole beans were planted a week or two after the bush beans.

After harvesting both types of beans, I weighed my harvest. The bush beans produced 11 ounces and the pole beans produced 1 pound 6 ounces. (pole bean harvest on right, bush bean harvest on left).

The nice thing about pole beans is that they produce continually over a longer period of time than bush beans, they will be producing until frost. The bush beans are just starting to bloom for a second time and will probably fade soon after I harvest this batch of beans

I also prefer pole beans to bush beans because they’re easier to pick. The beans are easier to spot and higher since the vines grow vertically.

I always love learning little bits of information like this. Even though I will have more garden space next year, I’ll still be trying to maximize that space in any way that I can. There’s just something about pole beans scrambling up a trellis in the garden.

Do you grow bush beans or pole beans?

Reading & Watching

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.