Green beans are being sold for $48 a bushel here in WV. Last night I picked at least a half a bushel in 30 minutes. Wow, I am saving money, just look what a can is costing in the store. At the bushel price you can forecast the cost of a can of beans will be going up. These beans will be canned and frozen to provide vegetables for my in-laws and us over the Winter. So, bean picking will be my job today instead of sewing. As for "The August Break 2012" well of course today it is green beans fresh off the vines.
Are you a canner or a freezer? I am a little of both, and it can really pay-off on your food bills. My in-laws grow a garden large enough that they share but we work for it. My mother and I have already done one picking that yielded - 5 fresh meals, 5 frozen bags, 7 quarts, 7 pints. Last night started the second picking and there are more beans this time than last.
Update: Final Pick Today 2 Bushels
Giles commented about the texture being different between canning your fresh beans and freezing them. I do prefer the texture of frozen beans over canned myself. Every year my mother-in-law cans beans and I freeze beans and I always run out before growing time. I am always great-full for her canned beans to feed my family. We will eat canned beans over store bought any day.
In our extended family including my in-laws and my mother we do both and eat both. This is how I freeze beans! It is faster, but the beans loose something after about 6 months in the freezer. Where canned beans can last much longer.
Freezing Fresh Green Beans
After I clean and snap the beans I blanch (cooking them in the boiling water is blanching) the beans in boiling water for 3 1/2 minutes and then stick them in ice water until cool then spread them on a towel or leave them in a strainer until dry. I put the beans in freezer bags (Ziploc Vacuum Freezer Bags is what I use, it really get the extra air out using the pump) and freeze them. The beans come out crisper, at least that is what my mother say. Instead of just washing them and freezing them.
Seven years ago, I knew nothing about canning, pickling, or freezing. My mother-in-law taught me a great deal in that time. But there are so many safety issues as far as food that I turned to my local county extension office to learn more. A couple times a year they offer canning classes and they really suggest this book and so do I, "So Easy to Preserve", it will give you more recipes than you will ever need. In it you will find every way possible to safely preserve food. It is not very expensive and a permanant library keeper. It is great to give to new wives.
National Center For Home Food Preservation for more information.
I get nothing for recommending this book to anyone and I bought the copy I own.