Garden is Producing

The garden is beginning to produce wonderful veggies.  When planning, planting and tending a garden, I’m always hopeful for a good harvest but I never know what will happen – especially when gardening in a new spot.  Then there’s the drought or, not here for sure, but some have to factor in what happens if you get too much rain.  There are bugs and deer and hail and all kinds of potential problems that affect the harvest.

DSC01589Here, we were so lucky that the garden spot is so rich, with fantastic soil and hardly any rock at all.  We’ve had fresh picked green beans every day for long enough that this morning, it was time to start canning.  One problem with growing it all yourself in a fairly small garden, and unlike going to the Amish veggie stand and buying a bushel or two of beans is that I get a few quarts today and a few quarts in a couple of days.  On the other hand, it means that I get in the garden just after daylight, pick what needs picking, come in, wash the produce, shell it or snap it, can it and I’m done in a couple of hours instead of in a couple of days.


This morning’s pick resulted in 3 quarts of green beans.  Ideally, by the end of the season, I’d like to have 60 quarts of green beans.  Realistically, I’ll be happy with 30 quarts of green beans.

My thinking is that we need about 125 quarts of beans/peas per year and we have green beans (which are my least favorite of everything I have planted), purple hull peas, cream peas and bolita beans planted.  I will also plant some fall/winter beans.  I base my 125 quart figure on:

  1. For 8 weeks out of the year, we eat fresh out of the garden.
  2. That leaves 44 weeks that we need to eat out of the freezer/pantry. 
  3. If we eat veggies 5 meals per week, that’s 220 packs of veggies (5 x 44) but one quart will be enough for us to have two meals so I can take half of that 220 and that’s 110 but I figure for about 15 times per year, we’ll have guests and I’ll need the whole quart of beans/peas.

Do you have any idea how many cans or bags of vegetables your family uses in one  year?  Do you care?

I do care because I want to put as much in my pantry or freezer that we can use but not so much that it will get old and not get used.  By the way, I’m perfectly happy keeping my home canned vegetables 2 years and quite possibly 3 years.

If, at the end of the growing season, I have 12 quarts of green beans, then as soon as canned beans are on sale, I’ll stock up and make sure I have exactly what I want to have in my pantry.  That’s just the way we do things around here . . not saying it’s how you should do it.

And for those thinking I’ll have excess vegetables to sell, I will not.  I probably will not get close to canning as much as I hope to can from our garden.


  1. 1


    Oh my, what a beautiful bowl of garden bounty. 🙂 And lovely, lovely jars of greenie beanies……with Tattler lids.

    I figure how much I want canned just like you do.

  2. 2


    I have never thought in so much detail how much I eat 🙂 and if I were to add in my husband oh I don’t know I could be calculating a long time! 🙂
    Those beans look delish!

    • 2.1


      Erin, it’s not really much math. Just think of how many times per week you open a can of vegetables. Put a little sheet in the pantry and make a mark each time you open a can . . do it for one month and multiply that times 12.

  3. 3

    Judy Pirtle says

    I can for my husband and me and also share the canned goodies with both daughters’ families, so I can a lot. On the craziest day, my mother and I canned vegetable soup. We had a HUGE stainless steel pot brimming with vegetables and had to stir the soup with a yardstick to mix them. Fun times!

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    You are putting me to shame and you are getting my husband thinking about how we can figure out every meal over the next year. He’s worried you have too many beans for two people, but I just read and enjoy. You amaze me as you are so organized both with your stash and your food (I hide my stash).

  5. 5


    so far I only have blossoms on my Peas and the strawberries are starting to ripen. My favorite time is harvest! Your beans look great!

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    Hilary McDaniel says

    I’m overrun w/squash and cukes. Now I’m canning salsas. I’m going to give a shot at zuchinni salsa. I also have four kinds of peppers so I’m doing hot pepper sauces tomorrow. I’m roasting red peppers and tomatoes for a dipping salsa. We have green pintos now and I told Louie to start leaving them on the vines to dry. I’m not a green bean lover but I do can a couple doz. green pintos. Now the asparagus beans are ready and this being the first year growing, I’m going to have to research what to do. I’m going to a friends tomorrow to pick up 2 bushels of tomatoes. Even w/12 bushes, there’s not enough for sauce and salsa. If I get time, I’m going to try ketchup. We rarely use that so a couple of jars will work. I like to top meatloaf w/it. It’s starting to get too hot now so our garden will start shutting down and we will put in a cover crop to renourish the garden. We start our main fall/winter garden Labour Day. That’s the veggies I love. I don’t care for corn,okra or eggplant so I don’t care if we stop now. We are starting new tomato plants so we get a head start this fall. I’m running out of space .

  7. 7

    Linda says

    Wow, you’re already canning. Our season was so late this year; I hope my beans will start twining soon. You mentioned that you would also plant some fall/winter beans. Could you say more about fall/winter beans? I’m not familiar with that. Is that a particular type of bean, or is it just the usual greean bean that is planted later for a fall crop?

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    Ava Crotinger says

    I’ve been trying to think like that and keeping a well stocked pantry. I’m new to canning, but my husband is a food scientist (really) so he’s pretty picky about food preparation. When we can, we do it together, which is nice except that we don’t get it done as much as we should. I didn’t even know you could just can 3 jars at one time. We definitely plan to can tomatoes this year and hopefully beans. A couple of years ago we canned strawberry jelly and had way too much so I understand what you’re saying. The right amount is important.

  9. 9

    Shari in AZ says

    I really envy your organization. I just finished canning the last of the peaches this year. We got 30 qts this year. So with the dozen or so that we had left, we’ll now have enough for DH & I, as well as enough to share with DS & DDIL. Our garden is almost gone for this season. We’ll plant our cold weather crops again in late Sept. We still have to inventory the applesauce to determine if we need to make more of that this fall. Tomato sauce is the largest single item in our larder, but we need to buy the tomatoes from a local farm stand as we haven’t mastered growing them here.

  10. 10

    Shari in AZ says

    PS We may give canning pineapple a try this year as we just brought back 20 Maui Golds from HI. Never done that before so wish us luck.

  11. 11


    WOW, now I have an even greater appreciation for the 75 quarts of green beans that my Aunt Nell gave to me several years back. We were still living in GA at the time and I remember having nowhere in the kitchen to put the jars, so we put them under the bathroom sinks in the guest bathrooms. lol When we moved from GA to TX we moved about 35 of them and I was so upset that one jar was broken. Last year her garden didn’t do well at all and she only gave me 7 quarts. I was just as happy to get those! Gardening and canning is hard work, so I’m grateful she wants to share. 🙂

    Love from Indiana! ~bonnie

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    SarahB says

    I’m excited to have baby peppers and tomato flowers, but nothing ready to harvest. My family loves green beans (especially in a slow cooker with bacon and onions!) so we eat around 2 quarts a week. That gives us a total of roughly 104 quarts of green beans alone for our family of 9. We have at least one pound of vegetables with each dinner, not counting lunch and breakfast, so we have to try to set back around 300 quarts of all different types of veggies. It’s a lot so I am always greatful for the grocery store!! This will be our first year trying to grow all our own produce. In the past we have friends and family that give us their “left overs” that we can. I know of only one other friend that cans so whenever someone we know have too much of a vegetable we get them! It’s a wonderful system.. all the reward and not much work! But I have been teaching friends to can so my bouty has been steadly declining… :o)