Finally, after two years of waiting to have enough seed for our wonderful Crawford beans, I had enough saved to plant extra trellises so we could both eat and can some. Well, we did eat a big batch and let me give you the recipe so you can try it as we absolutely loved it. I mixed 1 can of cream of mushroom soup, 1 Tbsp. of soy sauce, ½ cup bacon, fried and chopped plus ½ cup water. Then I boiled about a quart of Crawford beans, cut into 1-inch pieces (you can probably use different beans). Once tender, I drained them, then added the above mixture. Wow, was that ever good. I served them with slices of buttered toast to sop up the extra gravy.

I finally picked enough Crawford beans to can up.

Then I picked a whole basket and canned those up in pints. A BHM reader asked if she could can her green beans in chicken broth, which gave me an idea. Yes, you sure can. And I did. I added 2 tsp. powdered chicken stock to each pint of cut up beans, then filled the jars to within 1 inch of the top with boiling water. Then I processed them as usual, as the beans and chicken broth are processed for the same length of time. Yum, what a good idea. See, I’m not too old to teach new tricks!

Here are my 19 pints of beans with the powdered chicken stock used in place of salt.

Will is busy finishing up our haying. Yesterday he cut about 30 acres at a farm a couple miles away. We’re sweating it as the owner of the land holds Saturday as his Sabbath, and doesn’t want any work done on his land on Saturday. As the weather’s cooled off considerably and the fall rains have started, we’re praying we can get the hay baled tomorrow. Luckily, our friend said he’d come over and help Will bale up that hay if he needs him. Thank God for good friends! We try to be just that kind of friend in return.

This is our last hay field, with Will way in the back, still cutting.

Today Will cut our two little oat fields which we’ll bale in small square bales for the goats and small calves. Boy, I’ve never seen oats that high — ever! I’m talking about oats over my shoulders. Yes, Will fertilized with lots of poo poo — see, it helps!

Will cut our oats for hay today and boy, were they tall and thick.

Our first tomatoes are ripe and I have begun saving seeds. First ripe was our old standby, Moravsky Div, a smaller tomato with wonderful flavor. But right behind it came Cannonball, a nice round, larger red tomato, and Millionaire, a red salad tomato. As all are very flavorful, we’ll be having BLTs tonight in celebration. — Jackie


  1. August is a very busy month of harvest ie garden produce here in Southern Wisconsin. Overnight lows in the high 40’s to 50’s. We’ve been canning green bean, tomatoes, pickles-sweet and dill, and just finished making sausage to smoke. Hay is in short supply for us and the weather has not been helpful. We’ll look to buying hay. I would recommend the All American Canner also. It has been great and is very durable. I’ll be promoting the Backwoods Home Magazine at our local fair the first week of September and using my article on container gardening. Jackie the more I read of your writings the more impressed I am. It takes A LOT OF WORK to do what you do. Now I’m busy digging potatoes for the root cellar-a little at a time. Any thoughts on what to do with potatoes with a little green on them–? home fries to freeze or can. I have never done anything with them and usually cull and compost them. Good luck on the hay crop.

    • Buying hay….. Oh oh. I hope you can get enough. I liked your article on Container gardening! Good job! We’re behind you as far as harvest goes; our first tomatoes are coming in but the snap beans are done. Well, they’re not done, done, but I am as I’ve run out of shelves to put them on!
      I just cut off the green as I take them out of the bin. Or you can can them up, trimmed and peeled, if you have the time and place to put those jars. I’m pretty tight so I usually keep ’em all, except damaged potatoes that will rot in storage. We got the hay up with NO rain!

  2. You can’t put a price on good friends/neighbors. At this juncture of life, we tend to help more than being helped. But I know it will most likely “level” out as time goes by. We have the time and means to help others so we do.

    I may have stated this before but critters have already been looking for winter homes in my area. I’m south of you (but still fairly north). The month of August has been cool historically speaking. I’m thinking early winter for sure, possibly hard winter.

    I will be saving seeds this year (tomato). And planning on planting more heirlooms next year. Of course already thinking about next year’s garden!

    • Yeah, it’s a compulsion, I think. I plan on what I’ll be planting next year in the middle of the summer. I’m hoping for a good long Indian summer!

  3. So in ripening tomatoes, do you pick them mostly ripe and then finish them off on a table under a towel, as my mom taught me, or do you let them on the vine until they’re ready to eat or be canned?

    • This time of the year I let them stay on the vine until they are really ripe; you can’t beat that flavor. But when a frost or freeze threatens, we pick all the tomatoes that are sized up nicely and even some of the rock-hard green ones (I make them into “apple pie and crisps”.) These crates and crates are set up on the enclosed back porch in order of how ripe the tomatoes are. Redish on top, yellow next and green last. In the crates, they ripen nicely. Yes, we do lose a few. But not that many. Last year, we brought in over 600 pounds of tomatoes!

  4. Great ideas for chicken or mushroom flavours with beans! Your oats hey is amazing, so your critters ought to feel happy.

    • We’ve fed some of the bales that were a bit green so they might mold. Boy do the goats and cows love that!

  5. The recipe for the Crawford Beans sound wonderful. I may have to try them. As a new canning person all l have used is a hot water bath canner for my tomatoes. I would like to try pressure canning but am unsure of which canner to get. Please help me.

    • I have an All American 921 and would highly recommend that brand. Its safety features are the best and I have canned a lot and never had a problem.

    • I love my All American 921 but Mom canned for 50 years using a Presto. The main thing is get to pressure canning. It’s fast, easy and safe!!!

    • Kathy Dorris, I’ve used a Presto 23 quart pressure canner heavily for the last 6 years, even on my smooth-top electric stove.
      My Mom’s was used for decades, too!
      I always recommend the Presto if you’re just starting out, as it’s more affordable.
      And if you’re just starting, you’ll need to invest in jars, too.
      If you buy an extra rack ($10), it’ll still cost under $100. With the extra rack, you can double stack pint jars, fitting 18-20 in the canner at one time!
      When we found boneless skinless chicken breasts for 99 cents a pound, I ran a couple of loads of it in the double stacked pints!
      God bless!

    • We’ve never had oats that tall nor as productive. We got over 160 bales from two small fields. (That’s square bales, not big round bales!)

Comments are closed.