On Friday I picked another big basket full of Provider and Strike green beans. Holy cow are these ever productive! This was the fourth picking on that row, and I ended up with 15 pints and three quarts, plus a nice batch for supper. Providers are a little thicker, meatier, and easy to pull off the vines where Strikes are more slender and a little more productive but you do have to pull them carefully, using two hands, one to hold the vine and the other to pull bunches of beans as the stems connecting the bean to the vine is tough. I sure hate to pull up a bean vine!

This basket yielded 15 pints and 3 quarts of canned beans!

Will and Blake picked a big, full crate of Norland apples yesterday plus four gallons of chokecherries. And there are lots more chokecherries too. It’s a good year for those trees! Yesterday I used my Mehu Liisa steam juicer to harvest two quarts of chokecherry juice from two gallons of chokecherries and today I’ll juice more. I plan on canning up two quarts and making various cherry jelly from the other two. One we love is the chokecherry juice boiled with several jalapeno halves to give the juice a little kick. Then I remove the jalapenos and continue making the jelly. It’s a good “different” jelly. Then I’ll make both jelly and syrup. (Chokecherries sometimes simply refuse to set up as jelly, but I don’t worry; it’s great syrup over pancakes and waffles not to mention ice cream!) I’ve got to get my apple peeler out when I get the chokecherries juicing to start in on those apples. I’ll can up a lot of plain apple slices for pies and baking plus I want to do a bunch of slices with cinnamon red hots dissolved in the syrup, again for something different. No, I’m not making applesauce out of these apples. We’ve got a Trailman crab apple tree that’s simply loaded, which will be ripe in about a week. That’s where I’ll get both juice and more applesauce.

Yesterday I dug the Bliss Triumph potatoes I had planted in the old stock tank next to our front yard. The vines had died, and I didn’t want them to begin growing again when the fall rains came. I was happy with the results, considering how hot and dry our summer had been. (Plants in containers suffer stress more when it’s hot as the heat affects the roots more than if they’re planted in the ground.) I got a bunch of nice, perfect potatoes I plan on using to plant as seed potatoes in the tank again as well as in the field for us to eat. They were very expensive so I sure don’t want to ever buy them again … if I could even find them!

I dug the Bliss Triumph potatoes out of the old stock tank and replanted Purple Top White Globe turnips to harvest before the freeze.

Our pole beans are joining the bush beans in production. The Crawford beans are so huge and long it’s hard to believe. We about drool every time we go to check them as they taste so very good. The others are coming on strong too. The purple Carminats are loaded with super long, French fillet type beans. Some folks have thought they were red noodle beans, they’re so long this year.

Check out these purple Carminat beans. Too bad they turn green when you cook or can them.

After fencing those darned deer out of the Sand garden, we had one spot next to the barn that didn’t get extra fence as we didn’t think they’d go right next to the barn. Wrong! We lost another watermelon and several tomatoes. Will added another stock panel above that 10-foot spot. Now if they crawl through the corral planks … I wouldn’t put it past them!

I’ve got to tell you about the Brugmansia I bought from Logee’s this spring. Brugmansias are related to Datura and eventually grow about 8 feet tall and become loaded with huge, trumpet-shaped, fragrant flowers. I have three and the first is starting to bloom. So pretty with pink blooms and weird “tails” coming off the edges. Of course, they aren’t hardy here so I’ll be bringing them in to overwinter but I think it’s worth it.

Isn’t this Pink Brugmansia gorgeous? The plant has four more buds on it so I’m excited.

My son, Bill and his family, had an exciting day recently. There was a tornado warning in their area and the black clouds piled up and the wind roared so badly they went into the bathroom, which is in the center of their log home. (They don’t have a basement.) The house creaked and wind roared but when it was all over, no serious damage was done to the house. The woods? Another story, with oak trees snapped off and uprooted. Bill works in Moose Lake for Oak Lake RV, and when he went to work there was lots of damage; trailers smashed together and blown about. He’s going to be doing insurance forms for weeks! But at least nobody was hurt. — Jackie


  1. This was my first time trying the Kentucky Blue Bloom bush bean, and love them! I’ve canned, froze, eaten, and given away, and although they were flattened–with the derecho wind storm we were hit with in central Iowa–they are standing back up. I’ve never saved dried beans but am going to this Fall. Do I leave on the vine until brown pod is crunchy, or remove and dry further indoors? Or both….
    Also a first-time try is the Prescott Fond Blanc muskmelon. Wind storm actually rolled vines and fruit! I took several in because I thought they were mature but were picked too early, dang! Have another half dozen out there yet. Could you tell me, or show photos of what the final stage looks like…should they be a tan/brownish color like other muskmelon or canteloupe?
    The Hopi Pale Grey are producing like crazy. Again, I’d pulled one but was too early; should the stem be brown and dry before picking? I thought the outside skin was the right color, but was wrong.
    I planted 2 varieties of seed potatoes and have found that they were both white. One was mislabeled at the store! Those turned brown and died off early so are dug; the other is still in ground. Is the correct time to harvest when the vines are dying off, or do they keep growing underground til frost/freeze?
    The store-bought onion sets are now harvested, cured, and in mesh bags in cool dark dry basement. I don’t have room to store the 20 lbs in my pantry, but will be finding spots for them and the Hopi when they come in.
    Your King of the North green/red peppers are just medium sized so far, but very plentiful. One plant snapped off at ground so its dead, but the rest laid flat in the storm are still producing!
    And, star of the show is, drumroll, Andrew Roberts Jumbo Tomato. My husband is very particular about ‘maters, and HE told me to save seeds from these, ha! Most weigh a pound, fit over the whole slice of bread and have great flavor. I have a photo of me in between 2 plants in cages and they are taller than me; needless to say they were laid flat in the 80+ mph wind that lasted over half an hour. We propped the cages back up and didn’t lose any plants.
    I am anxious to try the canning of potatoes and carrots dry, as suggested in an earlier comment. Sounds great!
    Really glad you are healed up and you have some helpers out there; can not even think of doing all that you do. It is truly amazing; even though you are accustomed to it, the rest of us see it as an overwhelming amount of effort and timing. It gives me something to aim for, and I’ll keep trying. Its so good that David, and Bill and family are around; ones to pick up where you leave off.
    As always, your guidance and experience are so appreciated! Thanks!

  2. So glad that Bill and family were safe. It’s never ending canning here too! So happy to see your harvests. And that flower is gorgeous!

    • Yes, we were too! Now he has lots of firewood to clean up. I did lots of sweet corn today. Yum!!!

  3. I’m fairly new to canning anything but jams, jellies, and pickles. I’ve just bought my first pressure caner and am slowly learning how to use it. My question is one of quantity. I have myself, and locally son, d-i-l, and two grandsons, so basically 5 people. How many pints of green beans, or any other vegetable should I be aiming for? I have six gallons of both broad beans and yellow string beans. How many jars can I expect to be consumed before I am harvesting next years beans?

    In addition, how many varieties of veggies should I be aiming for so that I don’t get sick of eating the same veggies, (I dislike okra, brussle sprouts, lima beans, and cauliflower, but will eat them if they are blended into something else)?

    Also, is it worth dehydrating string beans to put into a dehydrated soup blend, would they re-hydrate well?

    Thank you so much for your wonderful lessons in life! Michele

    • You’re asked a question I can’t answer; it’s sort of like asking how long is a string??? Basically, figure how many times a week you would like to eat a certain thing, and how much. Then multiply by 52, the number of weeks in a year. Personally, I can up everything I can for next year we may have a poor crop or no crop. I wouldn’t grow vegetables you don’t like; there are so many others you probably do like, don’t waste garden space on the “don’t likes”. Remember to can foods in a variety. For instance, I can plain sweet corn, sweet corn with red and green sweet peppers, sweet corn with carrots, peas and onions or not only tomatoes but tomato sauce, pizza sauce, taco sauce, enchilada sauce, barbecue sauces (5), spaghetti sauces (4), salsas, etc. Variety makes vegetables more interesting as does creating various recipes using home canned foods. Snap beans do dehydrate well but, personally, I like them canned better; just a personal preference.

  4. I would love one of your seed catalogs because I plan on ordering from you as soon as you have some seed available. I want to plant & same some seed. Ive been canning like a crazy woman to. I love reading all about your gardening.

  5. Picked a 5 gal bucket of Kentucky wonder pole beans today. Had to leave the house so will can them tomorrow and was given two boxes of green beans so will be busy tomorrow. Also my cherry tomatoes are going crazy so will be canning them also tomorrow. Have friends coming some time this week to heop can potato soup so will get that done also this week.
    Jap beetles are especially bad this year so pulled the yellow squash vines and butternut and acorn vines. They were destroyed. Pumpkins in a different spot so doing well now.
    Not one fair this year so lots of canning.

  6. Jackie….
    Just wanted to tell you something I have learned about canning potatoes and or carrots. If you can them without water…they are UNBELIEVABLY good!!! You just peel and soak in salted water with citric acid (i just ground up vitamin c) 1 tbls for 7 qts potatoes for one hour. Pat dry with clean towel and drizzle melted butter or olive oil (1 tbls for all 7 qts) and rub through…lightly coating all potatoes. Put in jars and pressure can for 40 minutes. They are just like they have been roasted!!! I will never can potatoes of carrots any other way. Experimenting with other things too. For the carrots…no need for citric acid. You will love them! ❤

  7. Jackie, how do you keep up with the harvest? Everything in my garden seems to be ready at once and it is only me doing all the processing. I’m a bit overwhelmed at the moment, as I can imagine you are too.

    When I ordered my squash seeds in the spring, the variety I wanted was sold out, so you substituted with North Country Georgia squash (I think that is what it was called). I’ve never seen squash like this before — a blue-grey color with a salmon-colored stem, and shaped like a giant zucchini. How do I know when it is ready to harvest? Thanks. Love your blog!

    • No, I’m really, really busy but not overwhelmed. Yet. I just keep plugging away on things and they all get done. North Georgia Candy Roaster is a great squash! Let it stay on the vine until a frost threatens for it will develop more sugars and a better flavor than if picked early. Then let it sit for at least three weeks to get the very best flavor from it.

  8. I am so glad your son and his family were ok! How scary!!

    Those flowers are beautiful. I have never seen anything like those! So pretty.

    Those purple beans are something else. Looks like I’ll have to study your catalog this year!! So many good things

    • We have so much fun going through the gardens and seeing how various crops are producing. Then there’s the eating…..

  9. Oh yes canning is in full bloom. My canning shelves are starting to get full and my husband is talking about making more shelves. Last Friday I did 65 pints of corn with mexicali and cream in the mist of that. I just dropped another 15 pints down in the canner and more to do. Last night was 14 quarts of stewed tomatoes and hopefully will get some beans done. When I start feeling a little overwhelmed I Praise God He blesses me with it all.

    • Amen Robin!!! When some folks don’t know where the next meal is coming from I don’t have a problem buckling down and canning up what God has given us.

  10. I recently asked you to recommend a dehydrator and you responded. Now I cannot find your response. One more time, please. Thanks. Btw, I received my catalog from you today. Another thanks.

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