Saturday, September 22, 2012

Pole Beans Update

    On September 10th I wrote about our bumper crop of pole beans and how I was trying lacto-fermented green beans this year.  I thought I should do a little update for those who are curious as to how that is working. After a mere twelve days the beans have developed a definite tangy flavor but at the same time they still taste like green beans. Linda and I both like the flavor which should be no great surprise since we both really like sour kraut. The beans shrunk a little bit, turned a paler shade of green, and the water turned cloudy. They are now about the same color as cooked green beans. They don't look disgusting yet, but we will see what happens over the next month or so.
Our prolific Blue Lake pole beans

    While I will eat green beans raw, I definitely prefer the flavor of cooked green beans. So far I find that I like the flavor of the raw lacto-fermented beans better than raw green beans and about the same as I like the cooked green beans. We'll see if that opinion holds up after the beans have lacto-fermented for another month or so. I haven't yet tried cooking the lacto-fermented beans, but I'm optimistic that I will like them. I'm sure any vegetable can be improved with the addition of bacon but I'm thinking the lacto-fermented green beans might be able to stand on their own. I'm optimistic enough that I did another gallon of beans this evening.

Lacto-fermented green beans at 12 days

I'm glad I don't have to can all of these green beans every three days.
     This method of preserving green beans is so much easier than pressure canning.  You simply have to cut off the ends and tips, pack the beans into a sterile jar, add the salt water and put on the cap.  The first gallon of lacto-fermented beans I did in a gallon jar with the flip bail and rubber gasket.  I don't have any other jars like that so I used two half gallon canning jars today.  I make up the salt water solution by bringing the water to a boil, then add 1/4 cup of plain salt for each quart of water. I wait for the water to cool before I pour it over the beans. I used plain salt because iodized salt can cause pickles to darken. I suspect it would have the same negative effect on the green beans.

    I picked an ear of my indian corn this afternoon as a test to see how well it is drying down.  It is starting to taste starchy, but it isn't close to where I would like it to be.  If doesn't dry down significantly within the next two weeks I will probably have to pick it anyway and let it dry over the floor vents up in the loft. It all depends on when the rains start.


  1. What a cute picture of all of your beans lined up on the bench! Well, your garden kicked my garden's rear this year....but let's see you grow 5 watermelons! ;)

  2. You definitely have me beat on the watermelons. If you grew any tomatoes at all you probably surpassed our meager output of tomatoes. We probably have you beat on green beans, dry beans and spaghetti squash. I think one of the keys to a successful garden in Western Washington is to be content with what will do well in our maritime climate. How about we do a garden together next summer?