A pressure canner like our All American is an invaluable tool for the self reliant gardener. When we have a large quantity of vegetables, like this mess of green beans, to can you’ll find our canning operation moved outdoors. To do this inside occupies the stove for the day and makes the AC work over time to remove all that extra heat and humidity coming off that pressure canner.
We setup our pressure canner is setup right outside the back door to allow us to sit inside enjoying the comfort of the AC while keeping an eye on the pressure gauge and the fire. This makes it possible to continue our daily routine and still prepare meals in the kitchen.
Using a pressure canner on windy days
On especially windy days we do have to set up a wind block. A strong wind pushes the flame to one side of the pressure canner and makes controlling the temperature and pressure more challenging. The wind makes it harder to get the canner up to operating temperature, that makes for a longer day of canning. A strong wind will also cause you to burn more propane.
If its a windy day and you’ve got to put food in the pantry you can setup a wind break. A crude frame with some sheet metal or even scrap lumber can be fashioned into a functional wind break
I had this camp stove out already but have also used a single burner fish/turkey fryer to run our All American pressure cooker. It’s closer to the ground and actually makes it easier to reach inside the pressure cooker to load it or pull out the finished product. The single burner is about half the cost of this two burner stove I’ve got in the picture below.
It’s always an exciting time when we bring in our first big batch of Kentucky pole beans for the year. We eat the small batches in the early part of the gardening season. When those pole beans are picked in mass we break out the pressure canner.
We’ve had several smaller batches of green beans from our garden so far this year that we’ve enjoyed as part of various meals. As you can see below, our pole beans have really begun to come on strong and it’s time to break out the pressure canner and start putting it in the pantry.
This is our first year growing a Kentucky pole bean. Last year we grew bush bean for the first time with the Mittleider gardening method. The sheer amount of beans we grew in a thirty foot row absolutely overwhelmed us. Our little Presto canner had to be upgraded to handle the 60 plus pints we harvested each week.
After spending so much time bent over that row of bush beans we decided to try growing vertically this year with a pole bean variety. My back is so very grateful!
They’ve been growing like mad recently and I’m excited to get to enjoy some very soon. They’re not quite ready but there are lots of them this size. It won’t be long now! We’ve got two 30 foot rows of them spaced 3 inches apart. There should be lots to eat and plenty to pressure can for the pantry.
July 20th update –
We’ve got green beans! They’ll be picked today and canned tomorrow.
We are late in getting these seeds started, but today we got enough seeds in grow boxes that we can do one full 30 foot grow bed in bush beans. There are 9 rows in this seedling flat with 15 seeds in each row.
Notice the old vegetable can with sand and a white handled spoon sticking out of it? IRS my preferred method to cover those seeds with wet sand. It cover the seeds and the use the back of the spoon to even out the sand with the growing medium. The sand, when wet, just doesn’t shake out of the can easily.
After the picture was taken the rest of the seeds were covered and the seedling flat was covered with burlap. We water the seeds daily through the burlap seeds sprout. The burlap diffuses the water and helps prevent the seeds from being washout out of the sand.
We have green beans ready to go into the garden, it is time for transplanting seedlings into our Mittleider garden grow boxes. They show a little overall yellowing, so after they are transplanted we will give them a corrective treatment of Nitrogen.
It’s time to transplant green beans in the first grow box for our fall garden. Referring to the Garden Planting Details sheet on page 237 of the Mittleider Gardening Course book, we will plant our bush beans 3 inches apart. It also shows us that we need to plant two rows in our 18 inch grow box.
Tips on transplanting properly
Always avoid handling the seedling by the stem. If you accidentally break the stem you will kill the plant. Instead of the stem, grab the plant by the leaves as shown in this next photo.
I have not yet made the tool for marking grow beds and boxes for transplanting so I enlisted the help of the girls to get our 3 inch spacing.
Do you see the yellow color in the beans we just transplanted above? They are showing symptoms of a nitrogen deficiency. They are in desperate need a correction for a nitrogen deficiency.
Our quest to be self reliant and grow a healthy garden