These green beans were picked on May 31, 2013. Green beans can be grown as either Spring or Fall garden vegetables; the Fall garden often produces more than the Spring garden–once the heat of late Spring arrives, the plants will die back. Last Fall we covered the plants with a tarp for Frosts and Freezes through November. The deer love green beans and will carefully pick all ripe beans–we keep green beans close to the house with a fenced yard and it has worked so far. During the drought, however, the deer came into the yard to forage acorns and other green plants. As the beans mature, pick them and the plants will continue to add new ones.
Once picked, soak the beans in water for 30-45 minutes, then drain the water, put them in a small colander and store in the refrigerator for at least a week. The beans can also be frozen. Five steps to freezing; 1) Snap the ends off the beans (and cut to desired size), 2) blanch with hot water (I drop them in a pot of boiling water, wait 30 seconds, then drain in a colander in sink), 3) place beans on a cookie sheet and cool about 10 minutes, 4) place cookie sheet of beans in the freezer about 30 minutes, and 5) place frozen beans in freezer bags—the beans won’t stick together and you can select however many desired and store the rest.