Picking Season July-October
Green Bean season begins in July and will be available through the first frost, which is usually early October. At Stade’s we plant green beans every week in the spring and summer. Green beans grow very well in the climate and soils of Northeastern Illinois making them one of our favorite crops.
Green Beans U-Pick Pricing for 2017
• $4.00 for 1 quart • $6.00 for 2 quarts • $12.00 for 4 quarts (buckets are included) Buy FIVE, get ONE FREE, but 10 get TWO FREE, buy 15 get THREE FREE, etc.
We accept all forms of payment except American Express.
Note: There is a $4 minimum U-PICK purchase per person required to enter the pick-your-own patch. You must pick using the containers that we provide.
Note: A minimum $4 purchase of per person is required to enter the pick-your-own patch.
Baskets are included in the price. You must pick using the containers we provide.
How to Pick Green Beans
Green Beans are generally ready to harvest once they reach a length of approximately four inches and the diameter is about the size of a pencil.
Green beans should be firm, crisp, and show no visible bulges. A bulge indicates that the green bean is overripe. Overripe beans will lose their sweetness and become fibrous. A perfectly ripe green bean will make a snapping noise when broken into pieces. This is why we call green beans “snap beans.”
Once you have found a green bean you want to pick, grasp it firmly up near the top where it connects to the vine. Use the other hand to support the vine and pinch the pod loose. Be careful not to break the plant or snap the bean in half. The blossom end of the stem will usually still be attached to the bean after you pick it. The plants will continue to produce green beans over a long period of time; therefore, great care should be taken to not damage the plant when picking green beans. Pulling too hard can break the rest of the branch, stopping further bean production.
Storing Your Green Beans
• After picking green beans, store them on the kitchen counter with the stems on. Once you remove the stems, keep them in the refrigerator
• Store beans in a moisture-proof, airtight container in the refrigerator. Beans will toughen over time even when stored properly, so be sure to use within a couple of days unless you plan on freezing them.
• Beans can be kept fresh for about 4 days, or blanched and frozen immediately after picking.
• Green Beans can also be canned or pickled. Stade’s Market has an entire section of home canning supplies on hand for your convenience.
Freezing Green Beans
Starting with fresh picked green beans:
1. Take a sharp knife and cut off both ends (about 1/4 of an inch)
2. Cut beans into pieces 1 inch long or whatever you prefer. If you prefer French cut green beans, then cut the beans lengthwise instead.
3. Prepare a large bowl with cold water and ice.
4. Prepare a large pot, about 2/3 filled, with boiling water
5. Next, you want to blanch your green beans. Why blanch? Because all vegetables contain enzymes and bacteria that break down and destroy nutrients. This process can change the texture, color, and flavor of your beans when frozen. Blanching assists in destroying these enzymes prior to freezing, therefore ensuring your beans remain delicious.
6. As soon as you place the green beans in boiling water, put your lid on the pot and begin timing them for 3 minutes in duration. If you are doing multiple batches, you can generally use the same blanching water for up to 4-5 batches.
7. After the 3 minute blanch, you want to cool your green beans immediately in your bowl of cold water and ice. This prevents them from overcooking so you don’t want to skip this step. Be sure you have more ice on hand in case you need to add more to your original cooling bowl.
8. Cool times should match your blanch times. For example, if you blanch for 3 minutes you will also want to cool for 3 minutes.
9. Drain thoroughly once cooled.
10. Next, you want to bag your green beans. You can use FoodSavers bags that vacuum seal or your standard freezer bags such a Ziploc. Just keep in mind it is difficult to remove all the air from a Ziploc style of bag. Freezer burn is a result of air left in the bag so you want to try and remove a much air as you can. (See tip below)
11. Congratulations. You are done! Place your bags in the freezer and prepare to enjoy green beans in the months ahead. They generally will keep for up to 1 year.
• Label the bags first with the date and any other information you desire on your bag. Writing on a bulky, wet bag is next to impossible, so do it before filling your bags.
• If you don’t own a vacuum sealer but want to get as much air out of your Ziploc bags, try using a straw to manually suck out excess air. I know, it sounds crazy but it does help. When you close your Ziploc bag, leave a section unzipped, just wide enough for a straw. (Use a firm straw. Those wimpy bendable ones really don’t work as well). With the straw in place, remove air by sucking the air out until the bag collapses more. Now, for the tricky part: Press the straw closed where it is inserted to try and prevent escaping air and quickly press the bag closed as you retract the straw. Although not a perfect solution, it works fairly well and if you’re doing this when the kids are around it provides wonderful entertainment.
Stocking up on fresh, green beans when they are in season can help keep your diet healthy all year long. A few simple steps now will have you and your family enjoying this versatile vegetable for months to come.
Vern & Gayle Stade
Green Beans Facts
Succulent, spring-picked green beans; big on taste and vitamins!
• There are more than 130 varieties of green bean that differ in taste and in the color and size of pods.
• Green beans are the third most popular garden plant (after tomato and peppers).
• Green beans produce white, pink or purple flowers which are pollinated by bees and other insects. The Pod is the edible part of plant and can be yellow, green, purple or red in color.
• Green beans propagate from seed and take about 45 to 60 days from planting to harvesting.
• Most varieties of green bean have smooth, kidney-shaped beans with pods that contain 4 to 6 beans.
• The most popular green beans are string beans, stringless beans, and runner beans. String beans will have either a rounded or flat pod. Stingless beans have pods without the fibrous strings. Runner beans grow in the form of a vine.
• Green beans are a rich source of proteins, carbohydrates, and fiber. They contain vitamins B, vitamins C and K as well as minerals such as magnesium, iron, and manganese.
• Green beans support food sustainability. Approximately 60% of all commercially grown green beans are produced in the United States, with large amounts of green bean acreage found in the states of Illinois, Michigan, New York, Oregon, and Wisconsin.
• Green beans are an annual plant finishing its life cycle in one year.
• Beans (including green beans) are the only cultivated plants that actually enrich, rather than deplete the soil during the growing process. Legumes (beans) have nodules on their roots that add nitrogen to the soil instead of using it up.
• Varieties of beans have been growing in Europe, Africa, and Asia for as long as green beans have been growing in South America.
• Unlike fruits, that become sweeter the longer they stay on the tree or bush, green beans are sweetest when young.
• Once the harvest is over, the parent plant will stop producing pods and die.
“For ground that drinks the rain which often falls on it and brings forth vegetation useful to those for whose sake it is also tilled, receives a blessing from God”
― The Bible, Hebrews 6:7