How to Harvest & Store Green Beans

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To harvest and store green beans, pick the pods off the vine when they are developed, but not too large, and store them in the refrigerator or eat them fresh. Blanche and freeze green beans to enjoy them months later with advice from a sustainable gardener in this free video on gardening.

Part of the Video Series: Gardening Lessons
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Video Transcript

Hi, this is Yolanda Vanveen, and in this segment, we're going to talk about how to harvest and store green beans. They're a wonderful addition to your vegetable garden. So green beans grow on a vine, so they need something to grab onto, whether it's a little tee-pee or a trellis, they'll grow up it. And then you'll find that, at a certain point, they'll start growing the seed pods, which are just the beans. And so when they're ready to harvest, you'll notice that you still can feel that there's some beans developing, but they haven't gotten too big where they're splitting. And you don't want them to be too small, either. And so when they seem crisp and they're kind of hard, not real soft and not real lanky either, but at a certain substance, then you know they're ready. And when you harvest them off of a vine, don't just pull them off the vine because you might break the vine itself. The easiest way is to actually grab the vine with one hand and then pull the bean with the other hand, and you'll find that they'll come right apart or you can even cut it right out. And at that point, then your beans are ready to eat. And you can keep them in your refrigerator or keep them in a cellar or anywhere where it's really cool, and you can eat them fresh. They'll last for even a month or more. And if you want them to last even longer, an easy way to freeze them is to actually just cut the tips off and then blanche them. And what that means is you just take some boiling water and just sit them in the boiling water for less than a minute and take them right back out and let them cool down. And then just put them into bags into the freezer. And then that way, when you want to use them all winter long, you can just boil...put them back into boiling water and boil them not for very long -- just for maybe five minutes maximum -- and they'll be ready to eat and they'll taste fresh, just like they did right out of the garden.

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