Canning time

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Once again we are in the middle of the wonderful season known as canning season. My yellow and green beans seem to be quite prolific this year.

I tried planting them a bit differently this year. I usually do the square foot method – a 4×4 foot square with each  1×1 foot square having 9 plants. I love this method as once the beans are big they tend to squeeze out the weeds….and I really do not like weeding in the humid summer weather.

This year I did a 2 foot wide row. I have found it is so much easier to reach all the way to the middle..much easier than a 4 foot wide row.  (This width still gives me that canopy that squeezes out the weeds.) I am wondering if that is also why I have a lot more beans on those plants this year?

This past week I did not pay quite enough attention to my produce picking and discovered that some of those beans had gotten quite large. Years ago my Grandma taught us to not let those large beans go to waste. She had a wonderful gizmo which she called a snijboontje cutter. Basically, it turned the large beans into french cut beans and made them useful again.

Grandma’s bean cutter was the only one in the family and so it dutifully made the rounds during bean canning season. I remember the aunts asking to use it and once the grandkids grew up and gardened it was passed around to that generation.

When Grandma sold her house, years ago and moved to a nursing home no one could remember who had her bean cutter. I am still not sure where it ended up. As her cutter was no longer an option, I found one of my own while on a vacation to the Black Hills several years ago.

For some reason, every time I use my bean cutter it brings Grandma to mind. Her lessons of thrift and using everything have been ingrained into my gardening and canning. I find it hard to toss food if it can be used in another way or another recipe. Fortunately for me…my chickens never let anything go to waste!!

I also had the thought that our lives are a lot like a garden and canning. Sometimes the produce isn’t exactly what we had hoped for. Those beans have rust spots, bug holes or just plain get too large to use in the way you want.

It is a consolation to me that even when our lives have problems, there is always something God can do with us. Like my over large beans getting run through a bean cutter…God can take our lives and circumstances and make them useful in another way. It is not always comfortable getting run through that “bean cutter” but it sure does turn  something less than perfect into something He can use.

I wonder if I love gardening and canning so much because it brings back so many memories…those lessons of thrift from Grandma and the way she taught them? I also wonder if I love it because it reminds me that God can use anything in my life for His purposes…..either way…..it is a wonderful time of year.

 

Your present circumstances don’t determine where you can go;
they merely determine where you start.
Nido Qubein

Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/nido_qubein_178331?src=t_circumstances