food waste

Plant: Green Beans

Dreaming of cooler weather? We are in the last week of August, and in the throes of back-to-school for North Texas. You may be wondering what you could plant in your garden now (easily and quickly before you dive back into the AC) - perhaps even something fun and easy for your kids or grandkids to try at home. Consider growing green beans at home!

There are two basic types of ways that beans grow, in a bush format or in a climbing format (often called ‘pole’ beans). There are two very different sets of rules for growing these guys, so be sure before you plant that you decide which path you are going to take and have your growing space prepared. Check out this guide for planting tips.

Here are some reasons we love to plant and grown beans:

  1. they germinate (begin to grow) quickly, and they are low-maintenance

  2. they like sunlight and are fairly tolerant of various soil types

  3. if watered well, you can harvest a good amount of beans at home until a hard frost (they will produce during the first months of Fall here)

  4. they are healthy to eat (a good source of Vitamin C and A)

  5. they provide a fun and easy kitchen activity for kids helping to cook at home

For recommended varieties of green beans for North Texas, see this link.

Cook: Pickled Things

It’s officially summer and you will hopefully have a ton of fresh produce at home from local farmers, and perhaps even from your own back yard. One of the best ways to preserve fresh produce for months is to pickle them.

There are a ton of sources out there who will recommend different ways of doing this, and we encourage you to try different methods and recipes to find what works for you!

To boil it down (food pun, you’re welcome) into five easy steps, here is how we like to pickle!

Step One: Start with clean jars and lids. If you are reusing previously owned jars and lids (good for you!), be sure they are cleaned with hot water and a little dish soap. (You can also boil them in hot water in a large stock pot if you are really concerned about cleanliness…)

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Step Two: Clean whatever fresh produce you are going to pickle, and slice them into whatever serving shape and size you prefer (or leave whole depending on what it is).

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Step Three: Gather the dried and fresh herbs and seeds that you would like to create flavor. This is where you can get really creative! We always like to use a combo of some fresh herbs and some dried herbs.

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Step Four: Bring equal parts water and vinegar to a rapid boil along with salt in a pot on the stove - reduce heat and let simmer for several minutes (some people will recommend also boiling your herbs and seeds during this time as well).

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Step Five: Bring all of these items together for the pickling party. Place your flavoring herbs and seeds in each jar. Fill the jar with the cleaned produce. Carefully pour the vinegar mixture into each jar and leave a bit of space at the top. With a clean towel, carefully and tightly screw on the lids to each jar. Let them cool on your counter until the jar lids pop. Store in your pantry or in your fridge.

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We love the pickled food items that you will find at these local businesses. Check them out!

Jimmy’s Food Store - Khao Noodle Shop - Petra and the Beast - Pickletopia - Yim’s Foods