Looking to sell pickled green beans. Which ones?

bigoledude(SE Louisiana)April 23, 2013

My dad grew pole beans all of our lives. It made no sense for us to grow beans because he always made more than we all could eat.

Well, he's gone now and we miss him.

I am starting a business that specializes in pickled vegetables. I have the space to grow some of my green beans. They seem to be one of the favorites of the folks we've surveyed.

What bean is best suited for pickling? Most prolific? Should I grow a pole bean or bush?

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jrslick (North Central Kansas, Zone 5B)

Not sure what the state requirements are in Louisiana, but in Kansas you would need a state certified kitchen, a HAACP approved recipe with analysis done on it before you could pickle a single bean.

Just wondering if you looked into that? If so, I would grow bush beans that way you would have a larger harvest at once and succession plant them all summer.

Jay

    Bookmark   April 23, 2013 at 9:53AM
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myfamilysfarm

One old variety of beans are White 1/2 Runner, supposed to be good, I haven't tried them.

Definitely check into the rules for canned goods. In Indiana, the rules for pickling is different than jelly/jams. We are allowed to do jams/jellies, but not pickles, without going thru a course and having a certified kitchen. Of course, this is for sales. Also check to see if you will need a Retail Merchant Certificate for selling anything that is taxable.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2013 at 10:35AM
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bigoledude(SE Louisiana)

I have, and still am, making sure that I am complying fully with all LOUISIANA government agencies and their regulations.

I really appreciate all of the concern for my adherence to the law but, my question is;

Does anyone know what varieties of bean are best suited to pickling? And, what would be a prolific variety that you actually tried, have experience with?

    Bookmark   April 23, 2013 at 5:33PM
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bigoledude(SE Louisiana)

Hey slick

I was aware that "bush" beans produced a crop that matured pretty-much at the same time. But, is that one main harvest and it's over?

Do they produce a decent second crop?

Should I plant the next crop 2 weeks, a month later?

I know from experience that pole beans pretty-much shut down during the hottest part of our summers. Do bush beans do the same?

    Bookmark   April 23, 2013 at 5:51PM
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myfamilysfarm

I pick my bush beans for about 2-3 weeks, then pull them. I pull them because they don't produce enough after the first 2-3 weeks to make it worth the time picking.

My summers don't get hot enough to shut beans down much, but they do reduce their production when it's really hot.

I always planted 2-4 weeks apart, the 2nd planting starts to produce about the time that the first one is winding down.

Still not the answer to your question, tho.

We are mentioning the laws regarding retail sales because so many people don't realize them until it's too late.

Marla

    Bookmark   April 23, 2013 at 5:56PM
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jrslick (North Central Kansas, Zone 5B)

I plant green beans every 3 weeks up to mid August. I usually pick them for 3 weeks and then see how they are producing. For me, I get a decent 1st picking then a big 2nd picking and a smaller 3rd picking and by that time I start picking a few from the next planting.

If the plants are healthy, producing and blooming well, I leave them and keep picking for another 3 weeks or so.

Bush beans will shut down in the extreme heat. We had beans early and late last year but none in the summer.

About varieties, I think you would want longer slender beans. That is what I would be looking for. I am also guessing you would want white seeded beans instead of brown seeded ones.
Contender, Provider, Jade, Top Crop have all done well for me.

Jay

    Bookmark   April 23, 2013 at 6:09PM
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henhousefarms

Like Jay said Contender, Provider, Jade and Top Crop have really been good beans for us. We've also planted one of the newer Blue Lake varieties (for the love of me I cannot remember which) which was pretty good.

Tom

    Bookmark   April 23, 2013 at 9:04PM
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myfamilysfarm

Nobody can give you the right answer that you are looking for unless they are buying from you. My choice would be to can some of each and see which sells best. I would like to try to make a small certified kitchen to see what all we can make to sell because with my wife's and my background their is not anything we would not try but money holds us back.
James

    Bookmark   April 24, 2013 at 7:06PM
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budb(8b)

oledude
I have been growing and selling green beans for pickling for
25 years here in South Louisiana. Originally the bush varieties
Strike and Gator Green were used. The last 10 or 12 years
Blue Lake 274 has worked really well. You will have to select
the pods as all will not be as long and straight as needed.
The french filet bean Maxibel is another good variety but tends to get tough near maturity.
You will need to apply a nitrogen fertilizer early on in order to
give the plants some height and get pods off the ground.
Good Luck!
Bud

    Bookmark   April 24, 2013 at 9:17PM
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Seastar501(8a)

I grew a little bush bean called a french soleil last year (and this) as a market bean. It is very thin, beautiful butter-yellow color and delicious with a firm texture that should lend itself easily to pickling.

This one tends to ripen pretty much at once in large clusters. You'd need to succession plant every couple of weeks for the season. They held well in our Texas heat.

I had no time for pickling last year, but now that you mention it, I think I'll try this one.

My choice for green beans would probably be Contender. Heavy producer, long and thin and firm texture if you don't let it get too big.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2013 at 9:35PM
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myfamilysfarm

I can comment on the Strike green bean. I got some last year to sell and not all sold as quickly as I would have liked them to, so I canned them. The beans had been picked probably close to a week and they still snapped like freshly picked beans. I like a bean that holds.

Marla

    Bookmark   April 25, 2013 at 4:21PM
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bigoledude(SE Louisiana)

This is some really fine information you guys have provided me with!

I may have to buy my beans this year since the bureaucratic red tape appears to be taking longer than I thought it would. And, the costs involved in building the facilities they require are high.

Thanks a bunch!

    Bookmark   April 28, 2013 at 12:44AM
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myfamilysfarm

I have a friend that built his certified kitchen and furnished it for about $30,000 and that was him doing most of the work. They built it expecting to have a cafe, but after starting to serve fried items, they had to shut the cafe down. They didn't include a frying shield.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2013 at 1:53PM
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