Let's take green beans first:
- Think about how much your family eats green beans. Do you use one can a week or two? When canning green beans you usually use quart jars because pints are too small. So for a family of four a quart will feed you pretty well with some leftovers. With a family of 6 (with small children), a quart will work but you probably won't have much left over.
- Now, saying that you eat one quart a week, you will want to figure how many weeks you will eat green beans when they are not in season. Green bean season usually runs from mid-June to August in the midwest so you will want to have one quart of green beans for about 8 months which equals 32 weeks which equals 32 quarts.
- Although, I would recommend canning a few more as you may want them for when you have guests and such. Green beans usually come in bushels or half bushels. Half bushels are about the size of a full 5 gallon bucket. I have found that a 5 gallon bucket full of green beans will yield you 18 quarts of green beans.
- So, if you want around 32 quarts to last you about a year - then you would need to can a bushel of green beans.
- I don't can corn, but I do freeze it. Our family eats corn more frequently. We eat about 1 bag of it a week and we put corn on the cob on the grill in the summer. I put 4 cups of corn into each quart size freezer bag. If you do eat a bag a week for approximately 40 weeks (when corn is not in season), then you would need 40 quart size bags for a family of 4-6. If you think you will eat it on the cob in the summer (or any other time) then figure a cob each for each family member for about 10 weeks which would make 40-60 cobs.
- Let's recap, for a family of 4-6, you would want 40 quart size bags of corn and 40 cobs. You would want 3 dozen just for the cobs and then you would want another 15 dozen to make your 40 quart size bags. These are approximate. It could yield you a little more or less, but it is about the right amount. If you get this much corn you can definitely negotiate a cheaper price per dozen. I paid $2 per dozen last year (according to my notes).
For 100 lbs. of peaches (that my friend and I did last year) we got 23 quarts, 26 pints and 10 lbs. frozen in quart size bags. If you wanted to eat peaches once or twice a week and have some for smoothies then I would recommend you freeze or can 50 lbs. to last you most of the year when peaches are not in season. You can see my tips for how to freeze them here.
As far as berries go I find I never have enough. I know it is a little late now to buy strawberries in season but you can still get blueberries in some places. I just buy as much as I can to use in smoothies and to make jams and other things. We like to buy strawberries and blueberries in bulk and freeze them.
|From Ace Hardware|
- Pick Your Own - excellent resource
- Yield of vegetable crops per 15 ft. rows
- Vegetable Planting guide (PDF)
- HoneyCreek approximate weights and yields (very good resource - tells you what a bushel looks like)
How about you? What tips do you have to calculate how much to can or freeze for your family to last you until the fruits or vegetables are in season again?