Leather Britches

I'm kind of lazy when it comes to preserving food.  The heat and humiditiy of July and early August is about enough to do me in, never mind adding a canning bath to the mix.  No, you won't find me canning green beans, but without a freezer, what's a girl to do with all this garden goodness that I so desperately want to save for winter.  I started reading around about dehydrating veggies and it seems like just the right solution for us.  A solar dehydrator has been added to the list of projects, but I kind of doubt it will be done this year.  In the mean time, I found an old fashioned way of preserving green and waxed beans called leather britches.

Basically, here's how it works...
Pick the beans.
Snap off the ends.
Rinse the beans {if needed}
Cut a piece of fishing line about 24 inches and tie a small stick onto the end.  Most instructions say to just use a bean as a stopper, but mine kept breaking through the line.  Stick stayed put.
Thread a darning needle with the fishing line.
Sew through the middle of each bean.
Make a knotted loop for hanging.
Hang out of direct sun until completely dehyrated. {not sure how long, yet.} They were so pretty to look at that I've got ours hanging from the rafters in the house.

I'm planning to use them for soups and stews during the winter, so I'll let you know how it goes!

Have you ever made leather britches?


  1. Hello,
    I'm very surprised to discover how you conserv your beans. I'll want to try but when they dehydrated, how do you cook them ? You take them in bath of water before cooking ? I'm sorry, I want to live simply and my question is maybe baby...
    As you can read, my English is very bad : I'm french and if you answer me, can you use simply words ... (I haven't Google traductor).
    Thank you because I like a lot your articles.
    Christine h

    1. The direccions say to boil them once. Drain water. Boil again to rehydrate. If you search "leather britches" you'll find several recipes.

  2. Now that is a pretty interesting way of keeping beans, but I'm not sure it would work for my area. I have a hard time just keeping onions due to all the humidity.

  3. Never seen this before - they look great hanging up like that - hope it works!! We have a dry alpine climate, I wonder if this might work well here?