It’s week #2 of the Keep the Harvest Challenge at Nourished Kitchen and we’re working our way through August by ditching our canners, and brushing up on old-world, traditional techniques for food preservation. Our first week was all about fermentation – the magical transformation of fresh food into pickled through the function of beneficial microorganisms. If you missed the first week of the challenge, check out the newsletter and make sure you’re signed up.
In our home, we’ve put up garlic scapes, sauerkraut, and real sour pickles. Ginger, beets, turnips, kimchi and daikon radish are all on my list just waiting for that salty brine that will transform them into vibrant, long-lasting, traditional foods preserved through the action of beneficial bacteria. (Oh, yes, I grow bacteria on purpose in my kitchen.) And I’m not the only one putting up pounds of sauerkraut and gallons of sour pickles. There’s been some wonderful additions from Keep the Harvest participants: like Deeba who fermented her way through a crock of limes and tangerines, or Dr. Winnie who put up some lovely jars of cortidoand even David and Melissa who put up a cheerful batch of heirloom carrots.
We also answered a lot of questions about food preservation through fermentation on theNourished Kitchen Forums, including how long do ferments typically last (A: years and years, properly done) and whether or not ferments really need whey (A: they don’t, but sometimes whey or another starter is useful), and what to use if you can’t find horseradish leaf for your sour pickles. So if you have a question about fermentation, natural food preservation or just want to introduce yourself to other like-minded real food enthusiasts, go check out thechallenge’s thread here.
If you missed the sign up period for this month’s challenge to preserve the bounty without canning, go see the original post and sign up for the email updates. There’s over 500 people participating!
In the mean time, if you took up the call and put up a batch of good food last week through the traditional method of fermentation, link up via Simply Linked below, or post your successes in the comments section on this post: