Carl is in our wood shop (a.k.a. yoga studio) working on building a smoker for hot smoking hams while I am in our trailer making sauerkraut. According to wikipedia, the German translation for sauerkraut is either sour herb or sour cabbage. THANKS Mom and Dad for buying Carl and I a crock for our Birthday/Christmas present so that we are no longer fermenting in a plastic bucket! Our faithful tailgate market customers suggested the Harsch Gairtoph Fermenting Crock, and since many of our customers are into creating delicious fermented foods, we figured we should take their advice so that is what we bought. We ordered the 3 gallon crock, which wasn’t in stock, so they sent us the 4 gallon size. Right now it has 15 pounds of green cabbage in it and with our bathroom temperature around 65 degrees our kraut should be ready in 4 – 6 weeks. IMAGINE GREAT KRAUT WITH BRATWURSTS! I do hope it turns out.
Here is what I did: I tossed a pound of sliced cabbage with roughly a tablespoon and a half of kosher salt, I then added it to the crock, finally pressing down on the cabbage with my hands to release the water. I continued doing this until the crock was full! NOTE: Salting the cabbage causes water to be released creating a layer of brine that will cover the cabbage. If the water released from the cabbage does not cover it within a 24 hour period you will want to cover with a brine solution. (For the record: made Monday 12/6)
Oh yea… We went to market this past Saturday (12/11) with sales not as good as we had hoped. Here is why…
-> First, on Friday we lost some crops because we failed to harvest them before last weeks cold snap. Next year we must harvest all our napa cabbage at Thanksgiving and store in our cooler. We also float row covers directly on our crops which caused leaf tip burn on the lettuce, tatsoi and baby boc choi making them unsellable. Not sure if the crops would be marketable with hoops keeping the row cover off the plants because we had very cold temperatures that we haven’t yet experienced as Farmers that early in December.
-> Secondly…Our pipes froze at the barn last week because we didn’t winterize our barn space which we normally do the week of Thanksgiving but were holding off until after our final December markets. We had to carry water from our house to the goats and horses in the morning before market putting us a little behind schedule.
-> Thirdly… The van wouldn’t go into gear and Carl figured out a fuse to replace fixing the problem. THANK GOD WE HAD FUSES IN THE VAN AND IT FIXED THE PROBLEM BECAUSE WE HAD THE VAN LOADED. We had a problem like this about 2 years ago and Carl replaced the dash light switch fixing the problem. Could a switch go bad in just a couple years OR is another problem causing our switch to be faulty?
-> Finally… Once at market we realized we forgot all of our market signage for pricing and because we were late we didn’t have everything displayed so customers could see our offerings. I think that people didn’t know the prices so weren’t comfortable buying.
OH WELL. The farmers’ famous last words, “There is next season.”. By the way… This is life on the farm.