Frequently Asked Questions
There are two kinds of vegetables:
- Short-term – those which deteriorate quickly after harvest, and include: tomatoes (ketchup & salsas), cucumbers, green beans, peppers, cauliflower, kohlrabi, broccoli, and zucchini.
- Long-term – vegetables which are typical of “root” crops, or those with “skin” which help preserve them for weeks, to months of storage. Examples include: winter onion, garlic, beets, turnips, parsnips, rutabagas, celeriac, carrots and cabbage.
The general rule-of-thumb:
- Short-term vegetables: should be used immediately.
- Long-term vegetables: should be turned into a fermented-food by New Years’ Day.
Our personal experience is that we’ve made superb batches of sauerkraut, dilled-carrots and cinnamon-clove spiced beets, throughout the winter, going well-past the New Year’s cut-off. Just this past June, we made a tasty batch of dilled carrots from carrots that were harvested the preceding October!
With a little bit of experience, you will learn how to best judge your own crops, storage conditions and vegetables.
Did you know...
Sauerkraut-making requires the bacteria Leuconostoc mesenteroides and Lactobacillus brevis to ferment sugars that provide a variety of such organic products as lactic acid, acetic acid, ethanol, and mannitol. These bacteria are known as ‘heterofermentative’ bacteria. Later a ‘homofermentative’ bacteria, Lactobacillus plantarum takes over, producing only lactic acid.
—Cabbage + Microbes = Sauerkraut
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