Homestead Picklin’ and Preservin’

In one of my last rummage sale forays, I ran across this pickling crock in the picture. It is supposed to be a vintage 4-gallon Blue Crown and I did get it from an older couple. Twenty bucks sounded like a bargain for the size of the crock. Of course, it did not come with the much-needed weights, however, a heavy plate should suffice with something to help hold it in place.

Now, I know some about canning pickles, but I have never tried fermenting pickles. Supposedly, they are more nutritious if fermented instead of pickled in a pressure cooker or water bath.

Fermentation of vegetables, such as cucumbers and cabbage for kraut, produces a probiotic liquid that is good for the gut. Apparently, people have been fermenting foods since 6000 B.C.  I intend to ferment cucumbers, cabbage and whatever else I can to help with my nutrition.

Of the seeds that I recently purchased, I bought a cucumber called “Solly Beiler”. It is an heirloom and has to be harvested when very small to make the best pickles. Originally, it is an old Amish strand developed in the 1930’s.

Along with the order, I received a free packet of Brunswick cabbage, a rare variety used for market growing. It is a fall/winter type, but I think I may try it out anyway. So far, this winter has been the mildest I have ever seen, and I am thinking that the closer it gets to spring the colder it will be here. Crossing my fingers that I might get a few heads before summer. Last year it was cold up until the middle of May, and that is very unusual for this area, so, hopefully it will be cold enough after I get the seeds started and some good transplants growing. It also says on the package to plant 4 weeks before last frost date, but that it is also a cool season vegetable. I am going to start a few seeds indoors. I don’t know much about cabbage growing, but I’m giving it the old try and see.

Until next time,

Down Home Honey

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