As usual, time spent at the farm is a pleasure and an education. Sandor Katz did his annual presentation and demonstration of simple vegetable ferments. Included in this category are the simplest and most well known ferments- sauerkraut and kimchi. It doesn’t matter at all how many times I have heard Sandor speak. His knowledge is impressive and his style is accessible and endearing.
I know from sharing my own kimchi with friends and family, that some people just don’t like the strong smells and tastes associated with fermented foods, but when you hear about the multiple and far reaching health benefits of eating them, you can’t help but want to like them. Sandor reminds us that no jar is too small, and no barrel too big, to make your own ferments. Once you understand the ease of the process, you won’t believe you didn’t make your own long ago!
In keeping with the themes of food preservation and self-sufficiency, I acquired several copies of Sandor’s first book, “Wild Fermentation”, in case some of you would like to learn. This book goes way beyond kraut and kimchi, to breads, beers, kombucha, and dairy ferments. His second book, “The Revolution Will Not Be Microwaved” is shorter on recipes, but tells the fascinating stories of America’s many underground food movements. I have a few copies of it as well.
We had a great potluck lunch, and by mid-afternoon had settled into smaller groups for discussions on just about everything food and fermentation related. The day lent itself to wandering around- the temperature was cool, the sun warm, and the sky a deep fall blue. Before we all knew it, the sun was dropping, followed very quickly by the temperature. It was time to light the bonfire, which seemed to act as a dividing line between the food event and the party.
The fire provided a toasty place to gaze up at the night sky, filled with abundant stars and the visible outline of the Milky Way. Inside, the music started early, and people danced, sang, and watched with great big smiles. In the kitchen, the food kept being put out as new arrivals brought new treats. A wide array of both sweet and savory choices left none dissatisfied, at least none that I saw.
I’m glad to have seen a few CSA members out at the farm. It is not close to town, but it is well worth the effort to see where the food grows and build tighter bonds in our little community. I encourage all of you to pick a day, event or not, and spend time up at the farm. It’s good for the soul.
This Week’s Harvest: Mustard Greens, Turnip Greens, Festival Squash, Radishes, Arugula, Tomatoes, Peppers, Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Parsley