One of the things about fermented vegetables that continues to astound me is just how useful they are. Traditionally Fermented Foods launches next month and looking through the Vegetable Chapter, I find a few themes. One is that I really want people to know how delicious fermented vegetables can be.

There are a bunch of key elements to making fermented vegetables taste so good. I cover these in detail in the book, including how to gauge how much salt to use (spoiler: it’s not always the same), how to store them for the best flavor (you don’t need a refrigerator), and how to create ferments from starchier foods like corn, beets, and sweet potatoes.

Another theme in this chapter is using fermented vegetables for health. In that vein, I have a whole section on how the brine of fermented vegetables is an unsung hero, in my opinion. We drink shots of this stuff poured directly from various krauts and pickles and it makes us feel really good. We also give the brine and vegetables to our goats when their rumen needs a bit of help.

A few years ago we (mostly Stewart) began drinking salt soles. This salt water solution made a drastic difference in his recovery from adrenal fatigue and in a hot climate like ours it has now become a summer necessity. Fermented Vegetable Brine is a probiotic- and enzyme-rich salt sole that leaves us feeling energized.

Because I really think this fermentation liquid is so valuable, I’ve also included recipes in Traditionally Fermented Foods for things like…

Vegetable Brine Wellness Shots


Vegetable Brine Fermented Hot Sauce


Fermented Vegetable Brine Mayonnaise


Fermented Vegetable Brine Herb Sauce


All of these recipes (and many more!) can be found in Traditionally Fermented Foods, available for online pre-order now and in stores May 9th!

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Two Weeks Ago

We finished the Chicken Field expansion and Stewart estimates the new garden area to be around 1/8 of an acre. The pallet garden is about half of that and has peas, lettuce, collards, onions, and potatoes. This area now contains the smallest sprouts of green beans and collards as well as a couple of long rows of potatoes, cucumbers, and cantaloupes. These are just seeds in their infancy so we will see what the Lord has for them.

The area with the large hay bales is the expanded region which needs a lot of work. Those hay bales need to be broken apart and scattered over the soil and other amendments added. If the Lord wills we may plant black-eyed peas there this year.



Last Week

We are eating salads from the Pallet Garden – mostly lettuce thinnings, cilantro, and fava bean leaves. Ruthie planted her little patch of radishes and gave us a few thinnings to add to our salads. Tomato and tomatillo starts were divided between the two garden areas.

The goats are now dried up and we are awaiting the final weeks of their gestation. This period of low to no raw milk is a heavy reminder of the major role that dairy animals can have on a homestead food supply. The goats are most browsing on the growing grass, weeds, and trees now with access to hay as desired.

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This Week

We had a significant storm come through this weekend leaving a lot of rain in its wake. We are grateful for the Lord’s mercy in keeping us safe on a Sabbath evening that saw a swift trip to the Siffords to wait out a tornado warning… and a very late, wet, and lightning-lit walk back to a mercifully warm and dry home.

So it doesn’t look like we will need to water early this week and there is now plenty of water to catch up on the muddy laundry.

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Our chicken egg supply dried up drastically last week when hens went broody and others decided to lay astray. So last night Stewart and the boys moved hens and we are fluffing the boxes to encourage laying again. We’ve also got some roosters ready for the chopping block and older hens probably too.

There really is always something new to tend to on a homestead.