Here on our little hillside, in WV, we try to live a simple life. One where we can try to make the best decisions in regards to what we feed our family, and where we source our foods. We try to make green decision that are not only good for our family but for our community and planet as well. There is no place I would rather raise a family, than these WV hills! So I guess it is our responsibility to preserve them, and our heritage.

Friday, July 20, 2012


The sauerkraut is in the crock!  We picked 4 heads of our cabbage and got 2 from our friends dad. It was about 30 pounds of cabbage in all.  It was chopped into pieces slightly smaller than a quarter.  We would cut one head then add the salt.  You use a wooden spoon to bruise and grind the salt into the cabbage to start bringing out the juices.  Chop another head and add more salt, bruise cabbage and start chopping again.  Since we had 30 pounds we used slightly over 3/4 of a cup of pickling salt. About 3 TBSP per 5 lbs.  Make sure you are using a crock or suitable container that will allow for all the cabbage to be completely covered and there still be 4-5 inches to the rim.  If the juice does not cover the cabbage you will have to make a brine to add.  Use 1 1/2 TBSP per quart of water.  You will then need to weigh the cabbage down.  To do this, we covered it with a cheese cloth, then a large ceramic plate with a mason jar full of water on top of that.  It will need to be stored for 3-4 weeks at 70-75 degrees.  Over the next few weeks we will have to remove the scum as it forms.  Fermentation will be complete when bubbling stops.  Then it can be canned.  
 In the mean time, I have just finished sanitizing the jars for the green beans.  They are ready to pick this weekend.  So they will need to be cleaned, snapped, and canned.  Also the local farmers market is open this weekend and I expect to purchase a few green bell peppers to make pepper jelly.  Should be a fun weekend.  
The new compost pile is working out well.  I just need to get some horse manure to add to help in the decomposition process.  I also need to build up a wall around three sides of my new compost pile so I can better manage it.  This should help in the turning and mixing that needs done.  As it turns out, things at the new homestead are coming right along.  We are slowly getting things around here in order.