Sunday, April 13, 2014


Yesterday  I went to a local feed/garden shoppe.  It's called Mountain Feed and is deep in the tiny  Redwood Forest community of Ben Lomonde.  It's like a little piece of the 70's stuck in time with it's rural setting and artistic hippie mindset.  This feed store is ah-maze-ing!   They have an old barn that is set up with anything you could need to garden, farm, raise chickens, including baby chicks…it's so sweet.  But the layout is the thing that I love the most, it's just set up perfectly with organic veggies and trees everywhere, awnings and flowers. It's simply beautiful.  The owner, a young guy, has antiques everywhere, but not just thrown about, really special pieces placed exactly where they should be…like the old jukebox set up in the main feed shoppe with the registers, that blast awesome music, usually old county songs.  His name is completely slipping my old brain at the moment, and I've known him for years…it's an unusual name, so cut me some slack…so his famous line is this.  Whenever anyone asks him, when is the best time to plant fruit trees he answers, "The best time is 20 years ago, or today!"

So Saturday was their preserving event and I went specifically to learn how to make Sauerkraut.  Now we're not talking about your grandma's kraut, or the stuff they put on wieners at a ball game…we're talking alive, filled with probiotics, raw sauerkraut.   I've been eating this stuff for years and let me tell you, it gets pretty expensive to buy it, even locally.  We eat it almost daily around here…and now I know what you're thinking…they eat sauerkraut with every freaking weird is that?  But like I said, it's not what you think of as sauerkraut, it's so much more.  

Sauerkraut is a fermented blend of veggies, with the main core ingredient of cabbage.  My favorite kraut is cabbage, beets, ginger and carrot.  Then there's another that has seaweed that is spectacular.  They have krauts with jalapeños, or red cabbage and dill, so you see, there are many choices in the world of kraut these days. And of course there's KimChee, which is a staple in Asian/Korean diets…it's usually a blend of cabbage, carrots, and a load of cayenne or peppers, gets very tangy to say the least. Adding a tiny side of kraut to your meals will not only spice up the meal, but will add all the enzymes and nutrients needed for healthy digestion…it kills candida, it's gluten free, it's sugar free, it's yummy, so get over it and try some!

I also learned how to pickle veggies, and can tomatoes…something I've wanted to do forEVER!  I brought home a jar of the most amazing home made horseradish/mustard, a jar of orange/meyer lemon/ginger jam…yuuummmy! and my new container to make up a batch of my own kraut…oh and a sweet, perfect giant round/plump deep red raspberry bush to plant along the fence in the orchard.  Made this attempt the summer before, but damn those gofers!!  So on to attempt number two…wish me luck.

My new buddy Shane who taught me everything I need
to know about Kraut making.  His mother and he started
a company, local of course, they use 90% local
ingredients, some of the more specialty items like
the paste used to make Kim Chee, fish oils and peppers
and such, are not seasonal around these parts, so they
 do ship out for that, however, everything is made here
in their facility at the Sash Mill.  And the big news is
they are now being carried in the local Costco if you
can believethat!  Farmhouse Kraut…awesome flavors.

Notice the perfectly placed vintage delivery truck
that sits out front of the Feed Store.

Carrie, Mountain Feed's all things veggies Guru…
she's ridiculously knowledgable  and talks like no ones business…ha ha..yes, even blew me out of the water,
I finally had to walk away after I got what I came for.
She's a hoot and you can learn all there is to learn
about canning, preserving and veggies.

My homemade batch of red/green cabbage, beets,
carrots, seaweed…this is a big two and a half size
mason jar….Wish me luck!
Here's a super quick video of the band playing…they were phenomenal!  And here's hoping you're springing in to Spring as well…happy days filled with sunshine and fresh alive veggies!
mucho hugs to my besties! xox juner

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Janis late 60's

Janis  late 60's