Lacto-fermented vegetables are not sold in my local grocery store. They are hardly sold in any grocery store. And if you do find them, they are in that obscure “healthy foods” section. What does that mean anyway? That the rest of the store is full of decadent junk foods… and they’re openly admitting to it?

This later point is up for debate, but the healthfulness of lacto-fermented foods is not.

Vegetables, when preserved in a salt brine, become both nutritious and delicious as lactobacilli and other bacteria transform cabbage into sauerkraut, plums into umeboshi, and a spicy mixture of napa cabbage, garlic, and hot peppers into kimchi.

Directions for Sauerkraut:

1 Tablespoon of non-iodized Sea Salt

1/4 Cup Whey (or an additional Tablespoon of salt)

Mix salt and whey with enough cabbage to fill one quart jar.

Smash the cabbage mixture into the jar until juice oozes out and covers the cabbage.

If the juice does not cover the cabbage within 24 hours, add a brine mixture in the proportion of 1 cup water to 1 T salt. Close jar with a plastic lid.

Wait several days. Then, start taste testing it every couple days to get a feel for how sour you like your kraut!

That’s the bare bone basics. For kimchi, add onion, garlic, ginger, horseradish, bok choi, napa cabbage, carrots, apples, hot peppers, etc.

This subject is much too interesting to leave at that, but the hour is late (for homesteaders) and I will have to add more later.


  1. Richard Tietjen


    I am fascinated by your lacto fermentation article. Coupled with all the cabbage I’ve seen at the farmers’ markets coming in from the harvest, I had to act. The kimchi I made tasted great and I’m well on my way now to related pickling projects and reading around in Nourishing Traditions for new ideas. Ginger-carrot pickle for instance sounds delish. (Everything has a prelude: I’ve been making my own Kombucha for almost a year.)

    Thanks for the inspiration.

  2. shaggy

    Is this the Brittany? Anyhow I do alot of lacto-fermentation also. Kombucha can be used for the whey (we don’t have milk goats yet). I also have info on making your own miso and thus shoyu (the watery part of the miso a.k.a ‘soy sauce) if anyone is interested. You have to order the cultures but can keep them going. Then there’s sourdough…

    All very interesting. some say this type of food is the key to long life, we’ll see..