Fermentation, Christopher and Kirsten Shockey

I LOVE FERMENTATION!  Truth in advertising here — I enjoy many methods of home food preservation but fermentation is more like conjuring magic or alchemy — taking some basic ingredients and sprinkle with some fairy dust — voila — gold!  ok, not gold necessarily — but delicious vegetables that have been transformed into something completely different and even more delicious!

I have fermented gallons of sauerkraut and beets, and I have a few things brewing along that I’m not even sure I should mention because it might just scare you!  Things are bubbling and brewing on various shelves in the house and garage — a batch of red miso…which will take an entire year; a couple of quarts of shoyu koji; a kombucha mother awaits a transformation while it rests in the fridge until I get brave enough to attempt brewing that up — red vinegar mother is in one cupboard with big slabs of mother growing on it like giant blood clots (see?  it is scary — I wasn’t kidding!)

If you are wanting to get bit by the fermentation bug you can do no better than to order Christopher and Kirsten’s book — Fermented Vegetables: Creative Recipes for Fermenting ’64 Vegetables and Herbs in Krauts, Kimchis, Brined Pickles, Chutneys, Relishes and Pastes 

Sounds pretty comprehensive, right?  Well it is — and no, I don’t get a commission on book sales.  I have, however, bought plenty of cookbooks and a few fermentation books and this one is the best, especially for someone just starting out.

How did I hook up with these folks?  I had a fermentation experiment go bad — and sent a plea to the Fermentista’s Kitchen and Kirsten got right back to me.  While we weren’t able to save the patient (tomatoes that actually turned into something like salty tomato beer…but that’s another story) — we did hook up to schedule some wonderful interviews about fermenting.

Interview With Christopher

Interview With Kirsten

Joyce Houston, Master Food Preserver

The 2017 Application for the Master Food Preserver program is here!


With all the great produce that is available every fall, we all have our favorite ways of preserving it so we can enjoy it all year around — and it really depends on the items.  As a Master Food Preserver with the University of California Cooperative Extension, Joyce Houston can be counted on to share the information on the safest and best tasting ways to do this.

The training to become a Master Food Preserver is pretty intensive — it meets early February to early March, Saturdays 9A-4P and Mondays 5:30-8:30.  For more information contact the University of California Cooperative Extension, 707-445-7351 or visit the website or the Master Food Preserver Facebook Page

Listen to Part 1

Listen to Part 2

Joyce Houston, Master Food Preservers

Joyce Houston is one of the founding mothers of the Master Food Preservers of Humboldt County — MFPs volunteer their time demonstrating safe home food preservation and staffing a booth at the Farmers Market where the produce is fresh and sometimes overabundant (perfect for preserving!)…if you are interested in becoming a Master Food Preserver, the training is held once a year and only 12 people are accepted.  It is generally held the month of February on Saturdays (9-4) and Monday evenings (5:30-8:30).  You will learn about canning (both pressure and waterbath), dehydrating, fermenting, pickling, freezing and more!  Cost is $150 — contact the University of California Cooperative Extension for more information 445-7351.  There is a great facebook page if you are into Facebook…

Listen to the interview

To get an Applicant_Form-2014 with my notes for the program

Lee Ann Duclo, Oceanside Jams

Lee Ann Duclo has always canned with her family — smoked salmon and native berries.  After many years of entering county and state fairs with her canned goods — she started her own business, Oceanside Jams featuring many preserved products including salal jelly, red huckleberry jam and thimbleberry jam.  Located in Loleta California, Oceanside Jams are sold mainly through craft fairs and contacts made after customers have their first taste and end up ordering cases of her product – it is also sold at the Loleta Meat Market on Main Street in Loleta.  Her Loleta Traffic Jam was inspired by the incredible success of the Loleta Bakery which has created a traffic and parking “situation” in the tiny town of Loleta — who knew?!

To listen to an interview with Lee Ann, click here

Pete Haggard, Sauerkraut

Pete Haggard is an author, entomologist, gardener, and an extreme cook.  I like extreme cooks, they push the envelope on food preparation and preservation — in some cases rediscovering the old ways of making food.  Pete has inspired me — to listen to his interview about making sauerkraut, listen here.

If you are interested in trying your hand at kraut making — you might want to start with an EdenCrock — made by Jessica Eden, co-producer of Food for Thought.  She throws these pots at Fire Arts Center in Arcata, some of these sweet crocks which will hold 5 lbs of cabbage are available for you to buy!

Frogs!  Check them out!

Frogs! Check them out!

IMG_4391 IMG_1611

Ed Cohen, Earthly Edibles CSA

Ed Cohen from Earthly Edibles talks about dry-farming veggies in lovely and sunny Korbel.  One new feature of this CSA is that they are offering Canning Classes!

To listen to the interview, click here.

Home Canning and Food Preservation

Update November 5, 2012 — The next Master Food Preserver Program will meet every Saturday in Feb – Mar 2013 from 9a-3:30 p.  The program will be help at the Northcoast Co-op Community Kitchen in Eureka.  The cost is $150.  Deadline to apply is January 8, 2013 — and there is a mandatory orientation meeting in the evening once selections are made.  You can contact Deborah Giraud at the University of California Cooperative Extension at (707) 445-7351 for more information.

I come from a long line of canners — I can’t see fruit dropping from a tree without wanting to go up to the door to ask the owner if I can pick it.  I can more than anyone could possibly use when there is produce available — sometimes I can, sometimes I freeze, I just can’t stand to see people throw away good food. Join us for research based information on food preservation and become a volunteer to help others learn as well.

jars of cherries

Cherries from So Hum

Produce canned

Cherries, tuna, chili dillies, jam and more cherries