Friday, October 4, 2013

Making End of Season Fermented Vegetables

Using basil and tiny eggplants from my rooftop, along with green plum tomatoes and grape leaves from the community garden, I'm trying Sandy Katz's recipe from his book "Wild Fermentation".

Clockwise, starting from the upper left corner: Dill seeds and black pepper, green plum tomatoes and baby Green Thai and Little Fingers eggplant. Garlic, grape leaves, basil and one little hot pepper.

All packed in a plastic container. Not having a glass, or ceramic, crock, Katz's advice was to use a "food grade" plastic container.

The brine poured in and the veggies held under with a plate. I'll check for mold, skimming it off the surface if present, and wait 1-4 weeks for them to cure at room temperature.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

"Symphony of the Soil"

Although I have seen a number of very good documentaries on organic farming, “Symphony of the Soil” is the first to ground them (excuse me for the bad pun) in soil chemistry. The first half of the film is a guided tour of various locales by some of the world’s leading soil chemists, ranging from fjords to rain forests, with an emphasis on how soil becomes fertile. Like most people, I suppose, the idea of listening to a scientist explain the differences between different kinds of soil might seem dry as dust (excuse me for another bad pun) but it is almost impossible not to be swept along by their passion. In some ways the film is a throwback to the classic Disney nature films of the 1950s like “The Living Desert”. If you loved those films as a kid, you will find “Symphony of the Soil” impossible to resist. If you have kids, this is the quintessential family film.