Friday, February 24, 2012

Kraut chronically...err.. I mean chronicles

October a seed is planted
November a seedling transplanted
February a kraut fermented

For those of you who give a crap about cabbage, today would have given you joy. Waiting this long has really build up a lot of anticipation.  They have become like family pets, sitting, waiting out there. If only they knew what I had planned for them...

A brutal beheading happened here today, I callously cut three likely heads of cabbage from my patch.

I'm salivating at the thought of the alchemy that is sauerkraut. Essentially sauerkraut is only these two things; cabbage, and salt.  Everything else is created by microorganisms and time, beautiful right?  There are multiple organisms needed to take plain cabbage to the state that is sauerkraut, all of which are naturally present on cabbage (thank you kraut goddesses).

The sauerkraut process is simple:

Shred a cabbage (or three).
Add salt.
Pound into a container.
Keep air off proto-kraut ( I can make up my own words if I want).
Store in a place that isn't too cold.
Wait a week or so.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


Another beautiful day here in Southern California. Poppy plants and Buddhas basking in the sunny warm weather.

Shorts, t-shirt and flip flops were called for today.  Who needs summer when you can have a winter like this?!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Winter slice

Apricot blooming in azure skies

Sweet peas: so called "fragrant mix", I think I'll stick with 'Cupani' next year


Our non-winter winter has sprung and early. Perhaps you keen gardeners here in So Cal have seen this too. Things are early.  One plant that seems so regular to me was pink jasmine, Jasminum polyanthum.  I started to see this guy blooming a month ago, when normally it begins to grace us with its banana-bubble gum fragrance in the later half of February.

Anyway, I'm totally enjoying the warm weather all the same, even if it has plants out of what I think is their normal cycle.  Today I was enjoying the early blooms of my apricot trees and sweet peas. Actually the sweet peas are pretty much on time, since I started them early autumn and put them in my sunniest winter spot to get early bloooms. I was disappointed with this "fragrant mix" that was so not fragrant.  Next year I go back to 'Cupani' the original sweet pea from Italy. 'Cupani' may have short legs (stems are so short sometimes hard to put in a vase) but damn what a awesome smell!

One other thing I will mention, I'm a bit worried about the apricot, as I see no bees around.  No bees, no apricots!  Maybe they are making their visits surreptitiously. All I can do is hope.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Winter beauties


Guess this is now a series... as I cannot stop with the cabbage posts.  Like a kid waiting for Christmas morning I can't stand the tension.  I've been watching these heads swell for quite some time.  When will they be ready?!!  To tell the truth I have never grown cabbage before.  Normally I focus on more expensive things to grow in the garden. But this year I thought cabbage patch, one to capture our perfect winter growing season and two to make sauerkraut.

So when will they be ready?  I feel like some are ready now. But will they get bigger still? Dunno.  Some are already firm and seem dense. That's good right? And when do cabbages bolt!!?

Cole crazily yours,


Red Acre

Danish Market