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Cultivate Simple 43: Intro to Lacto-fermentation

September 2nd, 2013

“Agiculture doesn’t make sense without ways of storing the harvest.” –Sandor Katz

Ana & Roy Antaki from Weeping Duck Farm

What is lacto-fermentation? Traditional preservation of food in a brine solution.

Works through the activity of the lactobacillus family of beneficial bacteria.

  • It’s is lactose-free.
  • Applies to many food items, vegetable, dairy, meat.
  • Suitable for long-term storage.


  • No energy required in the preparation.
  • Long term storage without energy requirements.
  • A method perfected & tested through centuries, millennia.
  • A living food that supports the body’s systems for health, adds beneficial bacteria to the intestinal tract, notably from the lactobacillus family. inhibits & neutralizes numbers intestinal pathogens.
  • It is probiotic. Contains anti cancer agents, rich in anti-oxicdants, detoxifying agents, anti-funagl, immune-system booster & partner.
  • Improves the ability of the body to absorb needed nutrients from food.
  • Increases the nutritional value of the food. Synthesizes vitamins B & K. Protects and preserves heat sensitive vitamins.

Given recent large disease outbreaks trace – from sandor katz book – about safety of fermentation.

She uses Le Parfait jars, you can find them here.
Le Parfait French Glass Canning Jar – 1 Liter

General Rule for Amount of Salt to Use:
For Salting
Use 3 Tablespoons of salt per 5 lbs of veggies
For Brining
Use 2-3 Tablespoons of salt per quart of water

Books of the Week:

17 Comments to “Cultivate Simple 43: Intro to Lacto-fermentation”
  1. Nebraska Dave on September 2, 2013 at 10:20 am

    Susy, oh, wow, I was just going to suggest you do a podcast on fermenting. I can’t listen today but will start tomorrow. I always listen to your podcasts while doing the weekly kitchen clean up. Monday is usually the day that I take extra time to move everything off the counters and give them a good scrub down and scrub all the goo off the floor from one 8 year old grandson son that is …. well not a very clean eater. :0) Anyway it’s always great to have Brian and Susy talking about great topics in the background while working away in the kitchen.

    Thank you so much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to talk on such relevant subjects for all the listeners.

    I hope you had a great time with your family visitors. Have a great day in the Maine pre fall weather.

    Reply to Nebraska Dave's comment

  2. angie h on September 2, 2013 at 10:30 am

    Great talk! this cleared some of the finer points of lacto-fermenting up with me. The speaker was very knowledgeable and patient, hopefully she starts her next talk out by letting the audience know she won’t answer questions until the end. As a listener and as a speaker, I would have been going crazy with all the constant interruptions! I don’t know which was worse questions that she answered multiple times b/c people weren’t listening or questions like where to buy popsicle sticks or can you use ocean water??

    Reply to angie h's comment

    • Misti on September 3, 2013 at 1:20 pm

      I literally talked back to the lady asking about popsicle sticks. *doh*

      I really tried to listen to this but got so infuriated with the interjections that I couldn’t handle it. I’m looking forward to next week’s podcast!

      Reply to Misti's comment

      • Allison on September 3, 2013 at 8:06 pm

        The ocean water question had me laughing out loud! What the what?! Obviously, these people have never heard of raising their hands either…

        to Allison's comment

      • PennyAshevilleNC on September 5, 2013 at 8:38 am

        The popsicle sticks! Ocean water! I bet we all were talking to our devices at the same time. I really enjoyed listening to Ana when she was able to get a word in ;) Looking forward to next week– I learned so much!!!

        to PennyAshevilleNC's comment

  3. Mary W on September 3, 2013 at 9:03 am

    Perfect timing! I spent the entire three-day weekend obsessing about fermentation inspired by The Art of Fermentation. I have cucumbers, mead, beer, kvass, and shrub going right now. I tried some sliced cucumbers I made a few weeks ago–the taste was out of this world, but the texture was too slimy. I have high hopes for the new batch. Have you tried mead yet? Super easy and endlessly fascinating.

    Reply to Mary W's comment

    • Mr. Chiots on September 3, 2013 at 9:52 pm

      I want to try mead making. It is too expensive to buy!

      Reply to Mr. Chiots's comment

  4. DebbieB on September 3, 2013 at 1:06 pm

    So happy to see a new Cultivate Simple episode! Always interesting topics. I admit I was one of those who thought that the “lacto” meant that whey was necessary – good to know that it refers to the bacteria involved. Also interested in the health benefits over and above the food storage.

    Reply to DebbieB's comment

  5. Samantha on September 7, 2013 at 4:26 pm

    You mentioned (pretty sure it was the two of you in the audience) a particular water filtration system. I could go back through the episode, and I will at some point, but if you could add the name of that system, and maybe a link, to this post, that would be helpful.

    I’ve recently started listening to you, and you guys are pretty awesome. Maine is really pretty, but having vacationed their a good bit as a kid, I’ve never really thought about moving there, though based on the land prices I’m seeing online, I can see the appeal. Big ‘skeeters. Really, REALLY big ‘skeeters. My husband swears the state bird is the mosquito.

    Reply to Samantha's comment

    • Susy on September 7, 2013 at 6:32 pm

      Yes, it was us. We purchased a Big Berkey Water Filter system with the fluoride/arsenic filters when we lived back in Ohio and had city water. That was about 7 years ago now. We LOVE this system and continue to use it here, even though we have very clean well water. The non-profit I work for also uses them to clean very dirty unsafe water into clean drinking water.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  6. rebekah on September 8, 2013 at 9:35 am

    I cant wait to listen to this!
    I did just want to let you know that I often have trouble with the links for your book recommendations. Either with it taking me to Amazon in the first place or not being able to purchase through your link (which I would really love to do as it supports you and your wonderful blog in some small way).
    I am not sure if anyone else is having trouble but I thought I should let you know.
    Have a great day!

    Reply to rebekah's comment

    • Susy on September 15, 2013 at 7:52 pm

      Thanks for letting me know, I wonder what the problem is. Let me know if you keep having trouble, I seem to be able to click through just fine.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  7. Jeannette on September 9, 2013 at 8:42 am

    Really enjoying the podcast – I’m a old blog reader but a new listener so I’ve been trying to catch up. Do you have recommendation for bread baking pans (loaf pan)? I didn’t see one in your amazon store. I like free form but for the kids I need a loaf. Also you mentioned you’re big on budgets. We’ve used Quicken for years but now with two little ones we find we have no time to spend time entering receipts on a computer so expenses are downloaded onto Quicken desktop but little is done beyond that and checking balances (to my dismay). It’s a hot topic with my husband. I’d be curious to hear how you guys do it and what software you’re using.

    Reply to Jeannette's comment

    • Susy on October 6, 2013 at 7:12 pm

      I’m answering your question this week on the podcast, here’s a link to the cast iron bread pans that I use. I use them for yeast breads, quick breads and even for cakes. Lodge Cast Iron Loaf Pan

      Reply to Susy's comment

  8. Megan on September 11, 2013 at 11:55 am

    I tried some pickles this year in a crock but the brine remained cloudy and there seemed to be a white slime that was on some of the cucumbers. After listening to the podcast my first mistake was I used tap water to make the brine. I was afraid to eat them and threw them out. Is it normal for the brine to stay cloudy or did something go wrong?

    Reply to Megan's comment

  9. amy on September 11, 2013 at 1:56 pm

    CRIMINY!!! I tried to listen but they are talking way toooo much…..The one woman especially…..You end up just wanting to tell her to shut up!….lol…..I haven’t listened to this weeks podcast…..maybe you discussed fermentation…..hopefully:)

    Reply to amy's comment

  10. Colleen on September 13, 2013 at 11:30 am

    This was a very interesting podcast, I’m looking forward to hearing more from the two of you on this subject.
    Question, is one type of salt better to use than another for this process?
    The books you have recommended, do they include recipes?

    Reply to Colleen's comment


This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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