This whole year, The Urban Farm Handbook authors Annette Cottrell (from Sustainable Eats) and Joshua McNicholls (a Seattle-based journalist) are hosting a month by month challenge to turn urban (and rural) farmers everywhere into farmlettes (or more…)!
Throughout the Urban Farm Handbook Challenge we walk you through a year’s worth of change from grains to dairy to vegetables to protein. We offer you both simple and crazy ways to get you on the bus. But now it’s time to get real. That bus is coming for you. Will you get on it?
August's Urban Farm Handbook Challenge theme is preserving, and I'm here to encourage you to explore fermentation as part of your preservation strategy. (Marisa at Food In Jars issued your canning challenge last week.)
By the way, you could win a prize for participating…
Fermenting at a Glance
Pictured below is a slide from a recent webinar I offered on food preservation. This slide features the traditional and gut-healing practice of preserving food through fermentation — I call it “fermentation at a glance.” Feel free to download or share this around. Click the image to see it full size.
Fermentation offers the most health benefits of all food preservation methods and is one of the easiest ways to preserve food.
I think it isn't practiced as much as it could be for three reasons: 1) people are unused to the complex, sour flavors of fermented foods; 2) people are scared by the idea of it, or that something could go wrong; and 3) most modern homes lack cellars or adequate cool storage to make fermenting feasible for the majority of our food preserving.
None of those hurdles need stop you from taking part in this challenge.
Why? Because, to participate, 1) you can make any fermented food you want, like a mild or sweet fruit ferment, 2) you'll start with a tried and true recipe, and 3) you'll make a small batch that will fit in your fridge or get eaten so quickly you won't need to worry about storing it.
Ready? Let's Go!
Here's your challenge: Make any fermented food! Yes, any.
You could choose from any of my freely available recipes:
- Cottage cheese
- Cheddar cheese
- Sour Cream
- Strawberry Cream Cheese
- Apple Chutney
- Raspberry Preserves
- Beet Kvass
- Water Kefir
Or, if you have my book, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Fermenting Foods, or have taken my online class in fermenting, feel free to use any recipes there. Or, search the internet for someone else's recipe. You can make anything you want. You can even make it up as you go along!
If you're a blogger, blog about it. If you're not a blogger, make it anyway, and keep your experience in mind.
At the end of the month (I'll let you know when it is ready for you), visit Sustainable Eats to link up (or leave a comment) with the details of your fermentation entry. You could win:
- A copy of Food in Jars – Preserving in Small Batches Year Round by Marisa McClellan
- A copy of The Complete Idiots Guide to Fermenting Food by (me) Wardeh Harmon
- A copy of Preserving Food Without Freezing or Canning from Chelsea Green Publishing
So, get fermenting! If you have questions, please let me know. If you're going to participate (or even thinking about it), please leave a comment so I can let you know when Annette is ready to take your entries.
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