How to Ferment Vegetables – Simply.

Sep 5, 2014 | Homesteading, Potager | 9 comments

The long hot days of summer demand that we eat light and they inspire us to hold on to what we can from our gardens for when the warm weather fades and cooler temperatures are on the horizon.  

Canning vegetables is in itself a noble skill for any cook to attain but there is more to be done to store our vegetables than cooking out so much of the nutrition.  Now don’t get me wrong…  I love the art of canning.  I covet those homestead blogs with thousands of canned goods lined up in their root cellar.  But sometimes I don’t want to mess with boiling water, timers and the like.  The grabbers, the heat, the vinegar.  The kitchen gets SO nasty when your canning all day.  By the time I am done I am a hot mess!!! SOMEday I want one of those wonderful summer kitchens.  Sigh.


Fermented food contains bacteria the promotes intestinal health.  Plain and simple.  In fact, fermented food is some of the healthiest food you can feed your family and it’s about as easy as planting a seed in the ground and watching it grow!  Just about any vegetable from your garden will do though you will attain the best results with vegetables like cabbage, zucchini, carrots, onions, cucumbers, beets and chard stalks.
I make these jars for my family and they go absolutely nuts for them!  In fact, I have to hold some back or else I can’t even get a few bites for myself.
You will need:
Some veggies.  Shredded.  Cut.  Stalks.  You choose.
Some jars.
Some filtered water.
Some salt.
No really.
It’s that easy.

Specifically you will need 11/2 tablespoons of salt (this is the kind I use for it’s fabulous mineral content) to 4 cups of water.  This is just the ratio I use but keep in mind you won’t fill a quart jar with four cups of water.  

Mix it up so the salt dissolves.  And do this in another container as you will first pack the veggies in the jar and then pour the water over the top.  You can add dill, peppercorns, etc and use sliced zucchini to cap off your veggies.  You want to leave about 1-1 1/2 inch head space.  Put the lids on but don’t tighten them all the way.

The veggies will start to release their sugars thus creating gas.  You want the lids just twisted on but not tightened.  You don’t want them to explode from pressure!  I’m kidding.  But maybe I’m not.  Leave them on your counter out of direct sunlight.  Over the next 12 hours you will see bubbling and all sorts of jazz… you may even hear sounds!  The next day give the lids a little opening, you will hear the gasses release.  Leave them on your counter for 4-7 days, releasing pressure as needed.  Then enjoy them and/or store them in the fridge for up to nine months.This is an awesome book on the subject…

And it’s from French farmers. Fancy that.  
Happy gut.
Happy family.
Happy you.
The fermented veggie trifecta. 
Bon appetit.

Parisienne Farmgirl


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  1. Kristi

    Thank you!!!! I always want to “can” but it’s never happened. I used to have fantastic gardens at our old house but haven’t done one this year. Next year is our year! I usually blanch and freeze, but I’m going to give this a try. Need to get some ball jars tomorrow! 🙂
    Now to decide whether I do garden in the ground or raised….. hmmmm

  2. sharon

    This is wonderful info , thank you!~ I hope to have time one day to try this! I adore your blog, it makes me all googly and dreamy! I am caught up in the rat race, and my goal is to one day live your style of life! For now I do the best I can!

  3. Christi

    Thanks for shaing – I’ve wanted to give fermentation a try for a while but have never tried it. Thanks for the encouragement!

  4. Pam

    I’m so glad you posted this! I do a lot of canning every summer, but have wanted to add fermenting to my repertoire. Everything I’ve looked at makes it seem like you have to have those expensive fermenting crocks to produce a decent outcome. Yeah, that’s just not in the budget. I’m glad to see that you get good results using regular old mason jars. You’ve given me the kick in the pants to go for it. Thanks!!

  5. Annie Meyers

    angela… my friend ferments cabbage and gifts it. I believe in the health points…and will eat it but I find it salty. I miss the customary sugar/vinegar flavor from “regular” canned veg.

    Do you dip your fermented veg in something? Or otherwise gussy it up? Or just get used to the salty taste? … deb meyers

  6. Mandy

    When I do carrots I add garlic cloves-YUM!

  7. Cynthia Garner

    Fermenting more than grapes…. What an interesting concept…. Not sure what rock I have been hiding under … LOL… Here is a most likely “lame” question…. BUT….. How does one eat them once thy are fermented…. ?

  8. Lady Courtney

    Interesting, will need to look into that…I canned over a hundred pounds of tomatoes…pasta sauces, barbecue sauce, pizza sauce, and just tomatoes…sad to see summer fading, but canning almost over…wilted in Virginia 😉

  9. Jacinda

    Question? So do you need to heat the water so the salt dissolves? And if so should you wait until it cools to add it to the veggies?


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