Picklefest 2008 at Machine Project, Los Angeles, Saturday September 20, 2008

Join me at Machine Project in Los Angeles on Saturday September 20, 2008 for Picklefest 2008!
FREE, but bring pickle jars, and produce to pickle and/or swap with your new pickle buddies.

In collaboration with Erik Knutzen and Kelly Coyne from http://www.homegrownevolution.com. and Mark Frauenfelder from http://www.dinosaursandrobots.com/, we’re excited to be hosting our first ever pickling festival and produce swap.

Back before the advent of canning and freezing, folks preserved their vegetable harvest via lacto-fermentation. This process, once commonplace, survives today mostly in the form of sauerkraut and kim-chi. These days, almost all store bought pickles and contemporary pickle recipes are vinegar-based. Lacto-fermented pickles contain no vinegar at all.

In lacto-fermentation, salt is added to vegetables, either by covering them in salty water or by mixing them with salt to draw out their own juices. Either way, the vegetable ends up stewing in salty liquid. Lactic microbial organisms (the same beasties that spoil milk) take hold in this environment and make it so acidic that bacteria that cause food to spoil can’t live there. The result is a pickled food that will keep without canning or refrigeration.

Lacto-fermented pickles are also full of beneficial bacteria that, like the bacteria in yogurt, are good for your gut and make food more digestible. Join us for a harvest swap and pickle-making festival on Saturday, September 20th from 1-4pm. The event is in two parts:

a) People who have gardens can bring in their produce and swap with other gardeners.

b) Everyone can bring in produce to pickle, make into sauerkraut, kimchee etc. We’re interested in experimental and improvisational pickling. Bring jars!

At the end of the day, everyone leaves some of their pickles at Machine and we’ll get back together in the winter to try everyone’s pickles when they are ready.

What to pickle:

Just about any firm, sturdy vegetable can be lacto-fermented. Some recommendations include:

Radishes (daikon is especially tasty), cucumbers, cabbage, baby onions, green beans, carrots, garlic cloves, beets, lemons, turnips, all work nicely.

Picklefest 2008


  1. I’m gonna bring in a pickle, stick a fork in either end, hook the thing up to a 240V DC current, and talk about God.


  2. There is a company in the East (NY State) called Hawthorne Valley Farm that make some of THE BEST Sauerkraut I’ve ever had. Raw baby raw!

  3. Mmm, pickles.

    What’s the difference in taste compared to your usual store-bought vinegar pickle? I would just come and find out but that Metrolink wreck has given me the willies.

    Also, I think I need to alert Roger from I-Mockery about this.

  4. mmm pickles! my gramma’s pickled corn was a treat at family reunions. there was never enough to go around. she’s gone but the corn lives on — there’s a big ol’ jar in my fridge and a crock in the basement working on the next batch!

  5. A woman at our local herb room was telling me about the pro-biotic benefits of raw sauerkraut. I need to make my own…. but I did get some from the store that was really good. I put it on olive oil drizzled german farm bread with (brewer’s) yeast and some Bragg’s liquid amino. Food that good almost makes me want to be a vegetarian.

  6. To any one interested in doing their own pickling I would highly recommend the book: Wild Fermentation by Sandor Katz. I bought this book for my wife last December, since then we have made our own sauerkraut, pickled beets, greenbeens, okra, jalapenos with carrots and onions, garlic, and of course, cucumbers. All raw and all fermented. We were amazed at how easy it is to pickle and how much tastier it is than anything you can buy in a store. If your not ready to invest in a book. Check out the author’s website where he has recipes for sauerkraut and cucumbers. I would recommend starting with the sauerkraut. Happy pickling!


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