These ambitious picklers even pickled some celeriac.
I got ready for the pickle-making workshop at Machine Projects Saturday by gathering some jars, buying some smallish pickling cucumbers and some carrots, and picking all the extra parsley and thyme in my garden. When I showed up, a few people were already cutting an array of vegetables. Kelly Coyne from Homegrown Evolution explained that we were making lacto-fermented pickles, which grow their own bacteria and ferment in a saltwater brine. There's no vinegar or sugar involved like the refrigerator pickles I had made in the past. Here's how to do it at home (click to enlarge).
There were spices like peppercorns. smoked paprika, zaatar and pickling spices lying around to experiment with, as well as extra garlic, cactus paddles and plenty of dill, of course. I had already cut up my carrots and blanched them, and Kelly wasn't sure they would grow enough bacteria that way, but she suggested trying anyway. More people arrived and most of the pickling stations were full, with people packing everything from red chard stems to lemons to eggplant into large jars and then adding an array of spices. My finished pickles complete with grapeleaves and herbs.
Kelly brought grapeleaves for us to put in with the cucumbers, which she said keeps the pickles crisper. In two weeks, if all goes well, I'll have two jars of tasty dill pickles and two of pickled carrots with garlic and jalapeno. This is a very easy DIY project, so give it a try and let me know how the fermenting goes.