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For many of us, this is the time of year to lock summer’s bounty away for those long winters. Whether you’re taking advantage of a sale at your local grocery store, picking up a haul from the farmer’s market, or bringing in an apron full of produce from the garden – these fresh, delicious vegetables won’t wait.

Such is the case for our garden. This time of year is actually not terribly conducive to fermentation here in Central Texas. With triple digit days expected for much of the next month or so, I usually ferment more for short-term food preservation than a six-month stay in cold storage.

Still, there are a few tricks up my sleeve for hot weather fermentation which I plan to implement with those veggies coming from our garden.

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The tomatillos are starting to come in and thoughts of a fermented salsa verde are swimming in my head. For salsas like this, and the tomato-based fermented salsa t the top of this page, I like to make them in pint jars instead of my usual quarts. We can consume at least a half-pint of fermented salsa at a meal and I like to keep the jar openings to a minimum. This helps keep any mold or kahm yeast down which is usually more of a problem for me in warmer temperatures.

The okra plants are loving these hot temperatures and if we get a bountiful harvest, I’m planning to ferment some okra pickles. This is one vegetable that loves the heat. Still, I like to keep a good amount of brine above the veggies and these ceramic weights work a treat for this task.

The other vegetable coming in are the green beans. We’ve eaten through most of them fresh but I need to snag some for making these delicious dilly beans. Many fermented vegetable recipes call for 1-3 Tablespoons of salt per quart. In these warmer temperatures I usually opt for 2-3 tablespoons of salt. Salt slows down the fermentation process which can be quite fast at higher temperatures. It also slows the breakdown of the vegetable fibers, preventing mushy pickles.

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Of course when the heat is on, dehydration is still a great means of food preservation. My family might revolt if I put another yellow summer squash on the table, so I’m dehydrating them from here on out. These will go into soups and stews during winter – when the family has long forgotten the onslaught of yellow squash they once shuddered at.