Thursday, September 26, 2013

More Common Ground Fair

I finally had a chance to download some photos I took at the Common Ground Fair last weekend. One of the big features at the fair is the whole wool industry, fleece, spinning, knitting, etc. There is a tent filled with tables of all different kinds of fleece in bags - all grades, colors, breeds, etc. It's wonderful just going down the table and feeling the different kinds of fleece:

Fleece in the raw
 Connected to the fleece tent is a tent devoted to hand-spinning wool. An amazing sight was the "Wednesday Spinners" a group of women who have been getting together every Wednesday to spin for years  - I think I heard  that some of them have done it for 37 years.  Here is a photo of many of them spinning away:

The Wednesday Spinners

I couldn't resist stopping to take in a demo of making doughnuts over an open campfire. Boy does that ever evoke a romantic image of camping!  We even got to taste the product - it was good!


I mentioned Sandor Katz and his fermentation workshop in the earlier post. Here he is addressing the multitudes about making sauerkraut at home. He does it in a canning jar like the one in the foreground. As he was talking, he cut strips of cabbage, carrots, beans, etc., and put them in a bowl, salted them, and then manipulated them with his hands - sort of gently bruising the veggies and working in the salt. The salt draws the water out of the veggies and by the end of his presentation he had a bowl of very wet veggies which he then stuffed into a canning jar and then poured the remaining water (veggie juice actually) over them up to the top and then screwed on the lid. That sits on your counter for a few days. You unscrew the lid now and then to let the gas (CO2) escape, then screw it tight again.  How long you let it ferment is up to your taste. You can try it in three days, try it again in 6 days, 10 days, 2 weeks, 3 weeks, etc. According to Sandor, the bacteria will be different each time you eat the sauerkraut - so if you want the greatest diversity of bacteria in your gut, eat it at different times. When it's just the way you like it, put it in your "fermentation retardation machine" - i.e., the refrigerator. It's as easy as that. Of course you can use a crock, and a plate under pressure, etc., too - that's fine. This is just an easy way to get started. According to him, it is totally safe. Only good bacteria survive the process. If by chance any "bad" bacteria get into the mix, which is highly unlikely, they get eaten up by the good guys. That's just the way sauerkraut is I guess.

Sandor Katz talking fermentation

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