It’s that time again. The weather is warming up, the sea is pleasant to swim in without a wet suit & cabbage season is coming to an end here in Northern NSW.
One thing we didn’t not foresee when we jumped into this business, was the fact that cabbages take a summer holiday as well. Sometimes up to 2 months!
And there is another problem- Victoria & South Australia have had some bad weather lately which means when we would usually source cabbages from those growing areas, this year there is zero available.
During the first few years of running Alive Foods we were somehow surviving the summer by creating alternative fermented products; keeping our local market stall as stocked up as possible and living simply.
This time around however, it’s looking a little different. We have expanded. And are supplying many shops, visit more markets with our stall & therefore have created a bigger demand for our beautiful sauerkrauts.
This dilemma has made me realise 2 things.
One, living life as a farmer is tough. These guys live at the mercy of the elements. This is something they don’t have any control over. Floods, drought, frost…you never know what will be thrown at you.
It has made me be eternally grateful for the people who grow our food, who do the strenuous physical labour and who provide us with what keeps us alive. We should thank you farmers every single day!
And two, it has also made me look very closely at our business & what we stand for. We could have ordered thousands of cabbages over the last few months keeping them in our coolroom in order to process them over the months to come. But you know what, while cabbages last longer than many other vegetables, they still go moldy and start to rot after a certain amount of time.
In case you’re not aware- in order to make sauerkraut we need our cabbages fresh so that there a still plenty of bacteria on the leaves to get the fermentation off the ground. If we store cabbage for 3-4 months before using, we wouldl definitely have to add an unnatural starter culture (more info on this topic coming soon) and it just won’t be as fresh & tasty.
So, I’m happy to say that we are living closely with the cycles of nature. We are not a mass production company and we are not willing to compromise our principals of creating fresh, organic & top quality fermented foods. Even if it means that it will minimise our income for some months.
I would recommend to find out directly from your company of choice when it comes to sauerkraut how long they store their cabbages & just hope that they are truthful in their answers. Don’t be afraid to ask how your food is processed & where its’ come from.
I’ve overlooked this fact myself. I just go to the health food shop and pick up a package of something. Take it home, eat it and might casually look at which country the ingredients come from. Walnuts from Bulgaria, Cashews from Vietnam…
Imagine the many hands that touched them, the packaging, the boat or plane journey, the temperatures they’ve been exposed to, how they went through customs and then to the company which packed them to sit on the shelf where you saw it and bought it.
Every product has a journey.
In the meantime, enjoy our sauerkrauts as they’re still abundantly available. Hopefully, you can taste the love & care that’s gone into every single jar!
In bubbly health,