I have been doing an experiment the last 2 years, --I have found that my lacto fermented vegetables are still edible [and taste good] after being stored for over a year [ 16 months] at room temps,[in Florida ] I can store all my extra produce, easily [with out canning or freezing] until the next season crops are ready, all i need is a little salt to get it started----very cool
Good for you! (and good for your health, too!) I've been lacto-fermenting for several years now. In fact, I took a quart of asparagus and carrot spears to the weekend house party I just attended. I think my fav last year was cauliflower with a tad of garlic. BTW, I add about 4 tablespoons of fresh whey (per quart of veggies) if I have it... helps jump-start the fermenting process.
I add a little of the juice from a good batch, to the new batch, to do the same thing, --but will have to try the whey, --it might be better to have a fresh start anywhey, -- I lacto ferment everything here, I am lazy, -I just cut toss all extra vegetables in the bucket, I tossed a bunch of small onions [about 100] in the bucket whole this spring, and am eating them now-- they are very good, ----it makes a great salad addition --don't need any dressing with it, --just a little olive oil, --it is great stuff
the older vegetables in the bucket were getting a little soft and soggy [been about 2 years for some of them]-- so-- I am starting a new batch--
I tried to use Taro leaf, to see it lacto fermentation would take the "itch" out of some of the worst varieties I have- BAD EXPERIENCE - so-- I pressure cooked them then added them to the bucket, --now they are good, --
I like some large and some smaller chunks, --I shred some of the cabbage and thin slice some of the diakon, and add lots of greens,--but I add most of the things I can in chunks, -- I esp like whole small onions [less then 2 inch] and garlic cloves, -I add bite size hot and sweet peppers, also.
-- the chunks get smaller as they are pickled, so things up to 1-1/2 inch are fine for me, by the time they have fermented,-- I like the flavor kept by the large things, [as small pieces tend to loose their individual flavors in time, -- once the batch is working there is lots of juice,so adding the large pieces and keeping them covered in juice, will work then, - it is hard to get large pieces "started " properly when first starting a batch, as no juice has developed.-- so I like to start with cabbage and greens,and thin choped vegetables first, then after they make "juice" I can add as big chunks as I want to the started batch.
I do a perpetual mix too but it stays in the fridge. I move my older stuff to one side and add newer stuff. The reason is the older stuff gets to have a homogenous taste of "pickle" and looses the brightness of the individual vegetables after a time. I'm not interested in just preserving and eating a pile of veggies that taste sour. They have to retain some of their original vegetable flavors IMO. Interesting though, I'd like to expand my horizons.
Michael, when you say you just add a little salt; well what exactly do you mean? Where is the lacto component aside from your original mixture? Are you saying it is still viable in the brine and veggie adds? What was the source of your original lacto addition?
I have never added any lacto starter, -I start with organic vegetables out of my garden, --they seem to have enough naturally ocuring lactobacillis to do the trick, - I use 1/2 cup of salt /5 lb of cabbage etc, once, when I start a batch, --then after that I only add some salt for flavoring [I do not like it too salty] I just keep on adding extra vegetables when ever I have them, -- I think the salt is mostly to keep unwanted bacteria from growing so the lacto can take over, --
I tossed the 2 year old bucket out in the compost [as it all tastes very much like vinegar now] I saved all the whole onions and garlic and some of the newer daikon chunks, -- to eat with the new batch that has been going for 2 months, -- the new batch tastes so much better, and I have lots more then I can ever use, -- so-- the old bucket will be compost, --[if it was not so salty I would have given it to the chickens]
-this time of year we have so much fresh cabbage, lettuce,Daikon, carrot,beet, etc -I don,t eat as much of the pickled veggies-- I just use the pickled ones as a dressing on top of the fresh ones in a salad, --add just a little oil and maybe some of the farmhouse chedar --it is so-good, ---[no wonder I stay over weight]