Sick hippie

Been sick all week with a head cold which turned into fever with chills. I’ve had to stay in bed and the farm has been neglected. The goat shed needs mucking out, the garden watered, the rabbit cages are begging for a cleaning, the buffet of yummy greens that go to all the animals has been halted and boring processed feed will have to do. The worst thing is my sinuses are so plugged up, I can’t smell anything. Hence, I can’t taste anything. Is this a life worth living? Amid these frustrating developments on a sweat-inducing break from the bed to check my email, I learned that I had been crowned Best Hippie 2008 by the East Bay’s locally owned free weekly.
You guys!!
A few years ago, maybe even a year ago, I would have scoffed at the word ‘hippie’ being used to describe me. Hippies! that’s my parents! I would say. I don’t listen to the Dead, I listen to the Dead Boys. But, if you think about it, I *have* been milking goats, making cheese and planting chard–all tell-tale signs of hippiedom. So I’ve learned to live with the moniker, and wonder why there isn’t a better word to describe my urban homesteading tendencies in a way that doesn’t reek of patcholi or come wrapped in tie-dye. Anyone got a better term?

While we contemplate that, a sauerkraut instructional.

Get some nice heads, tight ones. Half the cabbages, then chop into thin strips. Add the cabbage to a large bowl and sprinkle with kosher salt. A TB of salt per cup of cabbage is the rule of thumb. Once sprinkled with salt, pound the cabbage so that it starts to release some water. I use a pestle from a mortar and pestle that my roommate left behind. Add this point you can add caraway or coriander seeds. Once the cabbage strips look a bit wilted, pack them tightly into a large jar. Pack them tightly into the jar using your fist to press down all the cabbage. Weigh down with a bag filled with water or a rock, or as pictured, a glass bottle of water. This isn’t shown, but you should also drape a cheesecloth or piece of fabric to keep out flies and such. After an hour or so, the cabbage should be submerged under its own juices. Let sit 2-3 days on the counter. Taste after a few days and see if you like it, when tastes right, remove the weight, and put the jar in the fridge to enjoy. Happy lacto-fermenting! As a sidenote, I make a jar of this a week for the goats. It’s good for their bowels’ flora, as it is for ours.

12 responses to “Sick hippie

  1. achhhhhhhhhhhhooo! us too, we all have these horrible summer colds. i hope that someone can go and nanny the goats. i’ve been squirting sea water up my nose, hurts like hell, but i hope it will help. my throat feels like chopped liver. i was just thinking that i might pack nothing and just wear mom’s hippie clothes when i am visiting. I’ll try to think of a good name for you. I was have been nicknamed “Weed Goddess” because of my foraging. lol

  2. congratulations, hippie! xo –patrick

  3. Hope you feel better soon. I think you’re more of a “farm-ie” than a “hippie.”

  4. Hope you’re feeling better… it stinks to be sick anytime of the year, but somehow it just seems worse in the summer.
    I hate the idea of monikers of any kind personally… you’re no hippie, just Novella… but it is still kind of cool being named best hippie of the year.
    Thanks for the pictures of the kraut… I had been wanting to try it, but felt somewhat intimidated by the whole weighting thing, but your pictures made it make sense…. I’ll have to try this when it’s cabbage season here…

  5. Congratulations on the hippie award! 🙂 One of these days I want to try making ‘kraut… but we’ve been eating cabbage and onions on the grill and that is oh-so-good! 🙂

  6. mmm, farmie. nice. feeling better but i still can’t taste anything, so i decided to go on a colonic cleanse. oh–and samin pointed out that before making the kraut make sure the jar, the weight are sterilized. otherwise you might introduce other bacteria than the ones from the cabbage leaf.

  7. What’s in a name? a rose by any other name would smell so sweet.

  8. how about urban homesteader? It’s still pretty fresh and unmarred by preconceptions.

  9. Congratulations on the award!

    Hippie is an outdated word and (in my mind) is only for people still living in the 60s-70s. You are an urban homesteader.

  10. Ruby (aka Sparky Bee Girl of the Institute for Urban Homesteading) is reclaiming the term homesteading for us urban types. I like it because it brings to mind small American towns where people grow food and trade with each other, realizing their mutual co-dependence. You seem to be firmly in that camp.

    I hope you get better soon! Being sick in summer is just wrong. May I suggest raw garlic? I puree it with tomato juice and down it like a shooter. It always works for me. I hope that Bill is staying healthy.

  11. Hi Novella, new reader first time poster here hoping you are feeling better. More than ten days of cold is a little worrying. And if you still have it it looks more like three weeks. Hope you feel better and are all caught up with the farm chores!

    Of course I haven’t posted in my own blog for weeks already. Crap. Mine, though, no one reads, so I don’t feel so bad…

  12. Pingback: homemade sauerkraut |

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