Author Archives: cathy

pink lady sauerkraut for valentine’s day!

Here’s a treat for you:  I’ve just opened a crock of Curious Farm’s Pink Lady Sauerkraut, and it’s delicious!

pink lady applePINK LADY SAUERKRAUT:  blushed, spiced, and sassy with Pink Lady apples.

Cabbage and apples are age-old friends in Eastern Europe.  We combine crunchy red and green cabbage with sweet, tart Pink Lady apples (a cross between Cripps and Lady Williams varieties) and savory spices to create a proud, magenta-hued sauerkraut that will dance across your sandwich and then take a bow on your charcuterie board.

Curious Farm Pink Lady Sauerkraut is on sale  for $7 (16oz jar) through February 2014, so that you can give your sassy sweetheart a jar of tart, scrumptious sauerkraut for Valentine’s Day.  This offer is good for local, direct sales only from Curious Farm in Cedar Mill/NW Portland.  Please send email (cathy at to arrange a purchase direct from our farm.  (We’re a small family farm without a storefront so these sales need to be arranged in advance so that I can make sure your order is out front in our cooler, with the right amount of ice.  Thanks for your patience.)

Sadly, this is the last batch of Curious Farm Pink Lady Sauerkraut that will be made for the foreseeable future.  I have made the hard decision to cease commercial production of Curious Farm products.  I will continue to teach classes here so that you can make wonderful fermented foods for your families, but I am stopping production.  I know that my Pink Lady Sauerkraut has a devoted following so I am happy to share this last, delicious batch with you at a special discount, with much love for all of your support.


leek scapes and other vegetables

Last week I plucked some leek scapes from the garden.  Have you ever eaten green garlic scapes?  You can find them at farmers markets in the Pacific Northwest in June.  Well, leeks send up flower heads, too, and they’re delicious pickled — more sweet than garlic scapes.  Into the crock they went with some other crunchy vegetables…

And today this batch of Giardiniera came out of the crock!

curious farm giardiniera with leek scapes

Crunchy, garlicky, refreshing, sour, infused with oregano and thyme…  just right for a picnic or a cocktail party or next to your sandwich.  Curious Farm Giardiniera with Leek Scapes is available direct from Curious Farm until it’s gone.  And, if you’d like to learn how to make your own live-cultured vegetable pickles, think about taking a class at Curious Farm!


summer classes at Curious Farm

Curious Farm’s summer class schedule has been posted.  You can learn to make your own crunchy, delicious, tangy sauerkrauts and pickles!

Sauerkraut classes:  calendar and description here

Pickling classes:  calendar and description here

I’m offering several sessions of each class because I know that summer is busy for all of us.  Hopefully, one of the sessions will work for you!  For those of you looking for kimchi classes, I’ll offer them this fall for students who have taken a previous class at Curious Farm.

what I love…

kale in februaryYou know what I really love?

I love being in the garden, noticing some juicy kale buds that are just about to bloom, and plucking them at their sweetest for a batch of kimchi.

I love *using* the cilantro that went to seed because — at that point — it’s fresh, green coriander seed for gosh-sakes, and it makes turnip pickles  taste delicious.

Curious Farm Sauerkrauts, Kimchi, and Pickles — the company — came from our garden.  I began to explore the world of vegetable fermentation because I wanted to find a way to preserve the bounty and save as much fresh flavor and nutrition as possible.  Though I’ve always had to supplement my efforts with organic produce grown nearby because of our garden’s small size, all of the recipe ideas and so much of the deliciousness came from our own muddy, hard work out there.

In trying to make Curious Farm viable, I tried to make the company bigger.  I tried to make more sauerkraut, sell more, do more…  until I felt too broken to wander out in my own garden.  I know many people think that getting your products into grocery stores is the sign of success.  But maybe it’s not?  Or maybe it’s just not the right way for Curious Farm to grow.

our real garden at Curious FarmSo here I am this week…  I am weeding and prepping the soil for our garden here, and I am surveying Curious Farm at large.  In the last two years…

With the help of our amazing and devoted customers, Curious Farm turned a profit in late 2012.

My husband David built a commercial food processing facility, on site here, that is licensed by the Oregon Department of Agriculture.

We participated in two joyful years at the Beaverton Farmers Market.  [Thank you, everyone.  We will miss you this year.]

We successfully placed customer-favorite products into some great grocery stores.

I’ve taught dozens of wonderful students how to ferment vegetables safely and confidently.

I produced some amazing kimchi, sauerkrauts, and pickles.  Curious Farm products are different from anything on the market regionally.  We use an extra-long fermentation cycle that lets the vegetables’ flavors shine. 

You were brave, hungry, honest, and mostly loved it all.

Sadly, though, my health and family suffered from my 90-hour work weeks.  Curious Farm — the company — may have turned a profit, but we haven’t been able to bring a dime of it into our family yet or  to afford  help.  We hoped to do that this year if I could just work a little harder and if we could just get a little bigger.

You know what?  I can’t do it.

I’m almost 50.  I love my husband.  I love my 8-year-old daughter.  Our elder mothers need extra care now, too.  And I never, ever want to be too tired to wander out into the garden to discover the sweetest kale buds.

But I’m not going to give up.  We’re just going to slow down, get smaller, and see what happens.  Here’s the plan:

Curious Farm won’t be at the Beaverton Farmer’s Market this year, but you can buy whatever sauerkrauts, kimchi and pickles we have  direct from our farm in the NW Portland/Cedar Mill/Beaverton/Bethany area.  Just look at our Available Now page to see what’s lively and delicious and ready right now. 

Curious Farm Ginger-Turmeric Sauerkraut, Leek-Horseradish Sauerkraut, and Nettle Sauerkraut will be available at Food Front Co-op in NW Portland, beginning in May 2013.  I’ll be there doing demos much more frequently, and I can’t wait to see you there.

There will be more classes at Curious Farm.  I love teaching *you* how to celebrate the seasons by fermenting vegetables.  The classes are joyful and empowering. 

Not so bad…  yeah?

Need some sauerkraut or kimchi?  Just let me know.  I’ll have pickles here later in the summer.


sauerkrauts and kimchi in 2013

As I mentioned, exciting growth is happening at Curious Farm.  In 2013, we are focusing our energies on increasing production capacity in the Pickle Lab and on supporting our grocery store partners.

While we will miss seeing you at the Beaverton Farmers Market this year, please know that our goal is to have your favorite Curious Farm Sauerkrauts and Kimchi available more widely in the Portland area.

And what are those favorite products?

Leek-Horseradish Sauerkraut
Pink Lady Sauerkraut
Ginger-Turmeric Sauerkraut
Dark Leafy Dill Sauerkraut
Nettle Sauerkraut
Harvest Kimchi

Keep your eyes open for new, colorful Curious Farm packaging at grocery stores in early April.  And please ask your neighborhood grocery store to stock Curious Farm products!  Thank you so much for your support and encouragement.

Curious Farm News: winter 2013

My daughter turned 8 years old this week.  She has been very anxious about her birthday and about the whole process of growing.  I giggled a little when she said, “but, Mom…  it’s hard to become 8!”  Then I realized how right she is.  Growth is hard work.

Curious Farm booth at Beaverton Farmers MarketCurious Farm began selling live-cultured pickles in fall of 2010.  In spring of 2011, we brought our live-cultured pickles, sauerkraut, sauces, and kimchi to the Beaverton Farmers Market.   Each week we offered 10 – 14 different products — changing the selection with the seasons.

Later in 2011, Food Front Co-op began carrying some of our products.  In spring 2012, New Seasons Market began stocking two of your favorite sauerkrauts in four westside stores.

Lots of growth.  Lots of learning.  Lots of growing pains!  And there’s been deliciousness, too.

In order to keep Curious Farm growing strong, I need to focus my energies on Curious Farm’s grocery store partners in 2013.  I am bringing Curious Farm’s product line down from 25 to 6 (5 favorite sauerkrauts, 1 favorite kimchi).  I am investing in new packaging for these products (colorful labels with nutrition facts boxes).  I hope to place these products in more stores during the year and to be in stores frequently, offering samples and teaching people about the world of live-cultured foods.

Curious Farm won’t be at the Beaverton Farmers Market this year.  I feel very sad about this because it has been a joy to be there and to meet all of you.  Curious Farm is mostly just me, though, so in order to grow (or stay steady and not go crazy  …truth!), I must manage production and sales differently.

Curious Farm will spring forward with renewed focus and energy  in early April.  You’ll see a new look to our products in stores — new packaging, new logo, more color.  Hopefully, you’ll see our products in *more* stores.  You also will see me at those grocery stores, sharing samples of sauerkraut and kimchi.  Stay tuned for news about our new look and for a list of the six products we will produce in 2013.

Curious Farm’s popular classes will continue in spring, too.    They’re fun and empowering for all.   I love teaching people how to make live-cultured goodness!

Thank you for your support and encouragement.  Growth is challenging.  Curious Farm is growing stronger. I look forward to sharing even more delicious sauerkraut, kimchi and more with you in 2013.

To your health!