We’re putting finishing touches on the new Curious Farm Pickle Lab. The inspector comes on Wednesday. We anticipate that we’ll need to make some changes, but we’ve been agonizing over this new space for six months so we hope her suggestions will be minor.
Last spring, my inspector told me that I had outgrown my Domestic Kitchen License, and she would give me until the Fall (after the Farmers Market ended) to figure out my next steps. Would I rent commercial kitchen space or build something here?
Because the sauerkraut takes two months to ferment, it seemed cost-prohibitive to rent space. Also, with E (7 years old) and the need to be flexible for and helpful to my mother and mother-in-law, I really need to work here at home so that I can run off at a moment’s notice.
My inspector came back in December and looked at our garage space. Since it was already plumbed and had good wiring, she thought that we could rig it up into a designated Food Processing Facility with minimal cost.
And that is what D has been working on for months at night and on weekends – patching, painting, sealing the floor, building the new walk-in, reworking the plumbing, moving sinks and equipment around, building a table sturdy enough to handle the new cabbage shredder.
Frankly, he’s so effing tired of this space that he can’t wait to be done with it. Me? I’ve tried to keep up production all these months in increasingly limited space and chose to ignore the garage/pickle lab chaos in order to retain a shred of sanity.
So now I’m moving into the new Curious Farm Pickle Lab finally, and this is what it looks like looking east:
Here is looking west, toward the sinks.
Here is the separate handwashing sink:
Here is the view west in the Pickle Lab — refrigerators, storage for cases of jars, equipment:
The refrigerator on the left holds everything that’s heading to the Market the following weekend. The refrigerator on the right holds our farm’s eggs and a few ingredients like green onions and leeks. The cabinets hold equipment that I don’t use all of the time, and they hold the organic spices and herbs that I use in the pickles, sauerkraut and kimchi — like this:
Although I can’t open it up and show you inside the walk in cold room (I’d let out too much cold air!), this is how it looks from the outside:
And here’s another picture of the big work table that D made for me that is sturdy enough for the new manual cabbage shredder (in pieces in the foreground):
So… cross your fingers on Wednesday morning!