Fun Family Homeschool

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Experimenting with fermented veggies


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A few years back, my polish friend handed me a shot glass with cloudy liquid in it and told me to drink it.  I trusted her implicitly, so I drank.  A familiar yet exotic tang that I simply could not put my finger on filled my senses.  I really liked it and I wanted more. She tried to explain to me that it was the bi-product of some fermentation proccess common in polish kitchens and that it is super good for you.  Then I moved and no longer got to hang out in her kitchen and forgot all about it


Fast forward to 2015, I stumble upon posts about fermented veggies.  I listened to a podcast that really made me think and that started my thirst for that tangy taste again.

As a result of reading articles and blogs and searching Pinterest and Youtube, I decided to dive in and try this crazy veggie-fermenting thing that is supposed to be good for my gut.

Here is how I did it.


  • Shred cabbage and place in bowl
  • sprinkle generously with salt and mix well
  • using clean hands, squeeze cabbage to ecourage juices out
  • Pack tightly into large, wide mouth mason or other container (there is some variation among the sources I looked at as to what to use, I like the Mason jars)
  • cabbage should make its own brine as you pack it, but you can top up if needed with 1 tbsp kosher salt disolved in 1 cup water.
  • make sure the veggies stay below the water-line.  I use Pickle Pebbles glass weights to hold foods down, they will start to float once bubbling begins.
  • cover using lid, or air lock (I like the peace of mind that the air lock gives me, but most people just burp the lid every day to let gasses escape.  It is worth reading about the different methods and their pros and cons but I am not going to attempt to explain here.)
  • leave on counter or place in cool dark place, I leave mine on the counter, I like to watch the bubbles.
  • observe.  It will begin to bubble over the next day or two, a sign that it is doing as it should, the beneficial bacteria are multiplying! Yay!
  • Once bubbling slows down, do a taste test.  If you want more tang, leave it out a few more days then test again.
  • Move it to the fridge when you have reached desired taste.



  • slice carrots lengthwise into sticks or cross-wise into coins
  • pack tightly into mason jar or other containter
  • add a brine of aprox 1 tbs kosher salt to 1 cup of water, make more brine as needed to fill jar, leaving 1/2″ headspace. Veggies must stay below water level.
  • cover with lid or air-lock.
  • Leave on counter or place in cool dark place.
  • watch.  I left my first batch for 3 weeks but the next batch only for 10 days as we don’t have A/C and the mercury was rising.  Temperature affects the speed at which the bacteria multiplies. Most sites suggest that cool and slow results in a better ferment. I am still too impatient, but will try that approach as temperatures cool off.

So far, I am most in love with the carrots.  I tried a second batch adding dill, whole garlic cloves and green onions.  They are my fave and I love to drink the brine.  The green onions kinda soft so I probably won’t eat them, but the garlic is sweet and yummy.  I liked my cabbage too but will add more flavours next time.  I tried asparagus and failed.  I think it was too hot and I left it too long.  Trial and error. I have baby cucumbers in the frige that I fermented about a week. Not sure how I feel about them yet… I think I pulled them too soon fearing that they had gone soft but they had not, they were still crunchy.

I am affraid of mold. I also have a fear of eating strange foods so it takes great amounts of courage for me to taste the first bite!!!! So far, no major gross-outs, i even ate a couple asparagus but after they sat in the fridge they were not so crunchy and kinda slimy.  I am thrilled to be learning an ancient method of preserving and proccessing veggies though, because this momma, needs to start getting healthy again.

Have you tried making fermented veggis? Please share in the comments.

Going West – Planning the trip

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We have been wanting to take the kids on a Canada wide trip for a long time but it seemed so daunting.  As we were heading out on our trip to Key West last winter, James said we had better make it count because the dollar exchange rate was going to make southern travel too expensive next year, and sadly, he was right.  So, the time had come to explore our own back yard…. just not in winter, that would be ridiculous with four kids!

The date is now set and we are racing to lay out our plan so that we can begin preparing the “stuff” that must be prepared.  So how do we plan for such a long trip with kids?  In this post I will walk through a few steps we always take when planning an awesome  Fun Family aventure.

Gather Ideas

This is where I love Google and Pinterest. I have a Pinterest board named Next Stop and that is exactly what I use it for. I clear out all pins related to our previous trip (because we have been there, done that by now) and load up on cool looking pins about where we are headed and everywhere in BETWEEN here and there.  This part is done casually over many weeks or months.  I keep coming back to it when I have time.  then I Google the places I think would be a good fit for our family ( outside, educational, FUN) and read reviews on them all.  Some things I look for:  Is it super pricy(we are six people)? Will weather affect our enjoyment/view? Is it stroller friendly and can we bring in our own food?  Is there somewhere to park a 28′ motorhome (our only ride)?   I tend to look for natural wonders and unique attractions, things that are not just a local version of the standard cultural enrichment buildings that we have here in Ontario (like science centres and large museums).  There are always more points of interest than we will have time for. I don’t take too many notes just yet, this is just the selection phase.

Map it out

I use Google Maps to drops pins at our top pics and get a visual feel for how do-able the trip looks in terms of driving and time.  On this trip, I would have loved to take in the sand dunes of Athabaska Lake but as you can see, they are way out of our way at the extreme North of Saskatchewan! so that will have to be another trip, maybe a Northern Canada trip? Update: as I am getting this post ready for publishing, a major forest fire is devastating the town of Fort McMurry, near those sand dunes we wont be able to visit.  we will be following this story closely.  Perhaps we can help in some way.

visual map

Those sand dunes are too far

We struck gold and found this giant puzzle map for four bucks at a second hand store.  The kids and I assembled it then hot glued it first to foam board them to a display board (dollar store) and mounted it to the wall with 3M command mounting strips.  Now we can press push pins into it and use yarn to plot out different routes.  My 9yr old loved this part and could see the difference it makes when we hit destinations in different orders.  I Googled the destinations and found printable pictures to print onto photo paper and cut out.  This is our vision board for the trip and you could feel the excitement pick up for this trip once it was complete.  Will we have time to visit all these places?  Likely not.  Some will depend on weather anyways, so we will make some decisions on the road as we get near to each area.  In addition to these attractions, we need to find places to park the motorhome for the night and every second or third night must to be at a serviced campground or RV park so we can dump sewage and fill up our water tank. We only have two weeks to complete our trip.  Wish me luck.

thrift store puzzle map vision board

This thrift store puzzle map made a great vision board

Price it out

Most of the ‘Must See’ attractions have ‘must pay’ admission prices.  I look online for discounts, coupons and special ‘off peak’ pricing. Sometimes has discounted admission for popular theme parks.

Drawing of RV

Tiny easle drawing of the RV

In addition, I will source out some RV parks and get their average prices to  put into the equation.  We rarely decide on RV parks ahead of time unless there is a specific one that is a destination in its own right.  We like having the flexibility of just stopping when the family needs to stop for a day or moving on to escape bad weather, but a general idea of prices is good to have as some popular areas can be quite expensive.  If you are not traveling in an RV, you will want to know what to expect for hotel or campground fees.  Calculating the fuel expense is something the kids can have fun with, multiplying the kilometers to be driven by the average per km cost of our motorhome based on current gas prices. (That’s math class taken care of for this week)

So that’s basicaly how we plan our trip.  I find that if we plan it out too exactly we get frustrated when circumstances throw a wrench in our plans. Here’s a little experience we had. When traveling to Key West, we had set our hearts on a sea-plane ride to Fort Jefferson in the Dry Tortugas  National Park (thank you Pinterest). For the first time ever, the sea plane tour company had to cancel all flights for a day and a half due to fog around the island. We were so disappointed… to the point of choking back tears since my son loves airplanes and he had been looking forward to that flight for the entire trip plus we were scheduled to start our homeward drive the next day.  We were offered an open flight that was another two days away. It was a hard choice but we took a leap of faith and booked it, knowing the fog could still be an issue.  This meant dropping some stops we had planned for the trip home. Even the morning of, they were canceling flights but at 1pm we took to the skies. It was so worth it to get that tour in (knowing this would be our last southern trip for years) and we had a blast checking out more of Key West during that extra day.

So have a plan, but dont carve it in stone. Your adventure awaits…Happy planning!

next post: Going West-Preparing for the Trip where I will explain how I remember what to bring and how I prepare to make this trips educational value sink in.

Hello? Is this thing On?

Hooray!  I think I finally figured this Blog thing out!  Sometimes too much research comes back to bite you.  I spent so long trying to figure out how to start a blog, I got lost in the options.  I guess I do that with Homeschooling too sometimes:  I can spend so long coming up with lessons and making materials that the kids learn the skill on their own before I am ready to teach it.  Kids do that, you know…learn on there own.  Sometimes it thrills me and other times it bums me out, especially if I had a great lesson plan for that topic.  But I roll with it, more days are coming, and I have other kids to teach.


My name is Eleasha and I am a natural born teacher/motivator.  Married almost 18 years to a hard-working, fun loving man.  Mom to four munchkins aged 9,7,3 and 8 months.  Homebirthed them all, three in water. I am a baby wearing, extended breastfeeding, cloth diapering, co-sleeping zombie.  Coffee and I have a love/hate relationship.  The husband and I run a commercial cleaning business (okay, it’s mostly him running it these days, I do the bookwork and fill in on jobs here and there) and Homeschooling allows the kids to see what we do to support the family.  In pursuit of my own passion, I trained and certified as a Birth Doula through DONA International and as a Bereavment Doula through StillBirthDay.  I love seeing women take charge of their birth experience because it can set the tone for their start into motherhood.


The kids we are trying to raise/teach/enjoy:

(I’m new to this Blog thing so, for now, I will keep their real names out of these posts)

My Tiger is 9 and so very strong willed.  He is such a perfectionist that he is often reluctant to try new things for fear that someone might witness his failed attempt.  He needs to talk things out at length, usually at bedtime.  My Doula training has paid for itself several times over helping me to coach him through issues.  He loves being outside, rarely wants to come in, even in winter. He pretty much taught himself to read and reads very well. Oh, and he hates getting his hands dirty.

My Sunshine is 7 and leaves me in stiches daily! This kid is so funny, he doesnt even do it on purpose. His happy-go-lucky attitude and massive Smile light up the whole room.  However, he is hard to pin down, like, ever.  At our weekly meetings for worship, he still can not stay in his seat for more than 10 minutes.  If he does sit still, the energy exits his mouth! So learning to read and write has not been his strength.  He had some hearing and seeing difficulties that we are working on now.

My Princess is 3.  She is not afraid to inject herself into any activity or conversation. She has pretty much self taught herself the alphabet and counting to ten so I guess its time to start teaching her to read too.  I was hoping to put that off, but strike while the iron is hot, they say.

Juicy J is 8 months and is an Old Soul. That means nothing really gets a rise out of him, as though he has seen it all before.  Honestly, the most laid back baby on the planet.  He would even put himself to sleep by sucking his thumb!  Every fourth child should be like him, there would be more big families   He is just now, starting to make his presence known in the world and is crawling like a pro, so He keeps me on my toes!

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