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Fermenting is a science, and a bit of an art. It requires care in a few specific things, but doing it right is not particularly complicated. We provide instructions that are accurate to the best of our knowledge, and which are based on the methods we successfully practice ourselves. There are no guarantees of success or safety with fermented foods. While properly fermented foods are not only safe, but healthy to eat, it is up to you to follow instructions to ensure safety, and to trust your eyes and nose, and don't eat things that do not look or smell like food. We offer no guarantees of success with our product. We do warrant that it is as described, and will do what we say it will, but how you use it is your choice.

It is that time of year again. The seed catalogs are arriving, and in the depths of winter the thought of spring refuses to be suppressed.

There is no doubt that vegetables fresh from the garden are the best for fermenting. They are fresher, and chemically cleaner than what you can buy, and you know for yourself exactly how they were grown.

If you are planning a limited space garden, or if you are wanting to plant a garden that has plenty of good stuff for fermenting, this list may help you plan a garden designed to get you in a fine pickle at harvest time!

  • Artichokes – Globe artichokes or Jerusalem artichokes both pickle well. Both are perinnial crops so you plant them once and they come back year after year.
  • Asparagus – plant once, and it comes back year after year. Remember to plant this where you will not need to move it, and where you do not plan to dig or till in the future (it even works well in landscaping beds).
  • Beets – You can grow a lot of beets in a small space, and you can use beet thinnings in salads, the baby greens are wonderfully flavorful. Traditionally used for kvass, beets also make wonderful pickles.
  • Bell Peppers – Perfect for salsas, and for adding color to pickled veggies. Pickled sweet peppers are amazing in any color!
  • Broccoli – An old favorite, you can pickle the flowerettes for a traditional look, or you can use the flowerettes in other meals and pickle the stems. Even the big tough stems can be peeled and cubed or julienned for amazing broccoli pickles.
  • Cabbage – Kraut. Need we say more?
  • Carrots – After Kraut and Cukes, carrots are one of the all time favorites for pickling. Lovely color to add to veggie mixes.
  • Cauliflower – Another traditional pickling veggie.
  • Chard – Pickles really well. It will go softer than kraut, but stays firmer than spinach.
  • Collards – A great pickler, it makes a softer kraut than cabbage, with LOTS more green! Collards will grow in the spring or fall an go to seed and self-seed in the south. In the north you can grow them as a summer crop and they stand the heat better than some.
  • Corn – Look for a “baby cob” corn variety, and you can make those awesome little pickled baby corn cobs.
  • Cucumbers – A pickling variety is best, picked young, but even older picklers will make good pickle slices. NOTHING that you buy in the store can equal a fresh snappy pickled cucumber fresh from the crock.
  • Dill – A must! Dill is easy to grow, and so good in pickles. Great for eggs and potato salads too! Dill grows well in winter gardens also.
  • Fennel – Fennel pickles well in veggie mixes where the unique flavor can be the focal point.
  • Garlic – If you plant your garlic in an area where you do not have to move it, you can naturalize it so it comes back year after year. A soft neck variety dries and hangs to keep for many months.
  • Green Beans – Bush varieties produce without poles, but pole varieties produce more beans over a longer time span. Either way, pick the beans young, and you’ll get great veggie pickles.
  • Herbs – Basil, Parsley, Cilantro, and all the other good stuff your recipes call for. Fresh grown is so much better than herbs from the store.
  • Jalapeno Peppers – Or your other favorite hot pepper. Toss them in wherever you want some sizzle.
  • Kale – Another vegetable that pickles like kraut only a little softer. It can also be added to other firm greens mixes.
  • Kohlrabi – Julienne and pickle. A good winter crop also.
  • Okra – Pickled okra is a Southern tradition. Okra really doesn’t grow well unless you have a long hot growing season, but then it will keep producing all summer.
  • Onions – Plant onion sets for large bulbs. Plant Shallots, or other multiplier onions to naturalize your onions so they keep producing year after year without replanting – just dig what you need and let the rest grow. Onions – baby onions, sliced green onions, chopped onions, or sliced onions, add a sweet crunchy bite to any veggie mix. They are nothing like the soggy cooked onion pickles you get in the stores.
  • Peas – Snap peas, or Snow peas will pickle nicely and work well in veggie mixes.
  • Radish – Daikon radish is used for traditional Japanese fermented radish. Goes soft in most ferments, so use with caution.
  • Spinach – Softens when it ferments, but pickled spinach is awesome!
  • Tomatoes – Sweet tomatoes go alcoholic. Dryer low sugar tomatoes such as Romas, or other sauce tomatoes work much better in salsas and other ferments. Don’t over-use, or they’ll go alcoholic anyway. Plant some sauce tomatoes and give them a try!
  • Zucchini – Pickled zucchini chips… They don’t go soggy like cooked pickles!
  • Watermelon – Ah, yes. Watermelon rind pickles. Use the green part, cut off the stiff outer rind. The inner rind makes a great tart pickle. Watermelon itself will go alcoholic.

I’m sure I’ve left out a lot of options, but the veggies above should give you many choices for planting a good garden to keep your pickling ferments going throughout the harvest season.

Grow a spring garden, a summer garden, a fall garden, or a winter garden, and you can even keep the veggies coming all year round in most places in the US.

Look at your favorite pickling recipes and sort out the things you can grow yourself.

Your body will thank you!

The ORIGINAL one-way valve fermenting airlock! Imitation IS the sincerest form of flattery, and we have noticed that our product has been copied by other sellers of fermenting products. Remember, if you see someone else selling a one-way valve airlock for fermenting, THEY copied US, not the other way around! Fermenta Lock is still the only original invention, handmade in the US. If it isn't orange, it isn't the original!

We invented Fermenta Lock, Fermenta Free, and the valve used for Fermenta Fido and other Fermenta Airlock products. We invented Fermenta Dunk Extender. Patents are prohibitively expensive, and designed by the government not to protect the rights of individuals, but to provide another source of revenue and control for the government and lawyers. We are good at what we do. We have endless ideas and endless creativity, and competition does not scare us. Impatient thieves do not scare us - they are too busy taking shortcuts to make a success of it anyway, and they won't want to take the effort to actually MAKE a product and fill orders.

So if you want to copy our idea, go right ahead. If you want to market and sell a competing product, you are welcome to do so, as long as you do not patent our idea - we had it first, and our posts on FaceBook announcing the invention and launch of it will prove that. This idea is officially in the public domain, placed there by us. We will NOT release supply sources, or part names unless you want to buy them - we'll be happy to sell you an instruction kit. If you buy our product, or look at the images and figure it out for yourself, good on you. Compete with us if you like, just don't screw us, and we'll get along just fine. Big companies who might want to screw us may have more money, and more lawyers than we do, but we have more to gain by suing the pants off a big company, and believe me, we will be well motivated to do so if anyone patents our idea and claims it as their own - this is a free idea. Everybody now owns it.

Published June 23, 2012

Wholesale, Export, and Manufacture of this product by other companies is an option. International distributorships are available for those wishing to export. Please email us to inquire about access to our wholesale website, or in regards to manufacturing any of our products.

Business Building Services Are Available - If you are wanting to build a business like this, where you make things in the home and sell them direct to the customer, or if you want to build a business that you can sell to other people as a complete business package, Firelight Heritage Farm is now offering Cottage Industry Services to aid small business owners in building a successful product or service business from the home. Don't know what you want to do? We can help you figure that out too (something original, and just yours, not a canned business). You get the wisdom and uniquely successful perspective and experience of people who have been business, marketing, and website professionals for more than a dozen years. For more information, visit Why copy someone else's business when you can do something uniquely you and enjoy it so much more?

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This website is only equipped to handle orders from US customers (International shipping must be calculated for each order). International Orders are now accepted BY EMAIL from UK, AU, CA, and shipped USPS (other countries will be considered if requested). Please email a list of the items you wish to order, using our Contact page, and we will give you a shipping quote, and then invoice you from PayPal for the total.
Uses of Fermenta Lock

Fermenta Lock is a compact airlock cap for mason jars, to help in making old fashioned brined pickles, and other lacto-fermented foods. Use Fermenta Lock for:

Pickles (all kinds)
Sauer Kraut
Milk Kefir
Bean Paste/Hummus
Sourdough Starter (if started with culture or yeast)
Anything which needs gas release without a lot of air circulation.

Customer Comments

“Living down in Guatemala, we have quite a lot of dampness in our houses and mold is an ongoing battle. After a long dose of antibiotics due to a parasite, I absolutely required probiotics to get my gut back in order and I know homemade sauerkraut has more probiotic content than anything else I could find here. I wasn’t able to make my beloved sauerkraut or even Kombucha in my kitchen because mold would start growing immediately on the top. Your Fermenta Locks have literally been a lifesaver for me! No more mold, and PERFECT Kraut EVERY time!!! Thank you for creating such a wonderful product!!!”

A. Kratzert

“Oh how I wish I had found you first!! Too many experts and too many bucks later I discovered your “Lock” and the sheer elegance and simplicity of your system.Thank you for your help and affordability, it makes healthy food attainable.”


“I came back to order more FermentaCaps. A wonderful innovation. I have not lost a single batch of sauerkraut since I started using the original Fermenta Locks.”


“Please continue your good work on producing such a great product. I’ve tried lots of other kinds of airlocks- the 3 piece water lock, pickle pipes, fermilid, boss pickler, and I think yours is the best design and quality. I’d like to order another 100 of them right now, but I’ll have to wait a bit. I’ve had lifelong health challenges. I’m 38 and about 20 years ago my health was so bad I didn’t feel like living most of the time. Now my health is the best it’s ever been and it wouldn’t be possible without fermented vegetables, they have made a huge improvement in my health.”


(Last names omitted to protect customer privacy.)