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Magic with Microbes

 by Ayla Stern Kang, Teacher

In Mountain Yard, we experimented with fermentation in our Magic with Microbes class. In one of our projects, we cut up cabbage, radishes, carrots, garlic, and ginger and added salt and spices to make sauerkraut and kimchi.

Children enjoyed punching, hitting, and squashing the cabbage in order to extract more liquid. One child suggested that we add some cabbage to the moosh area because it felt so good to punch. Children wrote and drew predictions about what would happen; and then we let the sauerkraut and kimchi sit for about a month. Along the way, we tested it and observed changes to the taste and texture. We learned about the tiny bacteria living in our ferments. Even though we couldn’t see them, we could see evidence of their actions – bubbles, a softer texture, and gradual change from salty to sour. When we decided that the sauerkraut and kimchi were ready, everyone had a chance to taste each variety and discuss what they noticed. Most of the children enjoyed eating it, especially the sauerkraut. We had so much that the children decided to sell it, organizing a rather tasty and successful fund-raiser.

October 12, 2017

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