Are you wondering how to start homesteading with your kids? Or maybe you’re covering a homesteading or gardening unit in your homeschool this fall, like we are In fact, we’re stretching out our North American Studies to last three years, and that includes learning how the pioneer settlers lived.
One of my favourite things about homesteading and homeschooling is the variety of hands-on learning opportunities for my first-grader and fourth-grader. And we all love spending time together in our off grid homestead kitchen, baking up pumpkin chocolate chip muffins, hardtack, and pemmican. So as harvest season rolls around, pickling with kids is a natural addition to our day.
Whether you’re bringing in your own vegetable garden harvest or you’re buying produce from the farmer’s market, here are some tips, tricks and tools to help you get your kids excited about pickling at home.
Why The Pioneers Pickled Their Foods
Although all of my kids love pickles, more than one of them were surprised that we pickle vegetables for more than simply producing a delicious snack or side dish. The fact of the matter is that preserving, canning, pickling and fermenting have existed for thousands of years -right back to Biblical times.
Pickled foods not only taste great, but they can also be preserved for months or years without refrigeration. So when the pioneer families were busy pickling their onions, cucumbers, radishes, and peppers, they were just following in their ancestors’ pickling footsteps.
Make an Easy Refrigerator Pickle Recipe
Now there are many delicious pickled and pickles recipes out there. Yet when you’re making pickles with kids, keep it simple by using this easy recipe. No worries about the pressure canning process or hot cooking temperatures.
Here is what may be the easiest refrigerator pickle recipe ever. I don’t even know where this originated, but we’ve been making it for almost 25 years.
You’ll need the following ingredients:
- a clean glass jar
- 3 medium cucumbers, washed and quartered in about 3-inch spikes
- 1/3 cup thinly sliced red onions
- 1 scant tablespoon white sugar
- 1 scan teaspoon table salt
- 1 cup water
- 1/3 cup vinegar (the kids like Apple Cider Vinegar)
Put the cucumbers and onions in the jar. Sprinkle in the sugar and salt and add the water. Put the lid on, then shake it up. Once the sugar and salt are dissolved, add the vinegar, and shake it up again. Then just put it in the fridge overnight. That’s it!
More Great Resources for Pickling With Kids
Want more information on pickling with kids? Check out these links.
- An Off Grid Life: Pickling for Beginners – How to Get Started
- How-To: Basic Pickling With Kids
- The Kid Should See This: How to Make Pickles
- How We Montessori: Making Pickles With Children
- CBC Kids: National Pickle Day!
If you’re interested in learning homesteading and self-reliance skills like pickling alongside your children, check out our new list of 88 Homesteading and Self-Reliance online resources today. It’s part of our Free Resource Library and I just added access to five free canning and pickling video courses.
Get access to five free canning and pickling online video courses and resources over at An Off Grid Life’s Free Resource Library now!
Sarita Harbour is a busy mom/step-mom, and grandmother blessed with seven kids ranging from age 32 down to seven. She lives off the grid with her family in a lakefront chalet in the beautiful wilderness of Canada’s far north. She spends her days teaching, writing, and learning the ropes of homesteading off the grid. Visit her site, Off Grid Life, for free printables and resources on homesteading, homeschooling, and self-reliance for the whole family.