As summer ends and fall begins, the cool days make us think of hardy meals. One we enjoy is a casserole of beans and brown rice with tomato sauce and a little cheese melted over the top. With this casserole, good crisp sauerkraut goes well.

Sauerkraut is a food that is alive and has our needed enzymes. Sauerkraut is easy to make. You will need some quart jars, some salt and one cabbage head.

Flo Casner said, "Shred cabbage, pack into jars that have been sterilized, put one teaspoon salt on top (pickling salt is best). Cover with boiling water. Mama made kraut the same way except she used two teaspoons of salt and she covered the cabbage with cold water. Screw lid on jars, set in a cool place to ferment." If you put it inside in a cool place, set it in a tray because it will run over. When it stops running over it will be ready to eat or store. To store, wash the outside of the jar and seal it good. It will be ready to eat whenever you want it.

We bought a Harsch Crock a few years ago to make our fermented vegetables. It’s easy to use and you can keep the vegetables in it for months. (Keep in a cool place.) It has a stone cover that fits inside the jar on top of the vegetables. The cover keeps the vegetables under the liquid that is fermenting the vegetables. We ferment carrots, garlic, onions, cucumbers and just about all vegetables. They are great to have especially during the winter. The sauerkraut and other fermented vegetables have the wonderful enzymes we need. They are raw, uncooked and easy to make at home inexpensively. They are tops when it comes to our health. Just eat 3 to 4 tablespoons daily.

Someone asked me if I know how to get rid of fleas. The answer is yes. I have cats and dogs. I have had a bad infestation four times. Sometime, it is when a new cat would come to live with us or when people would throw away little dogs that would find their way to our home. These little animals are always covered with fleas. When the little animals come into the house, the fleas jump off and lay eggs in the carpet. In a few days we were getting bites from fleas. The answer is boric acid. You get it at a drug store. It is a powder. Sprinkle it around the animals’ tail and neck. Then sprinkle it on your carpet and in your chairs. Leave it for seven days. If you need to repeat it, it is not hard. If your animals sleep outside, you will need to sprinkle boric acid around their bedding.

A while back a friend went to visit her new father-in-law. As she walked up to the back door, the legs of her white jeans were covered with fleas. This dear man was taking in thrown away dogs. He had a building outside the back door for them. He collected old carpets for their beds and carpeted the walk to the back door. All were covered with fleas. They bought some boric acid, sprinkled all those carpets and powdered the dogs. My friend went back two weeks later and — no fleas!

From Lallah’s Garden: Lallah Lee Ostergren has been an organic gardener for more than 35 years. If you have questions for her, send them in care of the Van Buren County Democrat, P.O. Box 119, Clinton AR 72031.