You are right, sauerkraut made the old-fashioned, natural way involves THREE separate fermentations and takes months!!!! But making cultured vegetables using culture starter is a snap. Check the "Body Ecology" website for "cultured vegetable starter". I think the stuff is overpriced, but it really works.
BWT, I bought an authentic German anaerobic pickling croack for my cultured vegetables, although it is NOT required. Someday I'll use the crock to make authentic sauerkraut and garlic pickles.