Fermentation is not a secret art to be jealously guarded by the few.
I often speak about the necessity of community in fermentation. It’s something that everyone at The Fermentary knows the moment they become a part of the team: I spend a good deal of my time - and therefore their time as well, in the sharing and connecting sphere. Teaching what I know and sharing ideas is important to me.
Fermentation is not a secret art to be jealously guarded by the few. From the very beginnings of fermentation, it has taken place in community gatherings, simply by the nature of abundance. It used to be we would come together to process and save whatever is was, for the next season. And there has until recently, always been that period at the end of winter heading into spring where fresh food is scarce.
The know how and ability to save a harvest for the year ahead is obviously something we need to protect. In today’s world of huge food waste and anonymous industrial food, the need for communities to gathering together to share their food knowledge is again becoming increasingly critical.
In recognition of this need, I wrote a book, which invites any new or avid fermenters in, so that our community of fermenters can keep growing (much like our SCOBYs!).
Ferment for Good is a how-to guide to the basics (why do it; what you need; and what you’ll get), the book offers sections on wild fermented vegetables (including sauerkraut, kimchi and brine ferments); drinks (water kefir, kombucha, Jun tea, pineapple wine, mead); milk and dairy (including yoghurt and milk kefir), condiments and breads (such as mustard, spreads, dosa and injera); and Japanese ferments (including miso & tamari, soy sauce, sake kasu and pickled ginger). Plus some stories and bits and pieces from my life of gathering ferments. x
In 2020 I wrote another one on drinks called Wild Drinks. It was inspired by the fascination most people felt upon realising we can make a sparkling drink that is very healthy, made to your own taste and healthy! Over the years I have found that convincing other people to eat sauerkraut (let alone make it) was much more difficult than pouring a glass of something sparkling and then telling them how they can make their own. People seemed more receptive to it. There's no other food preparation required with this ferment other than to pour. A convivial, happy way to get your people to drink 'life'. x You'll find a rye kvass - drinks made from bread scraps, a doburoku - farmhouse sake, mead, wild soda, whey soda, infusions and the usual kombucha and water kefir for the absolute drinks beginner.
Wild Drinks is out on July 9th. Preorder here or whereever you buy your books.