Aaron learned how to make sauerkraut from his grandmother, who also taught him about gardening and cooking. Together, Aaron and Katie have been fermenting vegetables for as long as the farm has existed (longer actually). It has been a dream of ours to sell our ferments to the public, but it was an impossible project until 2019.
We became close friends with Tony and Betsey Brown of Longview Farm several years ago and when we mentioned our dream to them they offered us their certified kitchen. It has been a wonderful partnership, but a kitchen is only the beginning!
Selling fermented foods requires a lot of hoop jumping with the Florida Department of Agriculture because it is considered an alternative process that is potentially high risk. FUN FACT: According to Fred Breidt, a USDA microbiologist specializing in fermented foods, no one has ever gotten sick from properly lacto-fermented vegetables. Despite this fact, we have had to do a lot of leg work to be able to sell our fermented products legally, and there's more to do!
Lacto-fermented vegetables are a "living food" filled with pro-biotic goodness that is great for our gut microbiomes. The bacteria in lacto-fermented foods are really good for us! Even better, lacto-fermented foods have a really long shelf life! In order to extend the legal shelf life of our products we will be sending them off to a lab for testing. We hope by next fall we will have products with at least a 6 month shelf life if not longer! Dealing with the regulations has been exhausting, but worth it. Ultimately we hope to have our fermented foods available in the Community Coop Market.
Lastly we want to make sure and give a big thank you to Carson Howse and Salina Cardias for their work designing our labels. It has taken a village of talented people to get this project off the ground and we are so grateful for everyone's help and collaboration.