Fermentation techniques from traditions throughout the world can yield tastes as wide-ranging as tangy sauerkraut, fiery kimchi, sharp vinegar, earthy kvass, and many more. Humans have been preserving food since the Neolithic period by using salt, sugars, or wild yeast, with each variety offering a flavor unique to its bioregion’s air, soil, and water. Add in the health benefits of the microbiota that result from many fermentation methods, and it’s no wonder that fermentation has thrived for thousands of years.
Here at The Ecology Center, fermentation is a vital element of our culinary program. Fermentation is an important means of meeting our commitment to zero-waste farm and culinary operations, allowing us to make use of produce that is just past its prime. We then offer our pickles, vinegars, and other ferments to our community in our Farm Stand—in essence, fermentation lets us transform what would have been thrown away into something even more valuable.
Perhaps best of all, fermentation enables us to preserve the season. Transforming our Regenerative Organic Certified™ vegetables and fruits into fermented foods extends the availability of seasonal tastes and nutritional benefits, allowing us to savor our favorite flavors long after we’ve rotated our crops.