Recently, our CSA share included several heads of cabbage, perfect for experimenting with lacto-fermentation a traditional method of preserving food that is both low-energy and low-tech. However, if, like me, you’re interested in lacto-fermentation but don’t know where to start, several hands-on workshops are being offered this Fall.
This past weekend I was able to attend one such workshop, “Fermenting for Deliciously Preserved Foods”, sponsored by Portland Maine Permaculture Partners as part of their commitment to skill-building and -sharing. It took place at the Community Supported Kitchen in the Portland Public Market House, and was taught with infectious enthusiasm by Alison LePage, a nutritional therapist and practicing locavore. The class covered how the process works, with a focus on in-jar fermentation using whey as a culture. We sampled a variety of foods fermented by Alison, and, as a group, we prepared two different lacto-fermented recipes. At the end, we were able to take home finished jars of fermented salsa and fermented cucumber pickles.
Alison has a series of additional lacto-fermentation workshops scheduled:
Thursday, September 3, 6pm-9pm Salsa
Thursday, September 17, 6pm-9pm Kimchi (if you prefer, you can make plain sauerkraut)
Thursday, October 1, 6pm-9pm Gingered Carrots
All classes will be held at the Community Supported Kitchen in the Public Market House, 28 Monument Square, Portland. More information and registration is available at Alison’s website: www.nourishinghealthmaine.com. Please note, the recipes taught in these workshops involve the use of dairy whey and might not be suitable for vegans.
Also, as previously mentioned here at Seacoast Eat Local, the series of preserving workshops sponsored by the New Eden Collaborative in Newbury includes one on making lacto-fermented sauerkraut, September 9th. For more information: www.firstparishof newbury.org
Whether you’d like to experiment on your own or just learn more about the process, the following books are recommended: “Nourishing Traditions” by Sally Fallon, “Wild Fermentation” by Sandor Ellix Katz, and “Preserving Food without Freezing or Canning” by The Gardeners & Farmers of Terre Vivante. If you know of other lacto-fermentation classes being offered, please leave a comment.