The growing season is on it's way and the landscape surrounding my home will soon be flooded with an array of edible flowers, fruits, bulbs, shoots, leaves, and roots. If prepared properly, these ingredients can be transformed into probiotic rich ferments that will feed my family for days, weeks, or years after it's season. By incorporating fermentation techniques into my weekly kitchen routines, I am easily able to create shelves full of fermented foods like miso, mead, kimchi, sauerkraut, hot sauce, and at times, dozens more without a lot of hand-on attention required.
Although tedious, processing dandelion flowers for wine and vinegar extracts allow me to preserve the fragrant scents and delicious taste throughout the year. How about a spinach salad in November with a dandelion vinaigrette?
Japanese knotweed, an invasive species here in Maine, grows with tenacity all over New England and has a flavor similar to rhubarb. Sliced thin, I add them to a brine and ferment for a few weeks. The salt and time, softens the texture and make for a great accompaniment to any meal.
A local farmer has Napa cabbage nearly ready for harvest which reminds me it's time to harvest wild greens like mustards, nettles, dandelion leaves, and young lambs quarters which will work into a wild food version of my kimchi. Rather than the reddish hue of my late summer version, this will be a luscious green color full of nutrient dense wild plants.
Fermentation is a technique used daily here at my home and it’s during spring and summer where a little extra effort here and there provides me to have heaps of extra goodies come winter. Food preservation through fermentation has many benefits and is a valuable resource for anyone looking to improve their health, enhance flavor, and create a sense of food security with locally sourced food.
I am so grateful for the opportunity to share with and teach people all over the world. In a time when traditional techniques have gotten lost through the generations, technology is a gift because it provides a platform to share this important knowledge. Together we can re-learn and utilize preparations, techniques, and preservation methods that improve the flavor, nutrition, and sustainability of our food system.
Take a 4 week fermentation journey with me starting May 2nd!