I’ve enjoyed the annual ritual of naturally fermenting my family’s own Alaska-grown garden vegetables for more than 20 years. The spicy kimchi came first, based on a recipe learned from an old friend. The kimchi provided both a great way to preserve an abundance of garden cabbage, carrots, turnips and other veggies, as well as a winter’s worth of delicious, nutrient-dense and very convenient lunch salads. I was hooked!
As my understanding of nutrition and traditional food preservation grew, I saw a beautiful convergence. One of the oldest and safest food preservation methods I was already practicing is also at the cutting edge of our understanding of how to best support a healthy digestive system. Hook, line and sinker!
During those 20 years I was making my own kimchi I was working in Alaska and internationally on collaborative approaches to resource conflicts, and on developing large-scale, community based conservation agreements that address landscapes as a social, economic and environmental whole. I started the Brinery to affect a similar kind of change close to home; to change and expand the way we think about, enjoy and preserve Alaska vegetables. The more we consume healthful, local food, the more we benefit our environment, economy and communities. I’m deeply inspired by how naturally fermented local vegetables can promote Alaska’s good health and celebrate our culture – on the microscopic, farm and community level – one jar at a time!