Fermentation workshop in Fairbanks encourages community members to preserve food for winter

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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) The Master Gardeners of the Tanana Valley hosted a fermentation work shop this past Tuesday.

Tom Seaton demonstrates how to measure saline for fermentation (Carly Sjordal/KTVF)

According to the Mayo Clinic, The “good bugs” in fermented foods may help treat stomach problems prevent and treat urinary tract, yeast and intestinal infections; help manage irritable bowel syndrome; and may shorten the severity of a cold or flu.

Kalin and Tom Seaton from Sunny Buck Farm, the presenters for the workshop entitled "Fermentation: The Other Approach to Vegetable Preservation, exhibited the major health benefits of fermented foods.

“There’s a lot of different micro-organisms in a ferment that haven't been denatured that can increase the diversity of your gut flora. So there have been studies that the more diversity and amount of fermented foods that you eat in a week, the higher the diversity of the gut flora - and that increases your immune defense against getting sick” said Kalin Seaton.

They presented their own fermented vegetables and gave a diverse list of vegetables that could be easily preserved and fermented.

They also included a section debunking common myths around fermentation, like it being a hard process or possibly dangerous.

Kalin says that for successful fermenting, you only need to remember three steps: pay attention to the salt content, make sure that whatever your fermenting is stored in a tight seal that lets air out and not in, and to pay attention to the temperature.

Kalin added “Fermentation is one of those things that appeals most to people who like to explore in all sorts of different ways. And so fermentation is not so much about a particular recipe, as it is about mastering the basic concepts and applying them to the food you love and that you want to preserve.”

As the temperature is dropping and community members are looking for ways to preserve food for the winter, fermentation may be a healthy and cost effective solution.

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