By Kristie Snyder, GreenStar Marketing Staff
Carly and Dave Dougherty have rooted their business in her family’s deep local farming tradition, and grown it from their shared love of age-old fermentation processes. Food and Ferments, based in Truxton, supplies the Co-op with a variety of health-supporting, probiotic-rich, and tasty foods.
Carly and Dave met in Philadephia in food industry circles — after attending a traditional foods conference, their interest in fermented foods grew. An internship confirmed their direction. The couple launched Food and Ferments in 2013, then relocated to Carly’s family’s organic dairy farm in New York State a year later, realizing it provided a much better location for sourcing ingredients from local farms. “Fresh vegetables really make or break your ferment,” Carly explained, “and it feels great to be cutting checks to local farmers.”
To the greatest extent possible, Carly and Dave source their ingredients organically and locally — sometimes hyper-locally. Carly’s great-grandfather grew cabbage on the farm, when cabbage was a staple crop of Central New York. “It’s part of my history,” Carly says. Though subsequent generations switched to dairy farming, her brother now grows cabbage for Food and Ferments on the family farm. Another farm partner grows a locally bred cabbage variety, other local farms supply additional vegetables, and a local woman-owned apiary provides honey.
In GreenStar’s refrigerator case, you can find Ginger Beets, a vermilion concoction of thinly sliced organic beets with ginger, garlic, and cabbage; Wild Leek and Dandelion Kraut, made with wild-foraged ingredients; and Hearts on Fire, a kraut blend made with cabbage hearts and kicked up to just the right level of smoky intensity with jalapeño and smoked paprika. In the drinks cooler, look for Beet Kvass, a savory, probiotic-laden Ukrainian beverage made with beets, garlic, and ginger.
Venture into the Wellness Department, and you’ll find Fireside Tonic, a variation of the traditional apple cider vinegar-based remedy for colds and flu. This one is infused with a lengthy list of health-supporting ingredients — citrus, honey, ginger, alliums, horseradish, hot peppers, turmeric, and more — and yes, it is hot! Carly and Dave suggest a daily shot, straight or mixed into tea or water, to head off winter bugs. Adventurous foodies, take note — whisked with a little olive oil, you’ll have an utterly unique salad dressing, delightfully tangy — and healthful, too!