Frequently Asked Questions

  • WHAT IS FERMENTATION? Fermentation is a microbial transformation of food by naturally present bacteria and yeast. It is a natural alchemy that takes place when the fermentation artist creates the ideal conditions for the beneficial bacteria to proliferate. The result is a food that is more nutritious, delicious and preserved than their non-fermented counterpart.


  • WHAT IS LACTIC ACID BACTERIA? Lactic acid bacteria (LABS) are specific strains of bacteria that humans have been co- evolving with for thousands of years. We are made up of bacteria (over 100 trillion bacteria live in our gut!) and we are dependent on them for survival. We cultivate LABS when we make and eat fermented foods. Eating them helps diversify and replenish your microbial gut ecology.


  • HOW DO I INCORPORATE FERMENTED FOODS INTO MY DIET? WHAT DO THEY PAIR WITH? Just about everything! Whether it’s a salad, stew, sandwich, fried eggs, noodles, fish, meat – you can surely incorporate our ferments into your dish. Put it on the side or mix it in, the zesty flavor of our ferments compliments all meals. We even put it on peanut butter toast.


  • WHAT IS THE RECOMMENDED SERVING SIZE? HOW MUCH IS TOO MUCH? Everybody is different. Some folks enjoy eating a whole jar at once and some only want a forkful with every meal. They are super-foods, meaning they are powerful healing agents. So eating too much before your body acclimates to them can lead to a “healing crises”, the side effects of detoxification such as gas, bloating and headaches. To avoid this, start s-l-o-w-l-y!


  • HOW LONG DO YOUR PRODUCTS LAST? Fermentation naturally preserves foods for a very long time.. While we put a 6 month expiration date on the jar, the product will be good for longer than that – it will just continue evolving. If you find an old jar that has lost its crispness but still has good flavor, that’s a good time to cook it into a soup or stew. Like anything else, discard when over-ripe.


  • WHY DO YOUR FERMENTS BUBBLE WHEN I OPEN THEM? Carbon dioxide is a natural byproduct of the fermentation process and after a while of not being opened the CO2 builds up and needs to be released.


  • DO THEY NEED TO BE REFRIGERATED? No, but refrigeration preserves their life force and crispness by slowing the fermentation process, keeping your ferments at their ideal stage. A few hours or a day out of the fridge after opening is not a problem.


  • WHERE CAN I FIND YOUR PRODUCTS? See our website for a list of stores where you can find our products.


  • DO YOU TAKE YOUR JARS BACK? We will gladly take back clean jars (with labels removed) although we also encourage you to reuse the jars for your own storage needs.


  • ARE YOUR PRODUCTS ORGANIC? We are not a certified organic business. The vegetables that we grow ourselves are grown with organic practices - meaning no chemical fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides. We source many of our vegetables from local farmers who also use the highest quality organic growing practices but most of them are not certified organic either due to the high costs associated with certification.


  • WHAT IS KIMCHI? To Farmstead Ferments, Kimchi is simply a flavor (our bestselling one!). It goes through the same fer- mentation process that our krauts do, it just has ingredients like ginger, garlic and chili that make it special. Culturally, kimchi is fermented vegetables from Korea. In Korea, there is no one way to make kimchi and every family has a different recipe. Our Kimchi is just our version of a very large and culturally diverse food tradition.


  • WHAT IF I’M TRYING TO AVOID SALT? We use ONLY Celtic Sea Salt, which is very different from regular table salt or even most salts being touted as “sea salt". Celtic Sea Salt is essentially a “superfood” of the highest order and has tremendous healing virtues that have the exact opposite effect of refined table salt. Celtic brand salt contains all 84 of the naturally occurring beneficial live elements found in sea water and natural salt wherein table salt has only two (sodium and chloride). This is why table salt is so harmful for our bodies, in addition to the fact that table salt is often adulterated with chemicals like bleaches, preservatives, anti-caking agents and, in some cases, sugar! Those concerned about salt also have the option of dumping the kraut into a colander and rinsing it off. This won’t remove ALL of the salt, but at least some of it.