This list focuses on local herb and vegetable fermenters. Cheeses, meats, and yogurts are also lacto-fermented. Even beer, wine, coffee, bread, and vinegars are produced using fermentation processes. Foods that are sold with live cultures will tend to be tart, fizzy, a little sour. It’s a good idea to read ingredient labels to make sure ferments use minimal ingredients and rely on time to actively ferment. New laws require live kombucha to be labeled with its alcohol content, usually under 1% – taste before serving to children.
Where to Buy Locally Made Ferments
Fab Ferments (raw cultured vegetables, beet kvass, kombucha, cultured hot sauce, and seasonal relishes)
Tap Room: 611 Shepherd Dr #14, Cincinnati 45215
Find it at: Dirt, Jungle Jim’s, Whole Foods, Clifton Natural Foods, Dorothy Lane Markets, Fond, Madison’s Produce.
Farmers’ markets: Hyde Park, Yellow Springs, Findlay Market
The Pickled Pig (ferments including napa kimchee, carrot kimchee, dill kraut, curried cauliflower)
Find it at: Keegan’s Seafood, Dirt, Local Yokel
Farmers’ markets: Northside, Madeira, Anderson, Lettuce Eat Well, Findlay Market
Skinny Piggy Kombucha (nonalcoholic fermented teas in flavors like Fireside Chai)
Find it at: Remke Markets, Listerman Brewing, The Gruff
Start Fermenting at Home
Learn from the master. Start with Sandor Katz’s influential books Wild Fermentation and The Art of Fermentation, or visit his website WildFermentation.com for beginner recipes.
Read more. Get how-tos and recipes from books including
Fermented Vegetables by Kirsten Shockey and Christopher Shockey; The Big Book of Kombucha by Hannah Crum; and Ferment Your Vegetables by Amanda Feifer.
Stock up. Fermented food is only as good as its raw material. Talk to vendors at Ohio Valley farmers’ markets to source locally grown vegetables for your fermentation projects.
Equip your kitchen. You’ll need glass bowls, wooden or silicone spoons, glass jars of various sizes, cotton kitchen towels, fermentation crocks. Or start with a kit.
A native of a rural farming community in northwest Ohio, Karen has spent more than 30 years writing grants and begging for money for a variety of good causes in southwest Ohio. She is currently at work on a sitcom about the crazy cast of characters one finds at a popular urban public market in the Midwest. She’ll work for pie or a good pot of soup.