Embracing Health and Sustainability

Jersey’s First Fermentation Club Cultivated by Scoop the Sustainable Cooperative

Fermentation, a time-honoured technique that harnesses the power of microbes to transform food, has been experiencing a renaissance in recent years. The process involves the breakdown of sugars by beneficial bacteria and yeast, resulting in foods that are not only flavourful but also packed with probiotics, enzymes, and vitamins. From sauerkraut to sourdough, fermented foods are known to improve digestion, boost immune function, and contribute to a healthier gut microbiome.

But many people are unaware of how easy and affordable it is to make their own products at home. Or, as a traditional form of food preservation, how fermentation enables us to reduce food waste. If you’re intrigued but not sure where to start, how about becoming part of a community of fermenters, or learning the needed skills at a fermentation workshop, like the ones run by SCOOP the Sustainable Cooperative in St Lawrence. 

With a little help from a Connect Me: Connecting our Communities Grant SCOOP were able to set the island’s first Fermentation Club late last year, as a way of building a community of fermenters that can inspire and support one another, sharing their knowledge, developing skills and providing the necessary resources for a culture of fermentation to thrive and spread out into the wider community.

The club held their first meeting in October 2022 where more than 80 people came together to share their experiences of fermenting to date and learn from others. The club not only champions health and sustainability but also bridges the gap between past and present as fermentation, once an essential means of preserving seasonal harvests, is now a dynamic avenue for culinary exploration and well-being.

With the financial backing of the grant, the fermentation club was also able to organise a series of workshops with some local potters to work with members to allow them to craft authentic fermentation vessels. By removing the high costs associated with this type of activity the sessions saw a diverse range of people come together to make these vessels, using age-old techniques. The pots they created not only serve as functional tools for the fermentation process but also celebrate the island’s pottery tradition.

Whether you’re a seasoned chef or a curious food enthusiast, fermentation offers something for everyone and the club is a great place to start your journey. From workshops on creating your own kombucha to hands-on sessions for crafting sauerkraut, the club hope to offer a diverse range of activities that cater to all skill levels, later on this will include them bringing in experts from further afield, relationships they’ve been able to develop thanks to their joining the Fermenters Guild, a trade organisation focussed on supporting food and drink professionals who work with fermentation

In a world that often moves at breakneck speed, fermentation club stands as a reminder to slow down, connect with the past, and savour the rewards of patience and preservation

If you’d like to become part of the fermentation community SCOOP are in the planning stages of workshops which will take place in September and October and you can contact them directly to find out more, either pop along to see them in St Lawrence or email them at scoop@scoop.org.je

The Connect Me: Connecting our Communities Grant Scheme is a Government of Jersey initiative that provides grants of up to £5,000 for projects which increase opportunities for Jersey residents to participate in arts or physical activities for wellbeing. The grant awarded to SCOOP to set up their Fermentation Club is one of 88 different projects which have been supported by the scheme since being set up in 2022.

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