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The Fermentista's Kitchen

vegetables + salt + time = yum


Become a Fermentista*

*Artist of vegetable fermentation 


February 20 - 21, 2016. Kirsten will be in Belton, TX at the Mother Earth News Fair. 

February 27, 2016 10 am - 1 pm. We will be back in The Kitchen at Middleground Farms to support your Inner Fermentista (or Fermentisto!) with what’s in season in winter.  You’ll leave the class understanding the basics of a brine, preserving with salt, and the ins and outs of fermentation.  Enjoy a lunch rich in fermented foods, sip housemade kombucha & leave with new skills and a ferment to take home! $75 per person. Sign up here.

March 14, 2016 at 6 pm Kirsten will be teaching at the OSU Jackson County Extension in Central Point. This is a public class sponsored by the Master Food Preservers.

March 15, 2016 6:30 - 9. We will be teaching at the Ashland Coop. Fermenting Vegetables for Flavor and Gut Health

Boost the nutrition and flavor of vegetables with this simple, safe (and ancient) technique. There’s a lot of information swirling around about the benefits of eating fermented foods. We will help you navigate this food, including the difference between prebiotics and probiotics and how they affect your health. We will demonstrate how to ferment nutritional powerhouse ingredients such as turmeric and other vegetables and herbs to reap maximum benefits and flavor. You will take home recipes and your own jar to watch the process in action as it ferments on your counter.

We do custom small group classes at our farm, or your venue, and are available for consultation for setting up your own fermentation station in your deli, restaurant, or on farm fermentation

Kirsten helped us to establish our fermentation program. Not only was she extremely knowledgeable and helpful, she was a true pleasure to spend time with.  She has helped us to organize community classes as well as create in-house products. Kirsten has continued to provide advice and guidance long since we worked together. We greatly appreciate everything she has done and will always welcome her as a member of our team. 

--Bryan Tremayne, Proprietor Primal  Cut Meats, Bend, OR

Farms and Fermentation

We believe farmstead fermentation is a wonderful way for small farms to improve their bottom line by having a value-added product that extends the life of the vegetables they grow. Vegetables may have been headed to the compost pile due to overages become delicious ferments. Contact us for more information.


Connect virtually :: Join the Fermentista's Kitchen Newsletter for stories, tips, and announcements.

Our whole pattern of preserving vegetables has changed since studying kraut making and brine pickling with Kirsten Shockey. We now include fermented food in our diet year round by using this time honored, traditional means of preservation. Kirsten is a true expert and creative artist in the realm of fermenting vegetables. Our refrigerator stores now include nettle kraut, Pickled asparagus and hot peppers. As the season progresses we will continue to make more of these wonderful taste treats. We are especially fond of Kirsten's "Edgy Veggie" medley of mixed brined vegetables with spices. It is wonderful to have these crisp, live foods to add exciting fresh and healthful flavors to our menu. It is great fun, it tastes wonderful and it saves on energy use, as we stock our pantry for the winter from the garden's bounty. Our crocks are active on our kitchen counter through out the season. --Barbara

Listen to our conversation recorded in October with Branden Byers in the Ferm-up Podcast

Kirsten has an innate ability to combine flavors in a surprising and exciting way. She is Southern Oregon's local treasure of pickling knowledge. A day in her kitchen will give you the ability to preserve your garden's bounty in a time saving, delicious, and healthful way. Goodbye canning, hello pickling! --Carol


Fermenting at The Fermentista's Kitchen

Join us at on our homestead for a some special intimate intensive hands on classes this year. We are going to deep dive into lacto-fermenatation through vegetables and cheese. We will go foraging for ingredients out in the wild as well as at a local organic farm (that happens to run a small on-farm fermentory.)

During these classes you will learn how to ferment vegetables using various techniques from around the world. We will go through and taste ferment experiments in our fermenting cave. We want to concentrate on technique and flavor and of course what is going on—in the ferment and in our bodies. The class includes lunch everyday that will be made together allowing another opportunity for you to immerse yourself in fermentation. Students will have access to our library and the many journal papers and studies we have printed out.

The first class is May 27-30, 2016. We have set it up with a la carte options.

We will offer our field for camping for those that want to pitch a tent and enjoy the rustic amenities—composting toilet, solar shower, a beautiful creek and goats in the next field over, Other staying options include the Applegate Lodge or Airbnb.

The full deal—4 days total classtime. 3-day Fermentation Intensive with Cheese Making. Arrive Friday at noon ready to dive into the brine. We will get to know one another over lunch and begin the fermentation discussion and learning that takes us through Sunday. If you choose the full class you will come back Monday for a cheese making class. We will make fresh fermented cheeses and also some using brine from our ferments. Cost includes all materials and hearty lunches. Cost $585.00

3-day Fermentation Intensive. This class is the same as above with out the cheese making on Monday. Cost $480.00

1-day Just the Cheese Please. This class stands on its own and we are happy to have students join us who did not come to the 3-day intensive. $120.00

Space is limited to allow for a intimate intensive learning environment. Register soon.

We will email you a syllabus/schedule upon request.

Fermented Vegetables :: The book

 Available to buy :: Powell's Books, Amazon, Barnes & NobleIndieBound

For anyone interested in delving deeper into the fermentation of vegetables, this book is a valuable resource, one of the most impressive new additions to the growing literature of fermentation. Fermented Vegetables offers a thorough review of basic concepts, tools, ingredients, and processes, and a great recipe section, organized by vegetable, perfect for gardeners or anyone looking for creative ideas for using and preserving seasonal abundance.
— Sandor Ellix Katz, Fermentation Revivalist and Author of the Art of Fermentation and Wild Fermentation
Fermented Vegetables is nothing if not thorough, which is exactly what I was hoping to find in this handsome, detailed, in-depth book. Such good information and so much of it!
— Deborah Madison, Author of Vegetable Literacy, Cooking and Gardening with Twelve Families from the Edible Plant Kingdom
Kirsten Shockey and Christopher Shockey take the art of lacto-fermentation to a whole new level in Fermented Vegetables. The authors provide precise instruction for beginners and then inspire the reader with wonderfully creative ways to use sauerkraut and all its cousins in everything from quiche to enchiladas. This beautifully illustrated book belongs on the shelves of both amateur and professional chefs.
— Sally Fallon Morell, President The Weston A. Price Foundation, author of Nourishing Traditions
How to do it and what to do with it! This book covers all the aspects of fermentation. Eggplant, kimchees, fermented Basil, sweet to savory. All you need to know lies in this book. Le pigeon now has a new “how to” to grace our book shelves.
— Gabriel Rucker, Le Pigeon restaurant, Portland, Oregon
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About Us

Kirsten and Christopher Shockey got their start in fermenting foods, first on in their home, and then with their farmstead food company (Mellonia Farm), where they created over forty varieties of cultured vegetables and krauts. When they realized their passion was for the process, they chose to focus on teaching the art of fermenting vegetables. They still experiment with new recipes, help others set up in-house or farmstead “fermentories”, teach classes at their farm and host small farm workshops. 

They live on a 40-acre hillside homestead in the Applegate Valley of Southern Oregon, where they have cultivated a handmade life for the last 15 years. Their days are a chaotic combination of parenting, day jobs, writing and navigating whatever the climate and the rural lifestyle throws their way. 

Every day is different. Christopher and Kirsten can be found watering, preserving harvests, making cheese, planting trees, chopping firewood, mucking stalls, hiking, dreaming up the next project, reading, or dancing on the porch under the stars.  At the end of the day they go to bed exhausted and knowing life is good.

We would love to hear from you :: info@fermentista.us