Sauerkrautathon - Instagram connections and hashtags!
This week I met up with Dr Caroline Gilmartin of Everygoodthing. Based in Bristol, Caroline teaches classes and makes small batch fermented drinks and veg for sale. I ‘found’ Caroline on Instagram and have been following her for a while – and when she posted a question about her business – I got in touch.
Instagram is an amazing resource for connecting – albeit mostly virtually – with the world of fermentation. So many of us are working on such a small scale – and yet seeming to exert an extraordinary, if incremental, influence as we spread the fermenting know-how – and our bacteria – every time we post or teach another class.
As Caroline and I lunched on sourdough and Curtido, (Caroline’s – yum!) our conversation turned to what a manageable scale of production might be for a one-woman micro-business, with us doing everything by ourselves from sticking on labels to managing class participants’ expectations. We agreed that staying small probably suited us both and that it might be OK to resist the pressure to ‘scale up’.
If you look in the news and down the high street, the old business models clearly have to change. Just as our kefir and kombucha SCOBY’s are symbiotic communities of bacteria and yeasts – what could we gain if small-scale fermenters collaborated in new and as yet unimagined ways to bring healthy foods and ancient food preservation techniques into people’s lives? Maybe staying small and personal – doing it all ourselves, but in a sustainable way, with help from our friends (bacterial and virtual) and fellow businesses is just what’s needed.
Caroline will be joining us at Sauerkrautathon in Wells on October 14th and talking about her love of bacteria – and like me and Jo she will be using the hastags #krautmein and #thingshavegottochange along with #sauerkrautathon to encourage people to sign up and join us and the bacteria to make food that makes a difference.