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The Fermentary ~ makers of slow and natural ferments

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Of their extraordinary Kimchi, Sharon Flynn, The Fermentary’s passionate founder, says “Guts are taken care of no doubt, but I just get happy heart and mouth”. That ferments are to be enjoyed and eaten regularly if they are to be medicinal is a message we really resonate with, and welcome.

Sharon’s fermenting knowledge and skills have been cultivated through years of fermenting stuff, as well as time spent immersed in cultures where the tradition of fermenting foods is commonplace: taught, shared and treasured through time – including Denmark (fermented fish and krauts), Japan (miso, nattō and sake lees), Chicago (pickles, mustard and horseradish) and Seattle, where she was a part of a Community Shared Agriculture farm that ran workshops on preserving their harvests.

Based in Daylesford, The Fermentary are committed to fermenting as they do, and have for many years, for themselves – hand cut, mixed and vatted – then fermented naturally and slowly with no intervention (no added cultures or carbonating) and no shortcuts. Natural fermentation, also known as wild fermentation, is achieved without the use of starter cultures, focusing instead on creating conditions where the naturally occurring organisms already present in these natural ingredients can thrive. This results in ferments with greater diversity of bacteria, yeasts and enzymes, which will differ depending on the ingredients used and the conditions under which they have been fermented. It’s simple but brilliant stuff. The antithesis to homogenisation!

Beautiful ingredients play a big part in all of this, too, including locally sourced produce that’s fresh as fresh and full of life, slow fermented fish sauce, authentic Korean chilli – everything chosen with a good deal of consideration for flavour, life potential and supporting a healthy food system.

For those who would prefer to make their own, in the Books section of our online store we sell Sharon Flynn’s Ferment for Good: Ancient Foods for the Modern Gut. This book is, like their ferments, full of life (excuse the simile, but it’s so fitting)! Sharon’s writing is both instructional and personal, as though she’s right there in the kitchen with you, sharing these ancient techniques that have been taught and shared through time.

Under the Fermented Vegetables section of our online store, you can find the following Fermentary krauts and kimchi –

Traditional Kimchi and Vegan Kimchi

There’s a well-earned cult following for this Kimchi, and of all their ferments, this one gets first mention because it’s truly a revelation for your mouth, and with all that fermented garlic and ginger, has serious immune-boosting, gut-loving qualities. The fish sauce used is barrel-fermented 12 months and made from just anchovies and salt, and there’s authentic Korean chilli, or gochugaru, which gives this kimchi its long, gentle heat and smoky flavour. Its vegan version leaves out the fish sauce and has a little less garlic and salt.

Traditional Sauerkraut

The flavour of this ferment – a combination of cabbage, celtic sea salt and caraway seeds – changes depending on the time it’s been fermented. The same goes for the bacterial content, vitamin C count and all the rest. It’s incredible how the flavour can be so satisfyingly complex with just these few ingredients – such is the magic of fermentation and using locally sourced, beautiful ingredients! It’s crunchy, sour and salty-sweet and pairs beautifully with buttery, creamy and oil-rich foods such as avocado, eggs, crackers and cheese, among many others!


The Fermentary’s Red Fennel Kraut is the product of Sharon’s year spent in Denmark – a ferment of just red cabbage, fennel seeds and salt. Stacked beside a herby potato salad or buttery mash, or atop German-style rye bread with a thick layer of soft silky cheese, this kraut softly and sweetly cuts through all things creamy (and helps to digest them)!

Smoky Jalapeño Sauerkraut

Made with a mix of chipotle and fresh jalapeño, this warm, deep, sour and smoky kraut is a really great addition to summer meals – stacked onto La Tortilleria’s authentic stoneground corn tortillas, Mexican beans, avocado, coriander and a spoonful of sour cream! Wow, was that good.

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