At Harmony Co-op, we've seen a large uptick in demand for Kim chi and sauerkraut. This, we can only assume, is due to the increasing interest in fermented food products that posses heightened levels of probiotics and digestive enzymes. This trend, paired with our purchasing policy (which prioritizes trade with local and regional businesses) brought Spirit Creek to our shelves!
Spirit Creek Farm is the a small, family owned farm off the shores of the great Lake Superior and (according to our shoppers) is the place to find fermented veggies in the Midwest. They make Korean inspired Kim Chi Purple & Green Sauerkraut, Ginger Carrots, Curtido (Latin inspired), Beets and Garlic Dill Beans.
Harmony Co-op currently carries Spirit Creek Korean Inspired Kim Chi and their Ginger Carrots. Kim Chi is a traditional Korean side dish that is fermented with a variety of seasonings. It's commonly described a spicy and sour.
"We’ve carried Spirit Creek Kim Chi since the “old store” days at Harmony," says Mackenzie Lindahl, Harmony's Perishables Department Manager. "In the past 12 years, this family has been at the forefront of the lacto-fermented vegetable craze with delicious krauts and Kim Chi. We always have a space in our dairy case for their line; customers demand it! They buy TONS of veggies from local farmers in their southern Lake Superior region and buying veggies from local farmers is something we can get behind."
Spirit Creek Farm is owned and operated by Andrew and Jennifer Sauter Sargent. They live in an off the grid, solar powered home and run their farm and business on 70 acres and a commercially certified kitchen. They live and work on their property with their 3 children and other furry/featured companions: dogs, cats, chickens, ducks, goats and the wild life who skirt the forests curious about their fermenting.
In 2006 the family, inspired by the book Salt: A World History, decided to make lacto-fermented food for retail sale. They spent the winter of 2007 building a certified kitchen and researching, preparing and pre-ordering vegetables (from other local organic farmers mainly in Wisconsin) with the goal of getting into the retail business in the spring of 2008. And they succeeded!
According to their online Facebook page, they "continue to learn more everyday about fermentation, running a farm and are working to grow our business in a sustainable manner."
"This brand is the epitome of our goal to Grow Community Together," Rachel Munson, Harmony Co-op's Marketing Coordinator, says "They are 1) located in the Midwest 2) creating retail products literally in their own back yard using local and regional veggies, and 3) small, locally owned. Additionally, not only does their business ethic and off-the-grid vibe pair nicely with our commitment to sustainability, but their dedication to local sourcing is admirable and right up our ally."
In celebration of Growing Community Together and in attempts to serve our community's growing desire for fermented goods, Brian Clements of Spirit Creek Farm will be at Harmony on Friday, February 16th from 2 p.m. - 6 p.m.
For more information about Spirit Creek Farm, visit them online here. Or email Mackenzie here. Spirit Creek Mission Statement: We at Spirit Creek Farm continually work to cultivate our philosophy of sustainability through working with the land and animals, collaborating with local farmers, bringing good food to people and raising our children as stewards of the land.