From The Farm Cooking School presents Cynthia Peters’ Local Food Heroes, a series of posts on the innovative food and wine producers of Prince Edward County and the delicious things they make. Click here to see all the posts.
Go with your gut.
That phrase says it all, literally, when it comes to Pyramid Farm & Ferments, Prince Edward County’s newest darling in the world of artisan food production. Started last year, by co-owners Jenna Empey and Alex Currie, this young couple has gone from small-scale community sales to major Farmers markets in downtown Toronto. Add Pyramid Ferments has recently been chosen as one of twenty artisan businesses across Canada to be part of the ACE Bakery Artisan Incubator program.
Fermented food is one of the fastest growing trends in North America. And Jenna and Alex have captured the hearts and stomachs of many in their quest to get our digestive system and taste buds in order. From cool Kimchis, to a variety of Sauerkrauts, Kombuchas and pickles based on seasonal inspiration, their product line offers a wide variety of choice.
What’s so good about fermentation? Lacto-fermentation is a traditional form of food preservation. First, no vinegar, gluten, preservatives or high heat are used. Just salt. This creates beneficial bacteria and micro flora, which aids our digestive and immune systems. Plus, it’s low calorie and tastes great! It’s truly a super food.
You can try out their products at two Farmers Markets in Toronto – the Evergreen Brickworks and the Junction. Later this month they will be part of a public event with ACE Bakery where they will be hosting a fermented workshop and on Saturday June 22nd with Chef Lynn Crawford and Chef Lora Kirk. To learn more and to purchase tickets, click here to visit ACE bakery’s website.
The couple’s love of fermentation is in the creativity and experimental opportunities it provides for local ingredients. As a stable of many cultures, they have drawn from many traditional and regional recipes throughout the world to create their products. A lot of their ingredients like cabbage, carrots and onions can be in cold storage year around, making it an ideal local product that can be produced weekly. They grow a number of their ingredients on their 60 acre farm. Volume dictates that they purchase from other farms as well locally and in Ontario. They hope one day to move their production operation to their farm and continue to modernize (a bit) with their machinery.
Empey and Currie say they want to keep it hand crafted, but a little help is needed to keep up with demand. I had an opportunity to chat with them on production day recently, the level of manual shredding was quite impressive – and a workout. They were recently awarded s grant for a new slicer from the local National Farmers Union and Slow Food The County. This new machine will allow them to grow from shredding 40 cabbages per hour to 400 per hour.
At the end of the day, it’s all about the quality of the product. And theirs is first rate. It’s simply local, sustainable healthy goodness in a jar for all of us to enjoy.