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Fun with Fermentation

Veg out at Flack Family Farm

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At the height of last year's bird-flu frenzy, Korean scientists suggested that kimchi might keep the virus at bay. The spicy cabbage-based concoction is preserved by lacto-fermentation, which means that it's chock-full of healthy lactobacillus bacteria. While lacto-fermented foods haven't yet been proven as a pandemic panacea, these traditionally prepared products are frequently touted as digestive aids and immune-system supporters. Even better, they're easy to make.

If you visit the Flack Family Farm in Enosburg Falls on pre-arranged production days, you'll learn how to turn veggies into kimchi and another lacto-fermented treat: sauerkraut. Show up at 8 a.m. wearing cool-weather clothes and a hat - they prefer their products hair-free - and help out until 3 p.m. washing, trimming, chopping and packing veggies into barrels. Doug Flack says it's "very social work - there's lots of talking." Warm up during a midday break that includes a hot "festive lunch featuring farm foods."

Upcoming production dates are October 23, 24, 27 and 31, and November 1. Call ahead to let them know you're coming, and for directions - 933-7752.

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