Joshua Henson and Mark Cox are in their second year of business with Fermenti Artisan, making artisan cultured vegetables with an emphasis on nutrition and education that is evident when you get them talking about their products.
Every culture has a tradition of fermentation that’s thousands of years old, Joshua told me. As he and Mark worked in the food industry (they have 20 years of experience each in the restaurant business), they began to realize that the classic techniques were not only about flavor, but also grew out of sound nutrition and health practices in a time when people were more attuned to the food they grew and produced themselves.
This eventually led to their urban farm just north of Irvington. Joshua and Mark are just the second owners, and they are enjoying the experience of growing more and more of their own food. They get help on the farm from family and friends and also from the 7th and 8th graders at Geist Montessori School, who make it part of their community service.
In addition to the fermented krauts, Latin American corditos and Korean kimchis that they specialize in, the Fermenti guys make pro-biotic beverages as well. They do Kombucha teas that are fermented for 2-3 weeks (instead of the typical 5-7 days); and some lighter water kefirs.
You can find Fermenti Artisan at the Wednesday Market weekly and the 1st and 3rd Saturday Market of each month. Follow Joshua and Mark and their adventures with urban farming and fermented foods on facebook.