Fermentation, the metabolic process that produces chemical changes in organic substances,
has been used by humans since the Neolithic age, both to produce foodstuffs and beverages
and to preserve. It’s been experiencing a resurgence in popularity for years now – and at
the farmers’ markets Flossie Privett is the latest proponent.
Moreover, her methods are ‘all slow and wild traditional processes’, she tells me. Based at
Rosebank, she’s a one-woman show, doing everything by hand. The result is neat rows of
simply but stylishly packaged jars containing eye-catching ferments such as Kimchi and
Kraut and Chilli Sambal. These are Flossie’s seasonal pickles and they will continue to change
depending on the availability of produce. ‘The product range changes all the time’, she says.
‘I talk to the other growers about what’s in season. This area has so much beautiful
Originally from WA, she moved to the area some seven years ago. A long-time chef and
caterer, she had a café space in Lismore before the floods but afterwards ‘just walked away
and set myself up at home doing events and markets.’ She’d always wanted to work for
herself and was drawn to fermentation because of her interest in the benefits of preserving
food. ‘As a business model,’ she tells me, ‘it’s really smart – there’s no wastage. I’m
passionate about all that. And with my chef background I like thinking about what goes with
what, making food easy for people to make a lovely meal based on market produce.’ She
cites as examples pickles and ferments alongside eggs, avocado, ‘really good bread.’ Her
very pretty Beetroot and Rose(petal) Kraut is, she says, ‘beautiful with hoummus, lamb,
char-grilled peppers and zucchini.’ I myself take away a jar which that night I use to elevate
scrambled eggs on toasted sourdough: the combination is gorgeous!

Lovemore Fermentary is at New Brighton every Tuesday from 8 – 11am

Victoria Cosford