Healthy gut equals healthy body, and Fermentation Farm Food Culture in Costa Mesa offers training on how to do just that in your own home. Operated by Yasmine Mason, this local health food market provides instruction Thursday nights at 6 p.m. on producing fermented products like sauerkraut or that rising trend, the ancient fermented tea called kombucha.

“It just became more and more apparent over the last ten years how the digestive systems of Americans are really in a bad situation, a lot of people have bad digestive issues,” said Mason. “So I started fermenting foods, and started telling people to ferment foods like sauerkraut because of the K2 Vitamins and probiotics that are formed when you ferment cabbage.”

These classes develop an understanding of the health benefits from super foods, as well as a brief background on the history of the products you will be learning how to ferment. The step-by-step process is broken down within one to two hours in class, while starter kits are available to purchase to get you fermenting as soon as you are out the door.

Young kombucha fan taking a sip at the kombucha mini bar located inside Ferm Farm. (Grant Geipel)

Young kombucha fan taking a sip at the kombucha mini bar located inside Ferm Farm. (Grant Geipel)

Classes held at Ferm Farm have sparked a sense of community between the members of the establishment. Members have been involved in holding their own classes, like learning to make soap out of goat milk. Once a member, you have access to their variety of organic locally-sourced products and home made fermented food and beverages.

“Ever since I heard about this place from other moms I had to come check it out! My son and I have been coming in and drinking kombucha since it has opened,” said Melissa, a member of Ferm Farm. “I have also taken the yogurt class, but have yet to make it at home.”

This super food market has kombucha on draft at a mini bar inside where you can taste the variety of flavors they have concocted, buy bottles of kombucha, and even refill a 64 oz growler bottle if you are a kombucha enthusiast.

“I like our kombucha more because of its sweeter and lighter flavor, I am not trying to be biased, but when I go to a grocery store and try other brands I can’t really see the bacteria that’s supposed to be floating around in it, and they are too strong or bitter,” said Brittany, a Ferm Farm employee. “To get our flavor we add organic fruits after the scoby has fermented in the tea, and then we ferment the fruit another five days.”

Ferm Farm is reinstating the importance of the fermentation process and its health benefits with informational and instructional classes on how to improve your health in the comfort of your own home. They are bringing an ease of access to consumers who want locally grown organic products. Above all, kombucha and its fermented friends are bringing back an ancient lifestyle of healthy living to South Orange County.

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