Producer Profile: Makutchen Organics

It tastes amazing, it’s good for your gut and it’s a great way to preserve food for longer – what’s not to love about fermented foods?!

Makutchen Organics makes a range of wild fermented vegetables and their colourful collection of produce is a firm favourite with regulars at the Flame Tree Co-op. Below is an interviewwith founder Carolyn Braid (first published in the May edition of 2515 magazine) that explains what the business is about and how it got started.

How and when did Makutchen come about?

After making fermented vegetables at home then sharing the knowledge with work colleagues and clients, I had a lot of interest in the process and its health benefits. So in 2012, I increased production with the help of my partner and later in 2013, a local organic caf saw one my clients with a jar of sauerkraut and asked where she got it from. Within a few days they made what was to be my first order and a couple of days after that I decided to start a business.

I called it Makutchen – a play on my kiwi accent (my kitchen), and also the name of my Great Granddad who professed because of his healthy lifestyle he wanted to live to 100 which he did!

Where did you learn to make fermented vegetables?

I learnt how to make fermented food as part of my job. I became really interested in the gut-brain connection as I was also suffering from Post Natal Depression which had switched from depression to anxiety disorder. With my new knowledge and skills, I started my own personal gut-healing journey with these wonderful foods.

How do you decide on what you’re going to ferment?

We started with 3 basic flavours and then added more as we grew. There are times when the cabbages are out of season, so we just try to prepare for that. We get all our vegetables from the organic markets in Sydney but are currently looking at working with a local Illawarra grower.

What are the benefits of eating fermented vegetables?

The lacto-fermentation process in which natural bacteria feed on the starch and sugars in the vegetables preserves the food and creates lactic acid. This process also creates beneficial enzymes, omega-3 fatty acids and various strains of probiotics. Eating fermented vegetables balances the gut flora in your digestive system which has a number of benefits from improved digestion, increase in nutrient absorption, boosting the immune system and helping with weight loss.

Fermented vegetables are easy to include in your diet because they go with everything and they bring out the flavour of the food you are eating.

You’ll find a range of Makutchen products in the fridges at Flame Tree, or you can find out more at www.makutchenorganics.com.au.