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103. Our Fermented Lives: Bridging the Gap Between Modern People and Historic Food with Julia Skinner of Root Kitchens
Episode 1035th August 2022 • The Good Dirt: Sustainability Explained • Lady Farmer
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In this episode, Mary and Emma are talking to Julia Skinner of Root: Historic Food for the Modern World. Root was born from Julia's deep love for community and a belief in the power of food to tell stories, connect us to place and to each other, and to build a bridge to the past.

Julia's work is all about food, history, food stories, where it comes from and the people behind it. She loves fostering connections with other people and with the earth around us. Julia is especially interested in learning and teaching about fermentation, demonstrating to people the ease and accessibility of preparing delicious and healthy food using this ancient and powerful food preservation technique.

Topics Covered:

  • Exploring historic cookbooks
  • Julia’s discovery of historical cooking traditions
  • Types of fermentation she has explored
  • How to start fermenting
  • The growing popularity of traditional foods
  • Shifting food interests during the pandemic
  • Food Access
  • Milk Kefir
  • Food as medicine

Resources Mentioned:

Connect with Julia:

About Lady Farmer:

Original music by John Kingsley @jkingsley1026

Statements in this podcast have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not to be considered as medical or nutritional advice. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease, and should not be considered above the advice of your physician. Consult a medical professional when making dietary or lifestyle decisions that could affect your health and well being.


Transcripts

Julia Skinner:

I think there's a lot of intimidation around ferment and

Julia Skinner:

there doesn't have to be, I really like the more positive framing, like

Julia Skinner:

Sandor says his description is the transformative action of microbes.

Julia Skinner:

And I like that idea of transformation and thinking about the way that

Julia Skinner:

that transformation helps us.

Julia Skinner:

In all these different ways, preserve food, make nutrients available to our

Julia Skinner:

bodies, develop new flavors, all of this interesting stuff that we can do.

Emma Kingsley:

You're listening to The Good Dirt Podcast.

Emma Kingsley:

This is a place where we dig into the nitty gritty of sustainable living

Emma Kingsley:

through food, fashion, and lifestyle.

Mary Kingsley:

And we are your host, Mary and Emma Kingsley, the mother and

Mary Kingsley:

daughter, founder, team of lady farmer.

Mary Kingsley:

We're sewing seeds of slow living through our community platform

Mary Kingsley:

events and online marketplace.

Emma Kingsley:

We started this podcast as a means to share the wealth of

Emma Kingsley:

information and quality conversations that we're having in our world.

Emma Kingsley:

As we dream up and deliver ways for each of us to live into

Emma Kingsley:

the new paradigm.

Emma Kingsley:

One that is regenerative balanced and whole.

Mary Kingsley:

We want to put the microphone in front of the voices

Mary Kingsley:

that need to be heard the most right now, the farmers, the dreamers,

Mary Kingsley:

the designers, and the doers.

Emma Kingsley:

So come cultivate a better world with us.

Emma Kingsley:

We're so glad you're here now.

Emma Kingsley:

Let's dig in.

Mary Kingsley:

Hello, everyone.

Mary Kingsley:

Welcome to the good dirt podcast and welcome to August such a

Mary Kingsley:

rich, beautiful time of year here at the farm and in the garden.

Mary Kingsley:

Hope that wherever you are, you're immersing yourself in the

Mary Kingsley:

joys of this beautiful season.

Emma Kingsley:

And that reminds me of one of our voicemails we discuss.

Emma Kingsley:

Should we share it?

Emma Kingsley:

Yes,

Mary Kingsley:

let's do it.

Voicemail Caller:

Hi there.

Voicemail Caller:

My name is Ellie.

Voicemail Caller:

I am calling from southeast Wisconsin.

Voicemail Caller:

And it is a beautiful breezy July day here.

Voicemail Caller:

I'm sitting with my knitting and five new chickens and sitting in the garden and

Voicemail Caller:

just enjoying the sound of the wind and the wind, of course, the good podcast.

Voicemail Caller:

And I just wanted to call and say, thank you.

Voicemail Caller:

I recently found the podcast and it, me at of long days raising

Voicemail Caller:

through little ones at home.

Voicemail Caller:

And it's what I look forward to at end of my days, I come out and sit.

Voicemail Caller:

My chicken and I have my knitting and I have been catching

Voicemail Caller:

up on all of your podcasts.

Voicemail Caller:

So I just wanted to say, thank you for all of your inspiring work and

Voicemail Caller:

the cheerfulness and color that you're bringing to this community.

Voicemail Caller:

And personally, for me, hearing both talk is really inspiring because

Voicemail Caller:

it really speaks to something in me about my relationship and

Voicemail Caller:

connection with my two young daughter.

Voicemail Caller:

And knowing that you both, as a mother and daughter, team shares so

Voicemail Caller:

much throughout your life and clearly your passions and your relationships

Voicemail Caller:

have grown, it's really inspiring.

Voicemail Caller:

And it makes me think a lot of my relationship and what I would

Voicemail Caller:

like to share with my daughters.

Voicemail Caller:

So thank you for that.

Voicemail Caller:

So thank you again for the beautiful podcast and my ears are ready to

Voicemail Caller:

listen to all the episodes I can.

Voicemail Caller:

So.

Voicemail Caller:

Thank you and lots of abundance to you both this summer.

Voicemail Caller:

Bye-bye.

Mary Kingsley:

Aw, thank you so much, Ellie.

Mary Kingsley:

That really means so much to us.

Mary Kingsley:

We really just love the affirmation and the encouragement and love to

Mary Kingsley:

know that you guys are out there listening and enjoying what we're

Mary Kingsley:

doing really, really appreciate it.

Emma Kingsley:

Yeah.

Emma Kingsley:

It's such an honor to be something that, or to be a part of something that you

Emma Kingsley:

would look forward to at the end of your day and that you would get value from.

Emma Kingsley:

So thank you for sharing that with us.

Emma Kingsley:

So feel free to call in anyone, all you.

Emma Kingsley:

Good dirt listeners.

Emma Kingsley:

The number is 443-459-1950, ask us a question.

Emma Kingsley:

Tell us about your favorite episode.

Emma Kingsley:

Just say, Hey and tell us where you're calling in from any of that.

Emma Kingsley:

We just love to hear from y'all and we think it's really important to just

Emma Kingsley:

share the community with the community.

Emma Kingsley:

So thank you all.

Emma Kingsley:

Yeah, I love it.

Emma Kingsley:

Mom.

Emma Kingsley:

What's the garden update?

Mary Kingsley:

Well, here we are Midsummer.

Mary Kingsley:

This is the time of year when you kind of shift from planting and weeding

Mary Kingsley:

and spending all that time in the garden where you're harvesting and

Mary Kingsley:

bringing things in to the kitchen and getting things processed and preserved.

Mary Kingsley:

So lately I've harvested elder berries.

Mary Kingsley:

and aronia berries.

Mary Kingsley:

There are lots and lots of tomatoes from the CSA already.

Mary Kingsley:

I brought him a whole box the other day.

Emma Kingsley:

We're talking about tomatoes in the Almanac so we share some

Emma Kingsley:

of our favorite ways to enjoy tomatoes.

Emma Kingsley:

Tomatoes or just the epitome of summer.

Emma Kingsley:

Are they not?

Mary Kingsley:

They are.

Mary Kingsley:

And today I made a big batch of fermented salsa, which was one of my

Mary Kingsley:

favorite things to do with the tomatoes.

Mary Kingsley:

I am not one to do a lot of canning.

Mary Kingsley:

I must prefer fermenting and salsa is easy and delicious.

Mary Kingsley:

And the only problem with it is it hardly ever makes it to the winter months.

Emma Kingsley:

I know I was gonna say the only problem is it is go so fast.

Emma Kingsley:

Yeah, we see.

Emma Kingsley:

Cause you can literally eat it with everything right on eggs, on toast

Emma Kingsley:

as a lunch, as a soup, as a chip dip, as a topping on your meat.

Mary Kingsley:

Yeah, it's for everything.

Emma Kingsley:

So,

Emma Kingsley:

well, Now getting into the episode, that brings us right to our

Emma Kingsley:

guest in the topic of this week.

Mary Kingsley:

Yeah.

Mary Kingsley:

Today we're talking to Julia Skinner of Root: historic

Mary Kingsley:

kitchens for the modern world.

Mary Kingsley:

Root was born from Julia's deep love for community and a belief in

Mary Kingsley:

the power of food to tell stories, connect us to place and to each other,

Mary Kingsley:

and to build a bridge to the past.

Emma Kingsley:

Julie's work is all about food, history, food stories, and where

Emma Kingsley:

it comes from and the people behind it.

Emma Kingsley:

She loves fostering connections with other people and with the earth around us.

Mary Kingsley:

And Julie's especially interested in learning and teaching

Mary Kingsley:

about fermentation, which is one of the most ancient and powerful techniques for

Mary Kingsley:

preparing delicious and healthy food and you don't need much equipment and you

Mary Kingsley:

really don't need much knowhow either.

Mary Kingsley:

The instructions are quite simple.

Mary Kingsley:

And as we were just saying, we're really big fans of fermentation.

Mary Kingsley:

And this is one of the reasons why we really enjoyed this

Mary Kingsley:

conversation with Julia so much.

Mary Kingsley:

There was so much in there though there was, and we just kind of

Mary Kingsley:

went all over the place with food and culture and food history.

Mary Kingsley:

And it was really, really fun.

Emma Kingsley:

It's cool.

Emma Kingsley:

That food is you know, one of the very few things that tangibly,

Emma Kingsley:

it ties us to our ancestors.

Mary Kingsley:

Absolutely.

Emma Kingsley:

You've always had to eat food, haven't we?

Mary Kingsley:

Yeah.

Mary Kingsley:

And I love what Julie was saying about really feeling this deep connection

Mary Kingsley:

to her ancestral heritage, that she was really not even that aware of.

Mary Kingsley:

And you'll hear about that in this episode.

Mary Kingsley:

Right?

Emma Kingsley:

We're so excited to share this with you.

Emma Kingsley:

And so without further ado here is Julia Skinner.

Julia Skinner:

My name's Julia Skinner and I am a food writer.

Julia Skinner:

I am the founder of root, which is a fermentation and food

Julia Skinner:

history company based in Atlanta.

Julia Skinner:

And I do all kinds of other stuff.

Julia Skinner:

I do visual art, I garden.

Julia Skinner:

I take all kinds of, you know, interesting classes and spend time in nature.

Julia Skinner:

But most of what I do is writing around fermentation and food history

Julia Skinner:

and teaching classes around it.

Julia Skinner:

And so I started, I mean, my, like my professional journey

Julia Skinner:

has been all over the place.

Julia Skinner:

Like I started out getting an undergrad at social psychology, and then I changed

Julia Skinner:

my mind and I went into library science.

Julia Skinner:

But while I was doing that, I was driving city buses and working at

Julia Skinner:

a library and then I like got a PhD and managed a rare book collection

Julia Skinner:

and then started this business.

Julia Skinner:

So it's like been all over the place.

Mary Kingsley:

You're what we call a Renaissance woman.

Julia Skinner:

Yeah.

Julia Skinner:

something like that.

Emma Kingsley:

I love that so much.

Emma Kingsley:

I can relate.

Julia Skinner:

So I think this curiosity and this desire to experience all

Julia Skinner:

these different things and being surprised at how all those things end

Julia Skinner:

up matching up and interplaying and overlapping in ways you didn't expect.

Julia Skinner:

And part of why I feel like I'm always looking for different things to do.

Julia Skinner:

And I've had this whole crazy trajectory because I'm like, oh,

Julia Skinner:

"Hey, like it turns out bus driving actually really helps me do this other

Julia Skinner:

thing, like who would've thought!"

Julia Skinner:

And so, now I can have all these things kind of build on each other.

Emma Kingsley:

Also.

Emma Kingsley:

That's so funny because I feel like secretly one of my secret jobs I

Emma Kingsley:

wish I could do is be a bus driver.

Emma Kingsley:

I dunno if I've ever said that.

Emma Kingsley:

Yeah.

Emma Kingsley:

I just like, I love people and I love, I could like love driving, but I feel

Emma Kingsley:

like bus driving would be different

Julia Skinner:

and it's different.

Julia Skinner:

Yeah.

Julia Skinner:

Yeah.

Julia Skinner:

Besides the work I do now, I mean, as far as jobs for other people,

Julia Skinner:

that's been like the most fun job.

Julia Skinner:

Like you just drive around and it's great because if you drive early mornings, you

Julia Skinner:

can watch the sunrise and you're like drinking your coffee and driving the bus.

Julia Skinner:

And everybody's too tired to talk with you.

Julia Skinner:

So they just kind of get on and sit down.

Julia Skinner:

Mm-hmm it's wonderful.

Julia Skinner:

Like early morning buses are really the best

Emma Kingsley:

Yeah.

Emma Kingsley:

I love

Mary Kingsley:

that.

Mary Kingsley:

So what would you say, I'm sure you've had a lot of aha moments.

Mary Kingsley:

I'm curious as to what was your aha moment?

Mary Kingsley:

If there was one about what you're doing now, like the whole fermentation thing.

Emma Kingsley:

Yeah.

Emma Kingsley:

Or maybe that led you to the book or something?

Julia Skinner:

Yeah.

Julia Skinner:

So I've always obviously been interested in food.

Julia Skinner:

I mean, I think most people who come to food as a career have a lifelong

Julia Skinner:

interest in it for the most part.

Julia Skinner:

But when I became interested in food history, it was actually during, I

Julia Skinner:

have a master's in library science and in book art and book history.

Mary Kingsley:

So do I!

Julia Skinner:

Oh, really!

Mary Kingsley:

Did you get yours at Emory by any chance?

Julia Skinner:

I didn't.

Julia Skinner:

Okay.

Julia Skinner:

I took my MA is from Iowa and then my doctorates from Florida state.

Julia Skinner:

I

Mary Kingsley:

got my master's in library science at Emory right there in Atlanta.

Mary Kingsley:

Oh, nice.

Mary Kingsley:

Yeah.

Mary Kingsley:

Yeah.

Mary Kingsley:

But I don't think they have that program anymore.

Mary Kingsley:

But anyway, go ahead.

Julia Skinner:

During my graduate program, one of the things that we were looking

Julia Skinner:

at was the history of books, right?

Julia Skinner:

And so we went into the special collections at the library and

Julia Skinner:

looked at all these medieval manuscripts and early modern books

Julia Skinner:

and kind of all over the place.

Julia Skinner:

And there was one that they brought out and I was like,

Julia Skinner:

what on earth is this thing?

Julia Skinner:

I am just so fascinated by it.

Julia Skinner:

And it was this book that I still turned to a lot it's Gervase

Julia Skinner:

Markham's, "The English Huswife".

Julia Skinner:

It was published first in 1615 it went through several iterations after that.

Julia Skinner:

I think the last edition is from like the 1680s.

Julia Skinner:

It was really interesting to me because it was unlike any other

Julia Skinner:

cookbook I had seen at that point, their recipes looked different.

Julia Skinner:

I mean, obviously the paper and everything was different and the printing was doing,

Julia Skinner:

you know, like all of that book structure stuff was different, but the actual

Julia Skinner:

recipes themselves looked different.

Julia Skinner:

And so it was really interesting to see that and then kind

Julia Skinner:

of get curiosity around it.

Julia Skinner:

I ended up researching that for my final project, for the center, for the book.

Julia Skinner:

And then when I went on to get my PhD, I wasn't really doing as much

Julia Skinner:

with actual food history because I was, you know, writing my dissertation

Julia Skinner:

and stuff on library science.

Julia Skinner:

So I was like a little busy, but as I was in my PhD program,

Julia Skinner:

I didn't really focus on it.

Julia Skinner:

And then, you know, I got more and more interested after I graduated.

Julia Skinner:

I started working with rare books again, and I was like, oh, I can finally go

Julia Skinner:

back to looking at these old cookbooks.

Julia Skinner:

And then from there, once I left that job, I didn't have another position lined up.

Julia Skinner:

And I was like, this maybe my only time where I'm, you know, I'm gonna

Julia Skinner:

let myself actually sit down and think, what is it I really wanna do?

Julia Skinner:

Not just what trajectory am I on, but like, if I'm gonna switch

Julia Skinner:

trajectories, like this is the time.

Julia Skinner:

And so I did, and I was like, I really wanna work more with food.

Julia Skinner:

I really wanna do all of that.

Julia Skinner:

And so that was kind of how I started Root was in 2018 kind of

Julia Skinner:

having all those realizations.

Mary Kingsley:

We hear that.

Mary Kingsley:

So often with people we talk to, they reach a point where they sit

Mary Kingsley:

down and kind of just try to get quiet, remove all the noise and

Mary Kingsley:

say, what is it I really wanna do?

Mary Kingsley:

Mm-hmm and it leads them in all these fantastic, wonderful projects and

Mary Kingsley:

niches and book titles and companies.

Mary Kingsley:

And I just love it.

Mary Kingsley:

So.

Mary Kingsley:

I love root.

Mary Kingsley:

Oh my gosh.

Mary Kingsley:

That's what a great name for a company and what you're doing.

Mary Kingsley:

That's just fabulous.

Mary Kingsley:

Thank you.

Mary Kingsley:

Um, yeah.

Mary Kingsley:

So what about root veered you into the whole fermented thing, which ends up being

Mary Kingsley:

just so vast, you know, fermented foods.

Julia Skinner:

So I got into fermented food.

Julia Skinner:

I mean, I've been fermenting for probably about 15 years or so.

Mary Kingsley:

How did you first know about it?

Mary Kingsley:

What led you to that in the very beginning?

Mary Kingsley:

Like for your own personal use?

Julia Skinner:

So I first got into fermentation, like in my early to

Julia Skinner:

mid twenties, I was in college and working and going to school and broke.

Julia Skinner:

Like most people, , are in their early twenties.

Julia Skinner:

And so I was relying a lot on food from food pantries or whatever

Julia Skinner:

was cheapest from grocery store.

Julia Skinner:

And so it wasn't exactly the most balanced diet on the planet.

Julia Skinner:

And I finally got an apartment that had like, not only its own kitchen, which

Julia Skinner:

was great, cuz the place I had lived before was like a rooming house with

Julia Skinner:

six people you shared a kitchen with.

Julia Skinner:

And that was a lot.

Julia Skinner:

So I had finally my own kitchen, but I also had this tiny

Julia Skinner:

little garden patch out front.

Julia Skinner:

And so I could actually start growing stuff and I had gardened a little

Julia Skinner:

bit before, but I hadn't that much.

Julia Skinner:

And I discovered that all the stuff comes right at the same time and you

Julia Skinner:

have to figure out there something

Emma Kingsley:

with it.

Emma Kingsley:

this, that funny how that works.

Emma Kingsley:

when you grow up food, then you have food

Julia Skinner:

and then you have food and like a lot of food and like food

Julia Skinner:

that I think we're not used to dealing with just having an abundance of it and

Julia Skinner:

then, you know, not in modern society.

Julia Skinner:

And so I didn't know what to do.

Julia Skinner:

And so I talked with a friend who grew up on a farm and she's

Julia Skinner:

like, well makes sauerkraut.

Julia Skinner:

And I was like, oh yeah.

Julia Skinner:

Okay.

Julia Skinner:

And so, and so kind of started there and then branched out.

Julia Skinner:

I feel like a lot of people, at least that I talked to in the us kind of start with

Julia Skinner:

sauerkraut, expand out to other ferment,

Mary Kingsley:

the gateway.

Emma Kingsley:

So were you growing cabbage or was it like carrots and just like other

Emma Kingsley:

stuff you were just kind of fermenting.

Julia Skinner:

I mean, both I was growing, I grew some cabbage and that was kind

Julia Skinner:

of how the sauerkraut thing started.

Julia Skinner:

Yeah.

Julia Skinner:

I lived in Iowa at the time.

Julia Skinner:

And so there was like a long enough spring that you could grow cabbage.

Julia Skinner:

I feel like when I try to grow them here in Georgia, like I know other

Julia Skinner:

people who know what they're doing better than I do have more success.

Julia Skinner:

Yeah.

Julia Skinner:

I just don't put 'em in the ground at the right time here.

Julia Skinner:

So yeah, it never works, but there it did and say I would grow

Julia Skinner:

some root vegetables, mostly.

Julia Skinner:

Cabbages and greens and then in the summer, just like insane

Julia Skinner:

numbers of tomatoes and zucchini.

Julia Skinner:

Yeah.

Mary Kingsley:

Wow.

Mary Kingsley:

So 15 years ago was before the whole fermentation craze, so to

Mary Kingsley:

speak or not craze, but I would say burgeoning interest mm-hmm

Mary Kingsley:

people were familiar with sauerkraut, but they probably

Mary Kingsley:

were not familiar with the fact.

Mary Kingsley:

The sauerkraut that you would buy in the store?

Mary Kingsley:

Probably none of it was like real sauerkraut.

Mary Kingsley:

It was just like mm-hmm, brined in vinegar.

Mary Kingsley:

Not the real alive probiotic sauerkraut that we think of

Mary Kingsley:

as being the traditional kind.

Mary Kingsley:

So you were ahead of your time and give us the trajectory from there.

Mary Kingsley:

Sauerkraut of course is only one mm-hmm, kind of fermentative food and

Mary Kingsley:

there's so many, it's like a vast world.

Mary Kingsley:

And tell us about that.

Julia Skinner:

You know, I started out kind of just doing lactose

Julia Skinner:

fermentation for the most part.

Julia Skinner:

I would make Starr, I would make pickled vegetables, yogurt, and

Julia Skinner:

then, you know, over time I got interested in other things, but it

Julia Skinner:

was still very much a hobby for me.

Julia Skinner:

It actually wasn't until in 2018, I had a residency with, Sandor

Julia Skinner:

Katz and it was interestingly timed because about a month prior to

Julia Skinner:

that, my mom had died unexpectedly.

Julia Skinner:

And when she did the last thing she told me was to tell people about the food.

Julia Skinner:

And then I had this residency, like a month later was a space

Julia Skinner:

where I felt really comfortable and where I felt really myself.

Julia Skinner:

And like, I was just among friends.

Julia Skinner:

Like it was a really good space as well as just being an interesting topic.

Julia Skinner:

And so the timing of those two things felt very much like something was telling me

Julia Skinner:

I needed to focus more on fermentation.

Julia Skinner:

And so I did, so I moved my business was initially more focused

Julia Skinner:

on like food history, sort of consulting and some writing stuff.

Julia Skinner:

And then I brought in more fermentation and fermentation education into

Julia Skinner:

the mix and then kind of smash that together with my food history stuff,

Julia Skinner:

and then wrote a book about it.

Emma Kingsley:

that was a sweet story.

Emma Kingsley:

So tell us how this book came to be.

Julia Skinner:

So once I started focusing on fermentation more, of course.

Julia Skinner:

You know, there's so many rabbit holes you can go down.

Julia Skinner:

I mean, there was stuff that I hadn't really ever played

Julia Skinner:

with before, like Koji, right.

Julia Skinner:

I had not really experimented with that hardly at all, prior

Julia Skinner:

to going up to that residency.

Julia Skinner:

And, you know, I started making friends who, or really in fermentation

Julia Skinner:

had all these things to teach me.

Julia Skinner:

It was just like, oh God, there's so much.

Julia Skinner:

And like every culture has ferments and look at all the ways we use ferments.

Julia Skinner:

And like, why has nobody put this all in one place?

Julia Skinner:

People have put a lot of it in places like Sandor Katz's "Art of

Julia Skinner:

Fermentation", I think, is the one people often think of where there is

Julia Skinner:

a lot of this stuff, but it's, you know, it's organized a bit differently.

Julia Skinner:

And so it was like, it'd be really nice to organize it by the different

Julia Skinner:

ways that we, as humans have been influenced by these foods.

Julia Skinner:

And so that was kind of how the book came about.

Julia Skinner:

And I wrote out a proposal.

Julia Skinner:

I was really lucky.

Julia Skinner:

I happened to meet my agent completely unexpectedly.

Julia Skinner:

I went to this event that another friend was speaking at.

Julia Skinner:

And my agent happened to be speaking there and I didn't know, and I

Julia Skinner:

was introduced to her and she was.

Julia Skinner:

Oh, you sent me a book proposal.

Julia Skinner:

I want it.

Julia Skinner:

oh, weird.

Julia Skinner:

Oh my goodness.

Julia Skinner:

Oh, wow.

Julia Skinner:

So like this kinda all happened once that I had somebody who wanted to represent

Julia Skinner:

the book and then she shopped it around and then I wrote it and delays and

Julia Skinner:

pandemic and everything kind of made it.

Julia Skinner:

So it's not coming out until this year, but that's actually good because I

Julia Skinner:

wanna be able to travel around and talk with people and show people this stuff.

Julia Skinner:

Engage with them.

Julia Skinner:

And like, I'm sure I'll do virtual events too, but it's nice to have

Julia Skinner:

the option to bring the book out into the world in a few different ways.

Emma Kingsley:

Totally.

Emma Kingsley:

Wow.

Emma Kingsley:

That's such a funny story being your agent that way.

Emma Kingsley:

Mm-hmm

Julia Skinner:

yeah, I knows so unexpected.

Julia Skinner:

I like it.

Emma Kingsley:

Yeah.

Emma Kingsley:

So what is your elevator pitch about fermented foods for

Emma Kingsley:

people who are new to this idea?

Emma Kingsley:

My grandpa likes to call them rotten vegetables.

Julia Skinner:

so I think there's a lot of intimidation around ferment

Julia Skinner:

and there doesn't have to be, I really like, I like the more positive framing,

Julia Skinner:

like Sandor says his description is the transformative action of microbes.

Julia Skinner:

And I like that idea of transformation and thinking about the way that

Julia Skinner:

that transformation helps us.

Julia Skinner:

Yeah.

Julia Skinner:

In all these different ways, preserve food, make nutrients available to our

Julia Skinner:

bodies, develop new flavors, like all of this interesting stuff that we can do.

Julia Skinner:

So, you know, it's something that maybe is intimidating for people, but

Julia Skinner:

I think is recognizing both its value to us, but also the fact that people

Julia Skinner:

are eating a ton of ferments anyways, like whether or not they realize it.

Julia Skinner:

So.

Julia Skinner:

You don't need to be afraid of it.

Mary Kingsley:

So I think a lot of people from the get go are really

Mary Kingsley:

concerned about the safety of it.

Mary Kingsley:

Like, you know, like my dad calling it rotten vegetables,

Mary Kingsley:

mm-hmm , he, he sees it.

Mary Kingsley:

He thinks you're just eating things that are half rotten.

Mary Kingsley:

And how do you frame it so that people go, oh, okay.

Julia Skinner:

You know, well, I mean, I think framing it in, in the way

Julia Skinner:

that it's something that we've been doing for, you know, I mean thousands

Julia Skinner:

and thousands of years, and yeah.

Julia Skinner:

You know, it's something that the microbes that we're working with, we're

Julia Skinner:

collaborating with these microbes who.

Julia Skinner:

We literally rely on to survive, like to digest our food, like the microbes

Julia Skinner:

that we're working with provided that we follow the right safety precautions.

Julia Skinner:

I mean, you know, like make sure you're doing it safely, but especially with

Julia Skinner:

fermented vegetables, not that hard to do safely, like it is actually pretty

Julia Skinner:

easy and you get all these probiotics and you get all these healthy benefits.

Julia Skinner:

And I tell people too, even if they fail, like to not look at failure is

Julia Skinner:

failure with fermentation because it's always a chance to learn something

Julia Skinner:

else and to, you know, to kind of understand what happens so that you

Julia Skinner:

can make it better in the future.

Julia Skinner:

Learn more about that process.

Julia Skinner:

I mean, Fermentation is just such a place for experimentation that

Julia Skinner:

I think it doesn't need us to be intimidated or to do any of that.

Julia Skinner:

We can just kind of dig in and play and explore, and it is

Mary Kingsley:

very safe.

Mary Kingsley:

Mm-hmm, talk about that.

Mary Kingsley:

You're not gonna kill your family, right?

Julia Skinner:

I mean, there are ways that you can make fermentation

Julia Skinner:

unsafe, but it is hard to do.

Julia Skinner:

Especially if you're new to it, just follow a recipe from a

Julia Skinner:

trusted source and you'll be fine.

Julia Skinner:

I mean, look at the best practices that that person tells you.

Julia Skinner:

Like, for example, when I teach fermentation classes, one of the

Julia Skinner:

first things I tell people to do is to make sure that they're

Julia Skinner:

keeping things under the brine.

Julia Skinner:

If you keep things under the brine, if you're making sauerkraut and it

Julia Skinner:

has that brine over it, you're going to drastically reduce the serious

Julia Skinner:

problems you might have with that.

Julia Skinner:

And if you check it regularly, you know, that's good too.

Julia Skinner:

You can catch problems early.

Julia Skinner:

You can make sure stuff's under the Bri.

Julia Skinner:

You could make sure it's kind of doing what it needs to do.

Julia Skinner:

Yeah.

Julia Skinner:

I mean, fermented vegetables, incredibly safe.

Julia Skinner:

I mean like meat fermentation, you wanna take a little more care?

Julia Skinner:

People have been fermenting meat safely for thousands and thousands of years, too.

Julia Skinner:

So as long as, again, as long as you're following the best

Julia Skinner:

practices, it is very safe to do.

Emma Kingsley:

And do you teach a lot fermenting workshops?

Julia Skinner:

Mm-hmm so before the pandemic, I taught a lot of them in

Julia Skinner:

person and then obviously wasn't for, um, for a couple years, like the rest

Julia Skinner:

of us and so I was, at the time I was already teaching classes online,

Julia Skinner:

self-paced online ones were basically.

Julia Skinner:

People sign up and they just can kind of go in and do stuff whenever they don't

Julia Skinner:

have to go to timed sessions with me

Julia Skinner:

That obviously picked up during the pandemic.

Julia Skinner:

I am gonna be teaching a few in person workshops this year, and

Julia Skinner:

I'm kind of trying to decide what I wanna do for those moving forward,

Julia Skinner:

but they really are fun to teach.

Julia Skinner:

Like I don't wanna ever stop doing it completely.

Julia Skinner:

Cuz yeah.

Julia Skinner:

It's so fun to watch someone.

Julia Skinner:

Make ferment for the first time and realize that they can do it.

Julia Skinner:

And then, you know, they'll email me a week later and there's like, I did it

Julia Skinner:

look like the sauerkraut is sauerkraut!

Julia Skinner:

Yeah.

Julia Skinner:

so it

Emma Kingsley:

is so exciting.

Emma Kingsley:

Yeah.

Emma Kingsley:

And it is fun to watch other people get excited.

Mary Kingsley:

Yeah.

Mary Kingsley:

It is fun when you do it on community.

Mary Kingsley:

And that's something that the zoom classes and the online stuff has

Mary Kingsley:

afforded people to really share about their results and show pictures.

Mary Kingsley:

And it's really fun.

Mary Kingsley:

So you're younger than I am, but I think you and are the same generation, but

Mary Kingsley:

talk about like growing up and where you see you've written about the history

Mary Kingsley:

of food, you have researched it a lot.

Mary Kingsley:

What, in your own experiences, what transformations have you seen

Mary Kingsley:

in food culture in your lifetime?

Mary Kingsley:

I love this topic.

Mary Kingsley:

I love cuz it speaks to our times so much, you

Julia Skinner:

know, you know, when I was growing up, we had, I think it was

Julia Skinner:

at a times, you know, early eighties.

Julia Skinner:

That was when I was born.

Julia Skinner:

Still a lot of convenience food.

Julia Skinner:

I mean, there's still a lot of convenience food now, but I think

Julia Skinner:

maybe more widespread public awareness wasn't yet there about natural foods.

Julia Skinner:

And.

Julia Skinner:

You know, whole grains and all these things.

Julia Skinner:

So I think that's definitely a shift.

Julia Skinner:

You know, we ate that stuff when I was growing up, we ate raw vegetables

Julia Skinner:

and whole grain things and stuff, but we also ate processed food too.

Julia Skinner:

Like we just kind of ate all kinds of stuff.

Julia Skinner:

But as an adult, I've noticed more people having an interest in fermentation,

Julia Skinner:

but in kind of all of these different, more traditional food making processes,

Julia Skinner:

mm-hmm, in, you know different ways of exploring food and health.

Julia Skinner:

But in tandem with that one thing I appreciate is that we're starting to

Julia Skinner:

see more conversations around access and money and things like that.

Julia Skinner:

Like how, whether or not people can access these healthy foods

Julia Skinner:

and what those conversations look like and how we can promote that.

Julia Skinner:

And I'm glad to see that too, because of course, you know, I can be like everybody

Julia Skinner:

eat fermented vegetables all the time.

Julia Skinner:

Use organic vegetables, but like, if you don't have access to organic

Julia Skinner:

vegetables, like it, it doesn't matter how many times I tell you or

Julia Skinner:

how bad you want to mm-hmm so it's been nice to see that conversation.

Julia Skinner:

And during the pandemic too, I think we really saw this.

Julia Skinner:

I don't know if you two experienced this as well, but I noticed at the

Julia Skinner:

start of the pandemic, suddenly there was this huge interest in reducing

Julia Skinner:

food waste in fermentation and all of these things, you know, things that I

Julia Skinner:

had already been teaching about, but suddenly because people were like, oh,

Julia Skinner:

I really actually need to like preserve my food and stretch my food because like

Julia Skinner:

our food stores are not like maybe our supply chains aren't as, you know, as

Julia Skinner:

perfect as I might have thought they are.

Julia Skinner:

Mm-hmm , you know, suddenly I was teaching all of these classes around

Julia Skinner:

food waste, even more than usual and around, you know, fermentation and stuff.

Julia Skinner:

And I was wondering, as the pandemic went on, how people's relationship

Julia Skinner:

with those two things would change.

Julia Skinner:

Like would people suddenly stop caring about food waste?

Julia Skinner:

Would they care less about fermentation?

Julia Skinner:

Like would they just go back to old whatever habits.

Julia Skinner:

But it seems like.

Julia Skinner:

At least a lot of the people I'm talking to and following online and

Julia Skinner:

everything, are still very much in those spaces are still very much

Julia Skinner:

interested in fermentation in reducing food waste and educating others.

Julia Skinner:

So that's, that's been really a nice, nice thing to see.

Julia Skinner:

Yeah, I

Emma Kingsley:

think so.

Emma Kingsley:

I agree with you.

Emma Kingsley:

I think that it was definitely a thing during the pandemic, but

Emma Kingsley:

I think it's like carried on.

Emma Kingsley:

I think it seemed to me like a trend that was like a flash in the pan kind of thing.

Mary Kingsley:

Yeah.

Mary Kingsley:

I think it did have a big effect, you know, at the beginning of the pandemic,

Mary Kingsley:

there was this just surge in people's interest and growing their own food.

Mary Kingsley:

I think that is sort of tapered off to your point.

Mary Kingsley:

I think some things have persisted.

Mary Kingsley:

One of them being our sort of lack of confidence or lack of total confidence.

Mary Kingsley:

Should I say in the supply chains.

Mary Kingsley:

Yeah.

Mary Kingsley:

Yeah.

Mary Kingsley:

We've been experiencing that kind of on and off

Julia Skinner:

throughout the thing.

Julia Skinner:

Yeah, totally.

Julia Skinner:

And an understanding that having an awareness of how to have these

Julia Skinner:

skills to stretch your food farther, like it's not a bad thing, even if

Julia Skinner:

it's not something you use all the time, at least knowing how to do it.

Julia Skinner:

I think a lot of people are like, I at least want the skills, just

Julia Skinner:

in case wanna know how to do it.

Julia Skinner:

So yeah.

Julia Skinner:

It's an interesting time to be in food education, whole foods,

Julia Skinner:

fermentation sort of stuff.

Mary Kingsley:

What other food culture trends do you see emerging or

Mary Kingsley:

disappearing or anything about that?

Mary Kingsley:

Well,

Julia Skinner:

Going back to discussions of access around

Julia Skinner:

food, , I'm really interested to see where those conversations go,

Julia Skinner:

because we have, you know, we have all these different ways that we talk about

Julia Skinner:

bringing healthy food to communities in food deserts and things, but it's

Julia Skinner:

a complex issue there's, you know, kind of complex problems around it.

Julia Skinner:

And so I'm curious to see how those conversations continue to evolve,

Julia Skinner:

what solutions people come up with.

Julia Skinner:

And again, I think the pandemic made that more pronounced made those conversations

Julia Skinner:

more pronounced like here in Atlanta, we now have the $3.99 fridge, which

Julia Skinner:

is a mutual aid free fridge program.

Julia Skinner:

And they're wonderful because people can drop food.

Julia Skinner:

People can pick up food, you know, you don't have to wait at

Julia Skinner:

a food pantry and do all of that.

Julia Skinner:

You just, you go, there's food there and you can get it.

Julia Skinner:

And so that's been something that I've been trying to contribute to a lot and a

Julia Skinner:

lot of people have other people have too.

Julia Skinner:

And

Mary Kingsley:

can you explain a little more about how that works?

Julia Skinner:

Yeah, so there's free fridges, I think existed, you know, before

Julia Skinner:

the pandemic too, but I think really.

Julia Skinner:

Got legs with the, that initial round of layoffs and everything and

Julia Skinner:

closures and lockdowns and stuff.

Julia Skinner:

Basically it's a refrigerator and usually like shelves pantry for shelf

Julia Skinner:

stable foods, mm-hmm , and they'll be in front of a business or in front of, you

Julia Skinner:

know, a church or something like that.

Julia Skinner:

And they just, community members can come and stock the fridge with, you

Julia Skinner:

know, like I can go to the store and buy boxes of spaghetti, for example.

Julia Skinner:

And put the boxes of noodles in the pantry area, or I can go and get

Julia Skinner:

stuff and make like, I don't know, a batch of spaghetti and put it in

Julia Skinner:

containers and put it in the fridge.

Julia Skinner:

Oh, that's so cool.

Julia Skinner:

Yeah.

Julia Skinner:

And then like people who are hungry can just come and be like,

Julia Skinner:

I would like some spaghetti.

Julia Skinner:

And take it out of the fridge and imagine, imagine, you know, or whatever, whatever

Julia Skinner:

it is that happens to be in there.

Julia Skinner:

But yeah.

Julia Skinner:

Yeah.

Julia Skinner:

Like you can go and get it, you know, you don't have to like fill out forms or

Julia Skinner:

prove that you need the food or like yeah.

Julia Skinner:

As somebody who's been to food banks before as a recipient of

Julia Skinner:

aid, I really appreciate that.

Julia Skinner:

It, it's not asking people to have to jump through hoops to

Julia Skinner:

try to eat dinner, like yeah.

Julia Skinner:

And that's one of the things I'm excited to see about trends in food and food

Julia Skinner:

culture we're just starting to recognize that we need to be talking more about

Julia Skinner:

like the actual dignity of the people receiving aid and talking not only about

Julia Skinner:

how to give them aid, but give them aid that is the aid they need and that,

Julia Skinner:

you know, they identify as wanting.

Julia Skinner:

So I don't know.

Julia Skinner:

That's a whole T read.

Julia Skinner:

No,

Emma Kingsley:

it's fascinating.

Emma Kingsley:

And it's, I think totally relevant.

Mary Kingsley:

So what does 99 mean?

Mary Kingsley:

It's it's free 99.

Julia Skinner:

Oh, free 99 fridge.

Julia Skinner:

I know people say like free 99 is , just like slang for free, but , I don't know

Julia Skinner:

if it's anything more than that, so,

Emma Kingsley:

oh, like 1 99, 2 99, like a

Mary Kingsley:

price.

Mary Kingsley:

Yeah.

Mary Kingsley:

Oh, I get it.

Mary Kingsley:

Yeah.

Mary Kingsley:

3 99.

Mary Kingsley:

So it also, it reminds me of that free library concept.

Mary Kingsley:

Yeah.

Mary Kingsley:

With the books.

Mary Kingsley:

Mm-hmm, , it's just a natural extension of that.

Mary Kingsley:

And I wanna go back to what you were saying about cuz I think it's so important

Mary Kingsley:

and I invite you to talk even more about it, this sort of growing awareness of the

Mary Kingsley:

dignity of people that need to receive.

Mary Kingsley:

Basic resources.

Mary Kingsley:

It is not like they're, they're there because they didn't work hard enough

Mary Kingsley:

or they're, you know, you know, it's whatever they're human being.

Mary Kingsley:

So, anyway, talk about

Julia Skinner:

that a little bit.

Julia Skinner:

I actually just had a conversation.

Julia Skinner:

Gosh, like a week or two ago for my newsletter.

Julia Skinner:

I did an interview with somebody who runs a farmer's market.

Julia Skinner:

And one of the things her and I were talking about was the fact that so often

Julia Skinner:

when these aid programs are developed, one of the big things that happens is a bunch

Julia Skinner:

of people come into a room and are like, they don't have enough food in this place.

Julia Skinner:

We must bring food to the place, but nobody ever really asks the people who

Julia Skinner:

live there or who are getting the aid, what they need, like, for example, Well,

Julia Skinner:

do you need something like a free fridge?

Julia Skinner:

Or do you want to learn how to garden in a community garden or both or whatever?

Julia Skinner:

Mm-hmm but nobody ever asks, so you end up with these programs that are very well

Julia Skinner:

meaning, but maybe don't have the most important stakeholders involved, which

Julia Skinner:

is the people who you're trying to feed

Julia Skinner:

Yeah.

Julia Skinner:

So

Emma Kingsley:

interesting.

Emma Kingsley:

It's like your idea of what will help someone, but if you really

Emma Kingsley:

wanna help, then the best thing to do is like ask like, yeah,

Julia Skinner:

yeah.

Julia Skinner:

Like what do you need?

Julia Skinner:

Cause it like, it might not be, yeah, it might not be what you think it is or like.

Julia Skinner:

The way that you're thinking of giving them that thing might not actually be

Julia Skinner:

what they want or what's useful for.

Julia Skinner:

'em like, if I'm like, don't worry, I'm gonna bring you a bunch of cans of food.

Julia Skinner:

And they're like, yeah.

Julia Skinner:

But like, I can get cans with WIC.

Julia Skinner:

It's fine.

Julia Skinner:

What I need is I don't know, fresh vegetables or something.

Julia Skinner:

Yeah.

Julia Skinner:

Interesting.

Julia Skinner:

Yeah.

Mary Kingsley:

And I guess in our space, we see also a lot of interest

Mary Kingsley:

in creating more food, grown in urban areas, densely populated urban area.

Mary Kingsley:

And a lot more education around that and a lot more interest in that, and

Mary Kingsley:

also a lot more awareness of people in these food deserts or however you

Mary Kingsley:

wanna put that, understanding the value, the real value of that just

Mary Kingsley:

to their health and to the climate.

Mary Kingsley:

And just so many, so many

Emma Kingsley:

things.

Emma Kingsley:

And having that connection to where instead of just like, here's some

Emma Kingsley:

cans that have maybe even shipped across the country four times,

Emma Kingsley:

providing the opportunity to create that relationship with your food.

Emma Kingsley:

Yeah.

Julia Skinner:

Well, and I think, you know, teaching people, you know how to

Julia Skinner:

use that stuff, like, you know, one of the community gardens here they're talking

Julia Skinner:

about doing, you know, fermentation and food waste classes, I'll be working

Julia Skinner:

with them to teach a class in July.

Julia Skinner:

and part of the goal behind it is to help people have more ideas for

Julia Skinner:

what to do with this stuff, because they're in the same situation that

Julia Skinner:

I was 15 years ago where great.

Julia Skinner:

Now you've got these vegetables.

Julia Skinner:

Well, like what do you do with them now?

Julia Skinner:

So yeah, that sort of education component, you know, and I think like

Julia Skinner:

food rescues too, we haven't really touched on that yet, but that's

Julia Skinner:

another kind of interesting food redistribution thing, go hell what

Emma Kingsley:

is food rescue?

Mary Kingsley:

Yeah.

Mary Kingsley:

Go for

Julia Skinner:

it.

Julia Skinner:

So food rescues basically take like food that might be wasted somewhere.

Julia Skinner:

Let's say like leftover food from a catering or, you know,

Julia Skinner:

something like that, food that like, can't be resold, but isn't bad.

Julia Skinner:

Like there's perfectly good food, but just like some company will throw it out

Julia Skinner:

for whatever kind of, you know, oh, it's mislabeled or it's, you know, something's

Julia Skinner:

going on there's organizations.

Julia Skinner:

So here in Atlanta, gooder is one of 'em and then Ummi feeds is another.

Julia Skinner:

And I've worked more closely with Amy feeds what the woman

Julia Skinner:

who runs it does is she.

Julia Skinner:

She takes food.

Julia Skinner:

You know, people will donate food to her and she res it out into the

Julia Skinner:

community of unhoused folks in Atlanta.

Julia Skinner:

So she actually goes out in the streets and hands it out.

Julia Skinner:

And gooder does food redistribution as well.

Julia Skinner:

I'm less familiar with exactly like what their distribution model

Julia Skinner:

looks like, but I know that they do rescue a ton, a ton of food in town.

Julia Skinner:

So

Emma Kingsley:

cool.

Emma Kingsley:

I'm interested kind of going back to the food history part of it.

Emma Kingsley:

And admittedly, I have not read your book yet, but I'm really interested

Emma Kingsley:

in like, just cuz I love history and I love thinking about those things.

Emma Kingsley:

And what gets you excited about the history of fermentation?

Emma Kingsley:

Like tell some cool stories.

Mary Kingsley:

and Emma's defense.

Mary Kingsley:

The book was said to my house and she

Julia Skinner:

hasn't that's fair.

Julia Skinner:

That's fair.

Julia Skinner:

Okay.

Julia Skinner:

there's so many interesting things like, you know, like you said, when we were.

Julia Skinner:

This conversation is like, it's such a big topic, right?

Julia Skinner:

It's, there's so much to dive into.

Julia Skinner:

And so, you know, there's all of these interesting stories about, you know,

Julia Skinner:

how different foods developed and the fact that like, you know, hot peppers

Julia Skinner:

are not actually something that we saw in say like, so Goche, Jangs the

Julia Skinner:

hot pepper paste in Korean cuisine.

Julia Skinner:

I mean, people in, you know, say the 13 hundreds in Korea, would've had no idea

Julia Skinner:

what that was, cuz they didn't have hot peppers, you know, things like that.

Julia Skinner:

And you know, I think too going back to kind of thinking about

Julia Skinner:

this like access and things.

Julia Skinner:

One thing that came up for me a lot was access to information whose stories were

Julia Skinner:

preserved, whose stories are being told.

Julia Skinner:

And that's one of the interesting things about studying history for

Julia Skinner:

me is it's not only a chance to like appraise what is there and try to get

Julia Skinner:

your arms around like this big topic.

Julia Skinner:

But like also to take note of like whose voices aren't there and to like.

Julia Skinner:

Like at the end of the book, I do a lot of being like, please write

Julia Skinner:

this stuff down, please, everyone, like we need this smoother picture.

Julia Skinner:

Yeah.

Julia Skinner:

So it like, it kind of, because I'm encouraging people to write it down.

Julia Skinner:

And I'm also thinking about the past, like it's very much like situating

Julia Skinner:

ourselves as being a part of this history and a part of this trajectory.

Julia Skinner:

And that I think is the most exciting thing about fermentation history is

Julia Skinner:

that like, you're part of something that is both, I mean, on a micro

Julia Skinner:

level, completely unseen, but the effects of it are very obvious.

Julia Skinner:

And then, you know, it kind of has this ripple effect and you, you know, you meet

Julia Skinner:

this community and you learn these things and then you're building on stuff that

Julia Skinner:

happened before and, you know, building stuff for people to do in the future.

Julia Skinner:

And like, it's just all of this giant magical world.

Julia Skinner:

That's

Emma Kingsley:

so fascinating.

Emma Kingsley:

I love thinking about it like that.

Emma Kingsley:

And there's also a certain responsibility to it too.

Emma Kingsley:

That feels like you're.

Emma Kingsley:

You are taking part in this kind of system that's like bigger than you are.

Emma Kingsley:

Mm-hmm . And we've talked about it before on here a little bit, that same feeling

Emma Kingsley:

when you're like needing a thing, Fred, and you're like how many people before me.

Emma Kingsley:

My ancestors like needed bread.

Emma Kingsley:

And I sort of feel that way when I'm like making FAU or Keifer.

Emma Kingsley:

It's like just this simple thing that humans have been doing,

Emma Kingsley:

but I haven't thought about it.

Emma Kingsley:

Like also I'm just it.

Emma Kingsley:

And like, I'm gonna be history one day.

Julia Skinner:

That's so interesting.

Julia Skinner:

Yeah.

Julia Skinner:

It's but it's weird because it it's like thinking about our own

Julia Skinner:

practice, but not like centering ourselves in our own practice.

Julia Skinner:

Yes.

Julia Skinner:

It's like, it's a different way of thinking about how you cook, I guess.

Julia Skinner:

Yeah.

Mary Kingsley:

So do you have favorite story or favorite.

Mary Kingsley:

Something to share from the book or even an experience you had while writing it.

Mary Kingsley:

Just something that strikes you as just something to pass on.

Julia Skinner:

I mean, there's ton of favorite stories.

Julia Skinner:

And of course, when I try to pick just one, my brain's like, well, and just

Julia Skinner:

blanks . Yeah, I know, I know there is an experience that I had while writing

Julia Skinner:

it that, you know, I've been thinking about because my friend, Jess brought it

Julia Skinner:

up to me the other day that it, like, it struck her while she was reading as well.

Julia Skinner:

She mentioned it.

Julia Skinner:

And so I was like, kind of going back through and I was like, yeah,

Julia Skinner:

this was a really special thing.

Julia Skinner:

So most of my ancestry is like Celtic and like Scottish, like that's most

Julia Skinner:

of, kind of where my people are from is like Celtic, France and

Julia Skinner:

like Scotland for the most part.

Julia Skinner:

And.

Julia Skinner:

There's this one Scottish dish that I had never heard of until I started researching

Julia Skinner:

this book called soans and soans is when you mill oats, it's fermenting the holes

Julia Skinner:

and getting those last little bits of starch off of the holes and like, so

Julia Skinner:

fermenting it to separate that out and to sour those that you use them as a

Julia Skinner:

beverage or cook 'em down as a porridge.

Julia Skinner:

So all these different things you can do with it.

Julia Skinner:

But, so I started making that and like the first time that I had it and I hadn't

Julia Skinner:

known what this was until like, I don't know, a week before I tried making it,

Julia Skinner:

you know, I like, I barely knew the history of it, but like I tried it and

Julia Skinner:

I was like, it felt really familiar.

Julia Skinner:

Like it was this really interesting, like, like I was like, I know this flavor.

Julia Skinner:

And I was like, but I don't, I've never had this before.

Julia Skinner:

weird

Voicemail Caller:

and awesome.

Voicemail Caller:

Oh,

Mary Kingsley:

I love that.

Mary Kingsley:

Like your collective

Julia Skinner:

difference.

Julia Skinner:

Yeah.

Julia Skinner:

So it was like, it was.

Julia Skinner:

It was really, really like interesting.

Julia Skinner:

And it's, I don't know, it, it was like a reminder of like the power of being able

Julia Skinner:

to like access those foods and access those traditional foods and kind of, you

Julia Skinner:

know, that maybe even if it's not like that much of a light bulb sort of moment,

Julia Skinner:

like you're still having that connection.

Mary Kingsley:

You know, that sounds almost like you were having

Mary Kingsley:

a, a real cellular connection.

Mary Kingsley:

Mm-hmm your

Julia Skinner:

own ancestry.

Julia Skinner:

Yeah.

Julia Skinner:

Yeah.

Julia Skinner:

It was wild.

Voicemail Caller:

that's

Mary Kingsley:

fascinating.

Mary Kingsley:

That reminds me, um, I guess my favorite Fermit food mm-hmm keeper and Emma had

Mary Kingsley:

a friend over one time and I asked her if she wanted to taste my keeper and

Mary Kingsley:

was explaining what it was and stuff.

Mary Kingsley:

And she said she had never heard of it.

Mary Kingsley:

Didn't know what it was.

Mary Kingsley:

And then she took a sip and she.

Mary Kingsley:

This is what my grandmother used to make.

Mary Kingsley:

Oh, you know, hadn't remembered or didn't know the word or yeah.

Mary Kingsley:

Whatever.

Mary Kingsley:

And she was she's Costa Rican.

Mary Kingsley:

Was she from Costa Rica?

Emma Kingsley:

Her parents.

Emma Kingsley:

Yeah.

Emma Kingsley:

Like her par, like she was like first generat.

Emma Kingsley:

Like her parents came here from Costa Rica.

Emma Kingsley:

Yeah.

Emma Kingsley:

So there

Mary Kingsley:

was that cultural connection then, you know, I wouldn't

Mary Kingsley:

have thought that, you know, Keifer was Costa Rican it's, you know, from

Mary Kingsley:

more like the Turkey area, but whatever their version of it was, that's

Mary Kingsley:

probably why she didn't know the words.

Mary Kingsley:

So, yeah.

Mary Kingsley:

Do you have Keifer in your book?

Mary Kingsley:

I haven't seen it yet, but the index wasn't there.

Mary Kingsley:

So I

Voicemail Caller:

mention

Julia Skinner:

it.

Julia Skinner:

I don't have a recipe for it in the book.

Julia Skinner:

Oh, I'll have to give you.

Julia Skinner:

Yeah, I, well, I, I, so I actually grow it.

Julia Skinner:

I have it in my house.

Julia Skinner:

I just don't have the recipe.

Julia Skinner:

Yeah.

Julia Skinner:

Throw a little grains.

Julia Skinner:

Yeah.

Julia Skinner:

I got them at the start of the pandemic.

Julia Skinner:

Like I got them like a month before the pandemic started and.

Julia Skinner:

They're just like, I don't know.

Julia Skinner:

They're still going.

Julia Skinner:

And so I just feed 'em every couple days.

Julia Skinner:

Is it water

Emma Kingsley:

Keer or milk?

Emma Kingsley:

Keer milk.

Emma Kingsley:

Keer.

Mary Kingsley:

So for the next version of the book, mm-hmm, , there's a

Mary Kingsley:

real fun story on the history of Keer and how it got to have you

Mary Kingsley:

heard it, how it got to the country.

Mary Kingsley:

It involves betrayal, intrigue, princesses romance.

Mary Kingsley:

I will have

Julia Skinner:

to look into

Emma Kingsley:

this.

Emma Kingsley:

It actually might need some research.

Emma Kingsley:

We need someone to research it, cuz that sounds a little fantastical . So

Emma Kingsley:

what does a fermented life mean to you?

Emma Kingsley:

Yeah,

Julia Skinner:

well that's bit too.

Julia Skinner:

I mean, that's a great question.

Julia Skinner:

I mean, I think when we think about like things like slow food or things

Julia Skinner:

like that, I think can fall under a similar way of thinking about food.

Julia Skinner:

You know, it's, it's asking us to participate in the world a bit

Julia Skinner:

differently than, you know, the like nose to the crying stone nine

Julia Skinner:

to five, kind of basically like a very dissociated way of living.

Julia Skinner:

And this isn't like, I'm not trying to like knock on people who have nine

Julia Skinner:

to five jobs at all or any of that.

Julia Skinner:

But I think there can be a tendency for folks who aren't kind of

Julia Skinner:

intentionally creating life to kind of dissociate and float along.

Julia Skinner:

And that's, again, that's like not a dig on that journey at all, but for me, a

Julia Skinner:

fermented life is much more, you know, if you think about fermentation, it's

Julia Skinner:

always moving and active and changing and.

Julia Skinner:

It asks us to engage in the world in that way, you can't engage with

Julia Skinner:

ment and just be like, oh yeah, I'm making this sour crown, but I'm like,

Julia Skinner:

not even really paying attention, like you can't, but it's hard to do.

Julia Skinner:

Yeah.

Julia Skinner:

Can really asks for like your full attention and sensory engagement.

Julia Skinner:

So I think thinking of fermented lives as being very much something that asks

Julia Skinner:

us to intentionally create that life and to think about what that life looks like,

Julia Skinner:

how it's transforming, how it's growing.

Julia Skinner:

And, you know, like I said before, how it's connecting to the past,

Julia Skinner:

you know, how is this fermented life building and all the fermented

Julia Skinner:

lives that have already been here?

Julia Skinner:

Oh, I

Emma Kingsley:

love that.

Emma Kingsley:

That's so poetic and

Mary Kingsley:

beautiful.

Mary Kingsley:

Wonderful.

Mary Kingsley:

And the fermented life sounds a lot like slip

Emma Kingsley:

mm-hmm . Yes.

Emma Kingsley:

And it does, it is slow.

Julia Skinner:

It takes a while.

Julia Skinner:

No.

Julia Skinner:

Yeah, yeah.

Julia Skinner:

You definitely can't ferment something, you know, at the pace that we're used to.

Julia Skinner:

It's definitely not

Voicemail Caller:

on demand food.

Emma Kingsley:

Yeah.

Mary Kingsley:

So would you have anything more to add to that on, in

Mary Kingsley:

terms of, you know, what does slow living mean to you and how do you

Mary Kingsley:

incorporate that into your daily life now?

Mary Kingsley:

Yeah,

Julia Skinner:

so, you know, slow living, I think is really interesting

Julia Skinner:

because I've always liked the idea of slow living, but then have

Julia Skinner:

not always embodied it very well.

Julia Skinner:

Like I wrote my dissertation in about six months, like to give you

Julia Skinner:

a sense of like how not, well I do at embodying slow living sometimes

Emma Kingsley:

that's okay.

Emma Kingsley:

We have a whole podcast on slow living and I am like, my

Emma Kingsley:

Google calendar makes you dizzy.

Julia Skinner:

Okay.

Julia Skinner:

, I'm getting much better about it, which is good.

Julia Skinner:

And actually fermentation has been really central to that.

Julia Skinner:

You know, I think slow living.

Julia Skinner:

I feel like it reminds us to kind of, you know, if we're just like going and going

Julia Skinner:

and going and not stopping to appreciate like all the blessings we have on the way.

Julia Skinner:

I mean, you know, it's like, well, what's the point of all this going?

Julia Skinner:

If I just like go and then kind of fall over at some point I should

Julia Skinner:

probably appreciate, you know, for me, slow living is very much like

Julia Skinner:

connected with like kind of mindfulness and intention and all of that.

Julia Skinner:

I actually taught a class or I built a class for fermentation school on

Julia Skinner:

ferments for mindfulness, because using fermentation to cultivate mindfulness

Julia Skinner:

has actually been like one of the ways that I've been able to incorporate

Julia Skinner:

slow living into my life, to make myself like slow down and develop a

Julia Skinner:

practice that actually is starting my day with the appreciation for the

Julia Skinner:

stuff starting my day, being creative.

Julia Skinner:

Like the first thing I do when I wake up in the morning is I like.

Julia Skinner:

Put the kettle on to like, make some coffee and then I immediately

Julia Skinner:

just start playing with ferments.

Julia Skinner:

Like I just kind of like pick stuff up and smell it and move stuff around.

Julia Skinner:

See how's everybody's doing.

Julia Skinner:

Yeah.

Julia Skinner:

And like starting my day, like that, I mean has been absolutely transformative

Julia Skinner:

because like the first thing I'm doing with my day is both something I love,

Julia Skinner:

but something that's in partnership.

Julia Skinner:

Like I'm working with these other beings to make this food and I'm like slowing

Julia Skinner:

down and taking time to notice that.

Julia Skinner:

And.

Julia Skinner:

I think slow living is like revolutionary in that way, in that it asks us to have

Julia Skinner:

those moments and it makes those moments.

Julia Skinner:

Non-optional it's not like, no, I can just like, not do

Julia Skinner:

this when I don't feel like it.

Julia Skinner:

It's like, no, this is actually at the core of what I'm here to do.

Julia Skinner:

I love that so much.

Emma Kingsley:

And yeah.

Emma Kingsley:

And only does it, like you said something like you're in relationship with it.

Emma Kingsley:

Not only are you in relationship with it, but ferments truly nourish you in

Emma Kingsley:

a way that almost nothing else can.

Emma Kingsley:

And there's like really no real substitute.

Emma Kingsley:

Sure.

Emma Kingsley:

You can get probiotics and little capsules in a bottle, but like it's not the same.

Emma Kingsley:

Yeah.

Emma Kingsley:

And it's really hard to bottle that stuff in an industrial way on scale mm-hmm and

Emma Kingsley:

it's sort of in addition to what you're saying, all those wonderful things.

Emma Kingsley:

I love it as kind of an escape from like the system that we're in and

Emma Kingsley:

it's really like empowering and you.

Emma Kingsley:

Can do it yourself and yeah, it's kind of like everything we wanna

Emma Kingsley:

be doing incorporated in this little, quite simple actually

Julia Skinner:

thing.

Julia Skinner:

Well, I often tell people like, nobody owns fermentation and

Julia Skinner:

nobody can own fermentation.

Julia Skinner:

It's like truly democratic.

Julia Skinner:

I mean, it's like a force of nature, like cooking with fire.

Julia Skinner:

Nobody's gonna own fire.

Julia Skinner:

Yeah.

Julia Skinner:

Right.

Julia Skinner:

Like and nobody's gonna like, totally gather up all the fermentation microbes

Julia Skinner:

and be like, Nope, they're mine.

Julia Skinner:

Like you can't have them.

Julia Skinner:

You have to pay me for 'em.

Julia Skinner:

I mean, I think like, as you were talking, I was like, yeah, like that reminds me

Julia Skinner:

so much of that aspect of it as well.

Mary Kingsley:

Yeah.

Mary Kingsley:

I think that's brilliant.

Mary Kingsley:

That's really brilliant.

Mary Kingsley:

Boy.

Mary Kingsley:

That's that's so good.

Mary Kingsley:

And also I like,

Emma Kingsley:

how can we, it's hilarious before we just get with micro later weird

Mary Kingsley:

well, that reminds me of a story.

Mary Kingsley:

So my brother's a doctor at the CDC.

Mary Kingsley:

He was visiting one time again.

Mary Kingsley:

I served him Keifer.

Mary Kingsley:

I said, and, and he's a doctor MD, you know, I said, this

Mary Kingsley:

is very full of probiotics.

Mary Kingsley:

And he goes, Hmm, probiotics.

Emma Kingsley:

I always was like a doctor, like one of the smartest

Emma Kingsley:

people in the field of public health.

Emma Kingsley:

like at the very top of the CDC.

Mary Kingsley:

Yeah.

Mary Kingsley:

Yes.

Mary Kingsley:

And he's like, oh, well, you know, the reason he was in the area was

Mary Kingsley:

because he was attending a conference on, he said the post antibiotic

Mary Kingsley:

era, which is a probiotic era.

Mary Kingsley:

And he goes, this is really interesting.

Mary Kingsley:

And you know, was telling him about it.

Mary Kingsley:

And a few months later he sent me an article from a very, you

Mary Kingsley:

know, respected medical journal about how they're studying cancer.

Mary Kingsley:

Mm-hmm as a possible treatment for one of those hospital induced

Mary Kingsley:

infections, C diff C diff.

Mary Kingsley:

Oh yeah.

Mary Kingsley:

And it wasn't a study about it.

Mary Kingsley:

It was like a study of like, Maybe we should look at this.

Mary Kingsley:

It was like a study before a study, like a

Julia Skinner:

feasibility study kind of thing.

Julia Skinner:

Yeah, exactly.

Mary Kingsley:

Very preliminary.

Mary Kingsley:

But anyway, the question was, this could be really something in the

Mary Kingsley:

treatment of this very menacing, but the thing was, here's the thing I love

Mary Kingsley:

you couldn't do it with the store.

Mary Kingsley:

Bought key for it.

Mary Kingsley:

That was a different animal because it's pasteurized and it has to be pasteurized.

Mary Kingsley:

If it's gonna be distributed in a public thing, it had to be the homemade

Mary Kingsley:

version that's sitting on your counter.

Mary Kingsley:

That's not Pasteur.

Mary Kingsley:

And guess what?

Mary Kingsley:

Those microbes don't fund studies.

Julia Skinner:

No.

Julia Skinner:

. Mary Kingsley: And nobody's gonna

Julia Skinner:

that not make anybody money.

Julia Skinner:

Mm-hmm cause it's not, it, it doesn't doesn't turn into a

Julia Skinner:

ommunity.

Julia Skinner:

Yeah, no, it's something that I found frustrating.

Julia Skinner:

I mean, while researching this book and you know, when organizations,

Julia Skinner:

organization, so like look brand new thing that like Fe events

Julia Skinner:

do or something I'm like, yeah, but it's not a brand new thing.

Julia Skinner:

They do you happen to like isolate this strain into a probiotics and

Julia Skinner:

now you can make money out of it.

Julia Skinner:

Yeah.

Julia Skinner:

I dunno.

Julia Skinner:

I have opinions, right?

Julia Skinner:

I'm not saying all of the research is bad.

Julia Skinner:

There's lots of good research out there, but there's a lot of stuff

Julia Skinner:

that's like also, like it's always good to follow the money and things

Mary Kingsley:

that are kind of set aside or categorized, I guess,

Mary Kingsley:

is like full CIES mm-hmm or, you know, they have, there's anecdotal

Mary Kingsley:

evidence that this helps with this.

Mary Kingsley:

Those are the things I'm really interested in.

Mary Kingsley:

Those are the things.

Mary Kingsley:

And this is a course in addition to all the wonderful things that

Mary Kingsley:

alopathic medicine mm-hmm offers us.

Mary Kingsley:

Right.

Mary Kingsley:

But personally, if there is a full practice that something helps with

Mary Kingsley:

this thing, I'm very interested in that, because that statement

Mary Kingsley:

has been around a very long time.

Mary Kingsley:

Yeah.

Emma Kingsley:

It's survived

Julia Skinner:

a lot.

Mary Kingsley:

Yeah.

Mary Kingsley:

Yeah.

Mary Kingsley:

A lot longer than whatever comes in the plastic bottle in the drug

Julia Skinner:

store.

Julia Skinner:

Mm-hmm no, and I think it's interesting too.

Julia Skinner:

You're starting to see studies that talk about the benefits of

Julia Skinner:

some of these natural remedies that are the stated benefits of them.

Julia Skinner:

We're in an interesting moment where I think there's

Julia Skinner:

beginning to be recognition for.

Julia Skinner:

The power of plant medicines for the power of homemade living foods.

Julia Skinner:

The fact that like the sauerkraut that I make at my house is

Julia Skinner:

different from the sauerkraut.

Julia Skinner:

Somebody else makes is different from the stuff at the store.

Julia Skinner:

And like, what does that mean?

Julia Skinner:

How does that impact our bodies?

Julia Skinner:

I mean, I think it's a really, really interesting time to be around all this

Julia Skinner:

research and have it all happening.

Mary Kingsley:

And the fact that you can't quantify all of that, you can't qu.

Mary Kingsley:

Your sor versus my sauerkraut, it's just not gonna happen.

Mary Kingsley:

You kind of just embrace the subjectivity of this.

Mary Kingsley:

And it is fascinating and understanding that, you know, there's a large part

Mary Kingsley:

of our scientific culture that thrives on studies, peer reviews and all

Mary Kingsley:

that stuff, which is great, but not everything can fit into that category.

Mary Kingsley:

So how are we gonna deal with that?

Mary Kingsley:

Are we gonna reject it?

Mary Kingsley:

Are we gonna have a way of considering it and implementing it into our daily lives?

Mary Kingsley:

Mm-hmm , you know, yeah.

Mary Kingsley:

It'll be

Julia Skinner:

interesting to see kind of how people engage with traditional

Julia Skinner:

remedies and with fermented foods and everything moving forward.

Julia Skinner:

I feel like we're at a time where our perspectives are shifting and a

Julia Skinner:

lot of people are returning to more herbal medicine and things like that.

Julia Skinner:

So I'm kind of curious to see where that goes.

Julia Skinner:

Like I personally, I value alopathic medicine and all of the good things

Julia Skinner:

it offers, but like I personally also, you know, also engage with

Julia Skinner:

herbalism and things like that.

Julia Skinner:

And so like for me, it's kind of interesting to watch.

Julia Skinner:

Our larger cultural conversations kind of line up with my own experience

Julia Skinner:

of returning to herbal medicine too.

Mary Kingsley:

Yeah.

Mary Kingsley:

And respecting all that

Voicemail Caller:

we have now.

Julia Skinner:

All the clients.

Julia Skinner:

Yeah.

Julia Skinner:

So many resources.

Julia Skinner:

Yeah.

Mary Kingsley:

Yeah.

Mary Kingsley:

And I don't think it doesn't have to be either, or it doesn't have

Mary Kingsley:

to be one in three or the other.

Emma Kingsley:

Absolutely.

Emma Kingsley:

And my favorite thing, like we said is same with herbs.

Emma Kingsley:

It's fair.

Emma Kingsley:

It's very democratic.

Emma Kingsley:

It doesn't oh.

Emma Kingsley:

Have to cause anything.

Emma Kingsley:

Especially, you can just a lot of the herbs and stuff.

Emma Kingsley:

They're so good for you are like weed.

Emma Kingsley:

They're

Julia Skinner:

just like, yeah, it's okay.

Julia Skinner:

I'm a dandelion, like, wouldn't you like to keep me?

Julia Skinner:

Yeah.

Emma Kingsley:

I do all these amazing things.

Emma Kingsley:

I feel such

Mary Kingsley:

a sense of wonder, like, especially now, like here in the

Mary Kingsley:

last week or so that I can literally just step outside my kitchen door

Mary Kingsley:

and take just a couple of steps.

Mary Kingsley:

Mm-hmm and just snip the most delicious, nutritious salad that cost me mm-hmm

Voicemail Caller:

and chicken

Mary Kingsley:

mm-hmm and dandy lion and take it in, rinse it off, mix it up.

Mary Kingsley:

Little salt, vinegar, oil, just divine.

Mary Kingsley:

I mean, to me, that's, that's just the most wonderful thing.

Mary Kingsley:

I just feel that so

Julia Skinner:

much.

Julia Skinner:

No, it's beautiful.

Julia Skinner:

And it's, you know, it's so outside of our, kind of the way that we've

Julia Skinner:

been trained of like anything that we're gonna consume, it has to have

Julia Skinner:

been a commodity at some point.

Julia Skinner:

and yeah, like, I love that.

Julia Skinner:

That's like an example of the ways that, you know, we can think about

Julia Skinner:

eating outside of commodification.

Julia Skinner:

Yes.

Mary Kingsley:

We can learn safely and with a certain amount of

Mary Kingsley:

knowledge to eat without a giant industry in between us and our food.

Mary Kingsley:

yeah.

Emma Kingsley:

Going back to ments and all the ferments on your counter.

Emma Kingsley:

Yeah.

Emma Kingsley:

In my experience, at least it's also like, so forgiving in a way that I find we're

Emma Kingsley:

also not used to as humans, we like things really black and white and rule followers

Emma Kingsley:

and check boxes and turns out that nature, like doesn't necessarily have to be that.

Emma Kingsley:

Yeah.

Emma Kingsley:

And like, especially like my sour dose starter, people love to just like really

Emma Kingsley:

stress out about their sourdough starter.

Emma Kingsley:

And I find it's such relief there because it really much more fits

Emma Kingsley:

my personality of like, Oops.

Emma Kingsley:

I forgot.

Emma Kingsley:

You know, and it's totally fine.

Emma Kingsley:

Yeah.

Emma Kingsley:

And it's like, so bubbly and happy.

Emma Kingsley:

Yeah.

Emma Kingsley:

Or like it's a little bit sad, but then like feed

Julia Skinner:

it and it's,

Voicemail Caller:

it's like, so yeah.

Voicemail Caller:

No, but you can, like, I know, leave it on the

Julia Skinner:

counter and I'll like be gone for a couple weeks and come back and

Julia Skinner:

I'll be like, oh, better feed this guy.

Julia Skinner:

And like it's.

Julia Skinner:

Yeah.

Julia Skinner:

Like it's fine.

Julia Skinner:

Once they're established, I mean, microbial communities are pretty hearty.

Julia Skinner:

Like, you know, like a kombucha Scooby or your sourdough starter.

Julia Skinner:

Like, I mean, yes, you can kill them, but like mm-hmm if you like take

Julia Skinner:

half an interest in it, it'll be fine.

Julia Skinner:

yeah.

Julia Skinner:

Yeah.

Mary Kingsley:

My sourdough starters are like old friends

Mary Kingsley:

and not make bread for a while.

Mary Kingsley:

And.

Mary Kingsley:

Back there in the fridge with the little stuff on top and I

Mary Kingsley:

pull it out and feed it a little

Voicemail Caller:

bit.

Mary Kingsley:

Love it a little bit.

Mary Kingsley:

Mm-hmm it's great.

Mary Kingsley:

So it comes back, it's just, I'm still here that also brings your

Mary Kingsley:

to kind of subjectivity of it.

Mary Kingsley:

And yes, their recipes and recipes are so helpful and we need them are sort

Mary Kingsley:

of Western brains really want those.

Mary Kingsley:

There's a lot of intuition in it.

Mary Kingsley:

And when I first ran across Sandra cats, this has been many years ago

Mary Kingsley:

and I, I wanna know how to do this.

Mary Kingsley:

I found him to be, and maybe his more recent works are not this way, but I found

Mary Kingsley:

him to be very, it was very intuitive.

Mary Kingsley:

Mm-hmm like, is that true?

Mary Kingsley:

I mean, does he doesn't does he give exact amounts of salt?

Mary Kingsley:

I mean, it depends.

Mary Kingsley:

I could be recalling this wrong.

Mary Kingsley:

I just remember being, I want a recipe and he was more like making

Mary Kingsley:

suggestions mm-hmm is that right?

Voicemail Caller:

So, I mean, he

Julia Skinner:

does offer some recipes, some places, I think his approach

Julia Skinner:

and mine are similar in that like.

Julia Skinner:

It's like, okay.

Julia Skinner:

Try to make it, like, make your brain within this range or

Julia Skinner:

whatever, but like, acknowledging that it is an intuitive thing.

Julia Skinner:

Like yes, you wanna, yeah.

Julia Skinner:

You wanna add enough salt for it to be safe and like yes.

Julia Skinner:

All of that.

Julia Skinner:

But you also, it might be that at different times, maybe you want more

Julia Skinner:

or less salt, like depending what time of the month it is in my own cycle.

Julia Skinner:

Like I'll really want like salty, salty food.

Julia Skinner:

And then other times I'll be like, oh God, like, no, no.

Julia Skinner:

So like kind of, you know, like yeah, allowing yourself that

Julia Skinner:

space, cuz there is that range that you confirm it vegetables in.

Julia Skinner:

And so his work, I think mine does this as well.

Julia Skinner:

He's been doing it obviously for many, many more years than I

Julia Skinner:

have, but writing about ferments.

Julia Skinner:

And so I think his work is it's intuitive, but it's grounded in education

Julia Skinner:

and in, in a trying to establish.

Julia Skinner:

Trust in one's self that you'll know how to do this.

Julia Skinner:

And you've got this mistakes are just spaces for learning.

Julia Skinner:

Yeah.

Julia Skinner:

Don't be afraid.

Julia Skinner:

Right.

Julia Skinner:

It's very nice.

Julia Skinner:

He really

Mary Kingsley:

takes the mystery out of it and being like this whole

Mary Kingsley:

thing is like, this is no big deal.

Mary Kingsley:

Relax.

Mary Kingsley:

Yeah.

Voicemail Caller:

yeah.

Voicemail Caller:

He's like,

Julia Skinner:

you'll be fun.

Julia Skinner:

That's what it feels like.

Julia Skinner:

That's fine.

Julia Skinner:

Yeah.

Julia Skinner:

Yeah.

Julia Skinner:

No, like I, I remembering when I was at that residency and I, what was it we

Julia Skinner:

made, I think Tempe or something that like ended up like not quite turning out.

Julia Skinner:

And he was just like, whoop didn't work.

Julia Skinner:

And like, it was fine.

Julia Skinner:

It's like all of us, like, it doesn't matter how long you've been doing this.

Julia Skinner:

Like some of your stuff isn't gonna work sometimes.

Julia Skinner:

And like, who cares?

Julia Skinner:

It's okay.

Julia Skinner:

plenty of my bread lives are just like, I know same, my sour dope bread.

Julia Skinner:

Like I just make sourdough pancakes.

Julia Skinner:

Most of the time.

Julia Skinner:

It.

Julia Skinner:

I'm not as good as the bread part.

Emma Kingsley:

It's the bread flour.

Emma Kingsley:

It's a game changer.

Emma Kingsley:

Gotta make sure you have bread flour.

Emma Kingsley:

My mom definitely doesn't use bread flour.

Voicemail Caller:

just

Mary Kingsley:

regular.

Mary Kingsley:

Well, whatever happens, the chickens like

Julia Skinner:

that.

Julia Skinner:

Yeah, no, that's kind of my thing too.

Julia Skinner:

So I'm like the chickens and quail can get it and great.

Julia Skinner:

Like somebody will eat it.

Julia Skinner:

It just won't be me.

Julia Skinner:

Yeah.

Voicemail Caller:

yeah,

Emma Kingsley:

no problem.

Emma Kingsley:

Well, Julia, what does the good dirt mean to you?

Emma Kingsley:

I

Julia Skinner:

mean, it's like this interplay right?

Julia Skinner:

Between like there's good dirt.

Julia Skinner:

That's like, you know, the actual, like the dirt that we can grow things

Julia Skinner:

in that's, you know, vital and you know, all of that, but like a big

Julia Skinner:

part of that vitality is like the microbiome, like the Earth's microbiome.

Julia Skinner:

And so like for me, good dirt is not just like, say, I don't know, like the

Julia Skinner:

nitrogen level or whatever, but it's.

Julia Skinner:

It's also the actual, like living unseen forces that are in this dirt that

Julia Skinner:

actually make it so we can grow this stuff and we confirm it, this stuff.

Julia Skinner:

And then like the microrisal networks that connect so many of our trees

Julia Skinner:

together and help them talk and help, you know, move nutrients around.

Julia Skinner:

I mean like good dirt for me is very much that.

Julia Skinner:

And like I was thinking, you know, when you mentioned good dirt, I was thinking

Julia Skinner:

about like, are you familiar with the Korean, uh, concept of Sonoa hands taste?

Julia Skinner:

So it's this concept that's like, basically when you make food, you

Julia Skinner:

impart your own flavor into it.

Julia Skinner:

So like, hands taste is like the taste of my hands going into my food.

Julia Skinner:

And so like in fermentation, that's very profound, right?

Julia Skinner:

Because.

Julia Skinner:

We are putting our hands into living food.

Julia Skinner:

Like we are actually having an impact on it, but it, you know, it

Julia Skinner:

doesn't always refer to ferments.

Julia Skinner:

It refers to kind of like the way that your food tastes that's

Julia Skinner:

unique, you know, in general.

Julia Skinner:

So when I think about like good dirt, I kind of, my brain kind of goes there

Julia Skinner:

too, is like, you know, this is like kind of this son Mo, but like of the

Julia Skinner:

land that I'm growing this stuff in.

Julia Skinner:

So it's like imparting these particular microbes imparting this particular flavor,

Julia Skinner:

like all of these different things.

Julia Skinner:

That was a whole tangent.

Julia Skinner:

Oh, that's so beautiful.

Julia Skinner:

I

Emma Kingsley:

love that so much.

Emma Kingsley:

No, that's awesome.

Emma Kingsley:

It's like, I mean, that's kind of like, you know, no one makes the

Emma Kingsley:

cookies like grandma or whatever, I guess that's that same idea.

Julia Skinner:

Yeah.

Julia Skinner:

I've been trying, I have my grandma's meatloaf recipe and I've been trying to

Julia Skinner:

make it like, and I've watched her make it mm-hmm , I've followed the recipe.

Julia Skinner:

Like she actually wrote the recipe down as she makes it, which is kind of uncommon

Julia Skinner:

mm-hmm so it's actually written down.

Julia Skinner:

Right?

Julia Skinner:

My meatloaf, like will never taste the same, like I'm just never

Julia Skinner:

gonna have that meatloaf again.

Julia Skinner:

Yeah.

Julia Skinner:

but it was nice.

Julia Skinner:

I enjoyed it.

Julia Skinner:

Well, I had

Emma Kingsley:

it.

Emma Kingsley:

I love that.

Emma Kingsley:

That, that they have a word for that in Korean.

Emma Kingsley:

That's

Mary Kingsley:

summed up in the phrase, like just like mom make yeah.

Mary Kingsley:

Yeah.

Mary Kingsley:

Grandma make it that's comes up that whole concept and come

Mary Kingsley:

to think of it's a real thing.

Mary Kingsley:

Yeah.

Mary Kingsley:

It's not just in your head.

Julia Skinner:

no, I mean, I think we have, like, that concept exists in so

Julia Skinner:

many places for a reason, because like, there's something about the way that each

Julia Skinner:

of us imparts ourselves into our food.

Julia Skinner:

Now I really wanna

Emma Kingsley:

bake the GE so where people can find you or follow your work.

Emma Kingsley:

You mentioned a newsletter and maybe tells when the book's coming

Emma Kingsley:

out and all that good stuff.

Emma Kingsley:

Yeah.

Julia Skinner:

So people can find me in a few different places on social media.

Julia Skinner:

I'm either at route kitchens or at bookish.

Julia Skinner:

Julia, my newsletter is route kitchens.subs.com.

Julia Skinner:

And then all of my classes, I have like fermentation Oracle

Julia Skinner:

deck and all this other crazy stuff that I have on my website.

Julia Skinner:

And that is.

Julia Skinner:

Dash kitchens.com and people can learn about me there.

Julia Skinner:

The book will be coming out in September, but you can pre-order it now.

Julia Skinner:

And I have, if people go on my social media or my website or whatever,

Julia Skinner:

it's linked on there, and that's probably easier than like trying to

Julia Skinner:

read off the whole publisher URL, WW, HTT , but it's through story STO R EY.

Julia Skinner:

So, um, people can go on and order it through them or through

Julia Skinner:

their favorite book seller.

Julia Skinner:

Awesome.

Julia Skinner:

Is there

Emma Kingsley:

anything else that you want people to understand about the work that

Julia Skinner:

you do?

Julia Skinner:

You know, as, as my work has evolved, I've really started to think of fermentation of

Julia Skinner:

like understanding the stories behind our food is like the magic of everyday life.

Julia Skinner:

And I think that's like, that's a good way to think about, you know,

Julia Skinner:

when we're cooking or something, you know, we're participating in this

Julia Skinner:

magic, we all have access to it.

Julia Skinner:

It's the kind of thing that maybe isn't gonna get written down in like

Julia Skinner:

a history book or something, but it's just as important as like any

Julia Skinner:

of the major events that might be.

Julia Skinner:

So it's, you know, it is very magical, but also very accessible

Julia Skinner:

to all of us, so well said.

Emma Kingsley:

thank you.

Emma Kingsley:

I'm gonna be thinking about year.

Emma Kingsley:

What's it called?

Emma Kingsley:

So,

Julia Skinner:

oh, so it SOS the Celtic porridge one.

Julia Skinner:

Yeah, the Celtic porridge.

Julia Skinner:

It's S O w a N S.

Julia Skinner:

Yeah.

Julia Skinner:

It's in the book.

Julia Skinner:

Very cool.

Emma Kingsley:

So thank you so much for coming on today, Julia.

Emma Kingsley:

This was so lovely and I can't wait to read your book and

Emma Kingsley:

make some cookies with my son

Julia Skinner:

mot.

Julia Skinner:

awesome.

Julia Skinner:

Well, thank you so much for having me.

Emma Kingsley:

Thank you for tuning in to the good dirt podcast.

Emma Kingsley:

If you enjoyed this episode, we hope you'll share it with

Emma Kingsley:

a friend to spread the good.

Mary Kingsley:

This show is produced by lady farmer, a slow living lifestyle

Mary Kingsley:

community, and the original music is composed and performed by John Kingsley.

Mary Kingsley:

For more

Emma Kingsley:

from lady farmer.

Emma Kingsley:

Follow us on Instagram at we are lady farmer that's.

Emma Kingsley:

We are lady farmer or join us online@wwwdotladyfarmer.com.

Emma Kingsley:

We'll see you next time on the good dirt.

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