Kirsten K. Shockey, Fermentation Expert and Food Preservation Educator
Occupation: Author, Teacher, Maker, Mother
Place of Residence: Applegate, Oregon
Background and Personal History: From an early age, Kirsten saw that food grounds people in place and culture. She has called a lot of places home, from Munich and Rotterdam to Indonesia and the high desert of Arizona. Each of these places has influenced her as she discovered foods, landscapes, and wonderful people. But what she really wanted was a place to follow her passion for nature and clean food.
Kirsten found what she sought 23 years ago when she and her husband moved with their young family to a homestead in the mountains of Southern Oregon. She became passionate about food from the ground up. The obsession became planting fruit trees, raising dairy animals, growing vegetables and preserving the harvests—all while homeschooling. Her four children grew (and they grew and grew, to a combined height 25 feet, 8 inches). Meanwhile her cheeses and fermented vegetables became so popular that she began a farmstead food company, producing for local markets and retailers and teaching her customers and local restaurateurs how to ferment foods for themselves. It soon became clear that creating new flavors with each season and teaching folks to create their own foods was at the heart of her business. She stopped making food commercially and has concentrated on sharing the arts.
Kirsten is the author of forthcoming Homebrewed Vinegar, coauthor, with her husband, Christopher Shockey, of The Big Book of Cidermaking; award winningMiso, Tempeh, Natto & Other Tasty Ferments; Fiery Ferments; and the best-selling Fermented Vegetables.
Current Projects: Kirsten is the co-founder of Fermentation School. It is a collective of food authors and teachers who are fermenting a better food system for land, people, and the microbes on which we depend. Come on in and have a seat at our tables as we invite you into our spaces, share what we know and don’t, and make space for an open exchange of ideas and expertise. We believe that bringing fermentation into your life can open up infinite possibilities, and our commitment is to provide accessible courses that share our deepest knowledge, and to give you the confidence, skill, and empowerment to follow your own fermentation journey. You can see more of her work at her website FermentWorks.
Other Fun Facts: Kirsten loves hand milking cows, knows how to make leather shoes and her guilty pleasures include growing more flowers than vegetables, taking afternoon naps in the hammock by the garden and playing with her grandchildren.