Supporter of the Season: Caitlin Roseen

Caitlin and I first met after she started working for Community Harvest of Central Vermont (CHCV). Right around that time, VFA began partnering with CHCV in order to provide fermented gleaned vegetables to their recipient sites. Despite our masks, Caitlin’s warmth and light heartedness were evident at that first meeting and since. She is a self-described kid at heart! Since then, she’s been essential to our fermentation collaborations through organizing vegetables, recruiting volunteers and lending a hand in the Fermentery herself. Caitlin has recently talked her sister into helping with a joint CHCV/VFA fermentation adventure, and I look forward to spending time with her soon.

I would often see Caitlin at the Capital City Farmers’ Market, working for CHCV on a market glean, which is an end of the day collection from vendors who would like to make a donation of vegetables and other food to CHCV. Before long, she and her spouse made their way to my table during the market to visit and purchase some fermented goodness. In order to highlight her commitment to food justice, kindness, and interest in fermentation, I asked Caitlin to be our Fall 2022 Supporter of the Season, and I’m so glad she is.

More about Caitlin

Is there a business or non-profit you’d like to lift up?

It’s gotta be Community Harvest of Central Vermont (CHCV)!

CHCV is a gleaning organization based in Berlin serving Washington and northern Orange counties. CHCV recovers surplus food produced on area farms to feed those with limited access to nutritious, fresh, local food. In the process CHCV helps the community to gain a greater awareness and appreciation of the local food system, healthy eating, and waste reduction.

I began volunteering for CHCV shortly after moving to VT 5 years ago. When the pandemic hit, I was in the right place at the right time and began working for this incredible organization.

If you are near central Vermont and interested in seeing local farms, learning more about how our food is grown, meeting new neighbors, and helping our neighbors in need, come volunteer with us! Learn more about becoming a volunteer at our website: https://www.communityharvestvt.org/

CHCV has been partnering closely with Beki and Vermont Fermentation Adventures to turn gleaned local food into amazing fermented food. Making these high quality, nutritious, prepared foods available to our food insecure neighbors is a joy. Folks who can access these unique creations through CHCV's recipient sites are often surprised and always grateful. Check out the image of Gingered Roots we made in 2021.

Tell us about your interest in live-cultured food and drinks.

My love was born with dill pickles and has grown deeper. I grew up obsessed with the whole dill pickles that our local general store made and had on display. I couldn’t leave the store without one, proudly held in my hand.

As an adult, I became interested in the health benefits of fermented food, especially after experiencing some health problems in my mid 20s. I began brewing my own kombucha for fun, and since then, my spouse and I have become serious homebrewers.

We leave the krauts and kimchis to Beki, which we enjoy as a staple during most of our dinners.

So, you make fermented foods and drinks at home. Right?
Yes!
Fermentation is always an adventure. Have you ever created a fermentation flop? If yes, tell us a little about it.
Oh heck yes! Kombucha bottles exploding, forgotten batches left to turn too sour. You imagine a flop, and I’m sure I’ve done it. Life is all about learning.
Please describe your biggest fermentation success.
My lychee kombucha was a real stand out.
Which one of our products is your favorite?
What else would you like readers to know about you?
One of our favorite weeknight dinners is eggs and greens with a big helping of kraut or kimchi on the side. It never misses!
How else can VFA help you with your health, happiness or success?
Continue doing what you do!
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