Ferment Pittsburgh’s Culture Library aims to encourage the sharing of wild cultures fostered in our region to reflect our unique microbial terroir.
How it works
All cultures offered once arrived from somewhere else, but have more recently been living and cared for in the Western Pennsylvania area. We believe in the importance of local food even in terms of a team of microorganisms that have some adaptation to the specific environment we share here together and how that might be reflected in our health.
How to get a Culture: Contact us via email at email@example.com. Cultures will be available as they allow. For instance, if a population is getting low, that culture may need to temporarily be taken off the trading block. All exchanges must occur in the city. We do not deliver, but will work out a good place to passively exchange. Note that we are not a “professional business,” just regular people who care about things. Please approach this situation in a laid-back manner.
How much does it cost: It’s difficult to put a price on traditions and health. What you give in exchange for your cultures is up to you. Trade is most common- preferably something handmade, most people make “their” specialty dish. Money is also accepted. If you prefer money, pay what it means to you. Obviously something like this costs someone somewhere along the way so any contributions are helpful. If you want to donate big amounts of money, it will go towards the development of more projects like this. Regardless our priority is getting these cultures in your hands and kitchens.
During the warmer months cultures are consistently available at our veggie farm stand on Friendship Ave. Updates for that can be found by subscribing for our monthly newsletter or checking in on the sparse updates on the Ferment Pittsburgh Instagram.
Donate (if it interests you)
Want to contribute a Culture? Cultures can be donated. Anyone is welcome to offer a unique family heirloom or culture we don’t have listed. Depending on the case we can either take care of it or you can take care of your own, and we can direct trade inquiries to you for that specific critter.
Most of all: Please be excited and also take care of your new friend. Ask any questions you have along the way to firstname.lastname@example.org. Work together with your culture, share it, and while your at it, share everything else you can with the people around you.
The CityPaper wrote about this project: read about it.
- Dairy Kefir
- Kombucha Scoby
- Sourdough Starter (Note: you don’t need one from me or anyone else really. Passing along a sourdough starter really just carries the story with it. Mine has a piece of Sandor Katz’s in it. If that’s neat to you we can pass some along. But if you’re in need of a starter I recommend reading this article.)
- Koji – currently we have a koji we have been growing on rice for a couple years.
- Rye koji