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Tried & True

Where we use and review products that nourish us and the planet

Ferment your own


Review by Kel Buckley

The idea of something bubbling away on your bench and the potential for it to go wrong can be daunting to those new to fermentation, but these affordable kits from The Fermentary take the guesswork out of both the equipment and the process.

The Kimchi kit is one of three in the Ferment Your Own range of kits and comes with a one-litre Fowlers glass jar, a rubber seal, a plastic air lock and an appropriate stainless-steel lid it can fit into. There’s a bar clip to hold the lid down, as well as a plastic lid for when the fermenting process is finished and you want to store it in the same jar.

To produce the kits, The Fermentary has teamed up with Fowlers Vacola, arguably the most well-known brand when it comes to preserving, so you immediately know the quality is good. As well as the hardware, the kit comes with 50 grams of Mt Zero Pink Lake salt, a recipe card and a packet of Gonchugaru, the Korean chilli flakes which gives kimchi its trademark spice.

The recipe is easy to follow; you’re asked to work out the amount of salt required based on the weight of your cabbage, though both the amount of salt supplied and the amount outlined in the ingredients was far more than I ended up needing. I suspect the same-sized sachet is supplied in all three kits – and one’s a vegetable brine – though the sachet isn’t resealable which, in this application, is a shame given how much is left over.

To purchase the hardware through Fowlers, you’d need to spend $29.45, so the $35 asking price for the kit represents excellent value for money and the good-looking packaging makes it a suitable gift for any gender.

Perfect if you’re new to fermenting or you want to share your love of it with someone else.

4 and a half star

Product Ferment Your Own Kit No. 02– Kimchi

Price $35

Options Kit No. 01 – Brined Vegetables or Kit No. 03 – Kraut

Great Wrap


Review by Kel Buckley

There’s lots of things to like about great wrap. A compostable cling wrap that’s family owned and Australian made. It’s produced from a mix of potato waste – things like peel and pulp – and what the company calls ‘a mix of other compostable biopolymers’. But the important thing is it’s certified both Compostable (AS 4736) and Home Compostable (AS 5810).

Open the box and it looks just like regular cling wrap, fold the end tabs in to stop the roll being pulled out when you tug on the film. But it’s when you start tugging on the film to unroll it that you realise it’s different to regular cling wrap – which is good. It feels similar, though noticeably thinner, it’s tricky to roll out and it doesn’t want to tear along the serrated edge as easy as conventional wrap does – I just stretch it to the point that it rips.

It sticks to itself very well – great for wrapping sandwiches – but it doesn’t stick to plates in the way standard cling film does. It stays intact for the oneminute reheat in the microwave, too, but anything longer will melt it.

The company claims it will break down in your home compost in 180 days, about\ the same time as citrus peel, which we intend to test and compare with other compostable plastics. Keep an eye out in Issue 22 for the results.

Four stars

Product Great Wrap

Price $14.95

Note Only available via the website and price includes two 30-metre rolls



Review by Robyn Rosenfeldt

This is my absolute favourite gardening tool. Inherited from an elderly friend who no longer had a garden, I initially didn’t realise its true value. This is the tool of all tools for turning compost and shovelling mulch. I have three- and four-tined pitchforks, shovels and spades of all shapes and sizes and none of them do the job this six-tined fork does.

It allows you to just dig straight into the pile without the resistance that you would experience with a shovel and the compost or mulch and doesn’t drop through like it would with a fork with fewer tines. The length of the handle is also important. It’s a similar height to me which allows me to turn the compost without bending over and hurting my back.

With forged steel tines and a timber handle, this will last a lifetime with the right care. Carefully looked after by its previous owner, I make sure it’s not left in the weather and oil it occasionally to inhibit rust.

This fork makes turning compost a pleasure.

Five stars

TODAY’S EQUIVALENT – If you’re after one similar, a South Australian company offers a Bighorn-branded six-tine manure fork with a 1370 mm ash handle.


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