Adam Porter and Heidi Devlin the makers behind The Pickle Project
What do you think of when you hear the word fermented, do you think of wine and cheese? Because if you do, it’s time you learnt about The Pickle Project, a small batch fermentary based in the small town of Koroit, in Western Victoria, which specialises in ferments, pickles and condiments.
But what is it they do?
Well, we got an insight into the world of fermenting and The Pickle Project, from founders Adam Porter and Heidi Devlin. “It’s really an exercise in homesteading, we use local, homegrown or foraged ingredients to make delicious condiments to use through the seasons when the produce isn’t available,” says Adam after explaining that the pair have a fairly large variety of products that they use to create their delicious concoctions, and it’s all local! From kimchi's and sauerkrauts, pickles and preserves, Adam and Heidi pride themselves on using approximately 97% local produce, within a 20km range. “The number is only that high because of our hot sauce range, chillies don’t grow well in southwest Victoria” laughs Adam. He continued “But by the end of the year, we should have 99-100% local, if not Victorian produce.” And, they couldn’t be happier with the local communities support. From the growers to the customers, everyone in the region has been open to their products, particularly with ferments and pickles becoming more and more mainstream. “People are willing to have a go, even if they haven’t tried something like that before, and with gut health being a buzz word we started at the correct time,” says Adam.
As The Pickle Project grows in popularity, so does the workload, as Adam and Heidi do everything themselves, whilst still both working part-time. “We produce, jar and label everything ourselves, no other staff, in our certified kitchen located at our home,” says Adam. But the long hours are worth it when their products are loved by their regional community and customers within The Hamilton Hamper. And, even though they haven’t met Bridget yet, they can’t wait to get to Hamilton and meet her properly, “her focus on regional business is a perfect fit for us, as it's what we do as well,” says Adam.
What do you try if you are a first-time fermented preserve goer?
Well, Adam said that his favourite product is the Soy & Sesame Daiko Radish Ferment, it’s based on regional Chinese pickle, but instead of adding vinegar brine, they ferment it to add sourness. He also mentioned their Koroit kimchi, which is a bestseller and delicious in scrambled eggs!
When visiting the area Adam and Heidi recommend adding these places to your list.
- Fen Restaurant, Port Fairy – best fine dining place in the region, by far. Book well in advance.
- Izzy's Restaurant, Koroit – great value for money, family dining, especially in a small town like Koroit.
- Tower Hill State Park is hands down the natural jewel of the area. An extinct volcano, with so many things to do and see. An absolute wonder.