Locally Sourced: Sauerkraut from Angelica's Garden

Demo at Seward Co-op

Angelica Hollstadt turned her love of the land into a successful business selling fermented foods. 

Angelica Hollstadt, founder of Angelica’s Garden, has been in a pickle for a good 20 years.

This is why her distinctive beets, kimchi, sauerkraut and cordito (a traditional Salvadoran fermented condiment of cabbage, carrots, jalapeño, cilantro, oregano and cumin) have won countless awards and plenty of fans. Using the freshly grown produce from her own garden and those of her neighbors in Elmwood, Wis., she’s created a farm-to-jar business and a life on the land.

“I’ve always been involved with growing, harvesting and cooking food,” she said. “As a kid, everything our family cooked came from our garden, or was found in the woods, or shot or hooked.

Hollstadt began her career as an intern with Natural Harvest, a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm in Lake Elmo, where she got the idea for making value-added products with farm-fresh produce. She rented a couple of acres from the Red Cardinal Farm near Stillwater and started making relishes and pickles.

By 2001, she and her new husband, Mike, found the perfect land to farm in Elmwood. By 2003, she began making fermented products to sell at the St. Paul Farmers Market. They were a hit and soon the local co-ops came calling.

But why fermented foods?

“I’ve had my own health issues,” Hollstadt said. “These products are aligned with my own views on nutrition. They have health benefits galore. Fermentation creates condiments that are loaded with fiber, vitamin C and natural lactobacilli that aid digestive health.

“Once I realized how good these foods made me feel, I’ve become something of a fermenting geek and a real advocate. I’ve been studying some of the ancient Japanese methods, but my recipes have evolved through applying my intuition to the ingredients we grow,” she said.

Just recently, Mike left his job as a construction worker to join Angelica full time in expanding the business.

“Our vision is to create a fully operational farm store where we sell Angelica’s Garden products, and our farm’s produce and meat,” Hollstadt said. She envisions expanding her current on-farm processing facility to create more products, as well.

Angelica’s Garden’s pickled beets, kimchi, raw sauerkraut, raw dillykraut, red cabbage and ginger ferment, and cordito are available in 16-ounce jars ($9.50) and 32-ounce jars ($17.50) at co-ops throughout Minnesota and Wisconsin, angelicasgarden.net.

Angelica Hollstadt of Angelica’s Gardens and her son, Walter, were providing product samples at Seward Co-op (provided photo).

By Beth Dooley – Special to the Star Tribune

 JULY 13, 2016 http://strib.mn/29DxguR

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