Sharon Flynn is the creative force behind The Fermentary in Daylesford, an award-winning producer of naturally fermented, minimal intervention foods made with local ingredients.
She’s on a mission to provide her community with delicious, raw, living ferments. ‘I am driven to be a revivalist in the non-homogenised food culture.’ It’s a fight, she says, ‘for gut democracy’.
Part of this journey is her love of sharing and connecting with the local community around Daylesford. ‘I love to teach and learn from each other and keep these food traditions alive.’
While fermented products may be the foodie revival du jour, not all are created equal. The producer scene in Daylesford, however, is populated by local producers and farmers who Sharon describes as ‘small scale and very passionate’, and who share her ethics when it comes to natural foods.
Sharon lets us in some top local spots around Daylesford that inspire her creativity.
1. Trentham Falls
This spectacular 32-metre drop of water that spills over basalt columns is one of Sharon's favourite local destinations for some serenity. She recommends an early start if you can – 'at 5am you can hear the most beautiful bird calls'. That said, we're confident late risers will find it just as appealing.
2. Tipperary Springs
Sharon describes these mineral springs just out of Daylesford as a 'fermenters dream. Take some bottles to fill for your fermenting life.' There's a pump to make it easy, and from there picturesque walking trails will lead you towards Lake Daylesford or mineral spa delights in Hepburn Springs.
3. Acre of Roses
Nestled among a stunning biodynamic garden of heritage roses, Acre of Roses is perfect for overnighting. Sharon suggests looking out for events and the Open Garden, too. 'We have been working on an Apothecary Garden designed by Tim Pilgrim for future workshops and events.'
4. RedBeard Historic Bakery
Well-versed in slow fermentation tradition, the sourdough bakers at RedBeard whip up exceptional loaves in one of Australia's oldest ovens, and offer lessons for aspiring bakers. 'Great to pick up bread, do a workshop or have a meal. I love their molasses cake,' Sharon raves.
5. Manteau Noir
The shopping scene in Daylesford has numerous stores for browsing local produce and more. Manteau Noir is one of Sharon's favourites. With the store's emphasis on ethically produced pieces and natural fibres, Sharon loves it 'for curated clothes and homewares. Such a beautiful collection.'