Cooperative Fermentation’s mission is to democraticize our food system through creating cooperatives in food and farming.
Cooperative Fermentation seeks to accelerate the growth of cooperatives. Much like the helpful bacteria that ferments ordinary cabbage into delicious kraut, our work will bring communities together to create new projects that meet the needs of the people. Creating jobs, providing food, increasing economic security, building community and fermenting inspiration for Maine.
We offer workshops, consulting, and facilitation work to aid the growth of the cooperative movement. We are focused on supporting worker and producer cooperatives and spreading this model into more Maine communities.
Cooperative Fermentation was founded by Jonah Fertig and is incubating with the Resilience Hub in Portland, Maine and is collaborating with and supported by the Cooperative Development Institute. These two organizations will be helping to guide the work of Cooperative Fermentation and will be providing organizational capacity, connections, office space, fiscal sponsorship and resources to further the development of cooperatives in the Maine food system.
Jonah is a cooperator, organizer, cook, teacher, facilitator, farmer, artist and father. He co-founded Local Sprouts Cooperative in Portland, Maine and helped to develop it from an idea into a successful worker-owned cafe, catering business and learning programs. He also started the People’s Free Space, a community space and project in Portland, and the Burdock Gathering, a community learning gathering in Central Maine. He most recently co-founded the Machigonne Community Land Trust in Portland and the Portland Urban Agriculture Sub-Committee that is part of the Mayor’s Initiative for a Healthy and Sustainable Food System. He teaches cooking, gardening, cooperatives and visionary art at the New School, a democratic high school in Kennebunk. He loves to cook, play with his kids, play music and create projects in communities. He lives at Neverdun Farm, a cooperative organic farm in Arundel, Maine.