The transformative action of microorganisms naturally tends to produce a surplus. Making five gallons of beer or wine is no more work than one. Chopping, salting and packing into jars turns a extra vegetables that would otherwise spoil into delicious krauts and pickles to share. Giving and receiving the things we make by hand reinforces the bonds of friendship and strengthens our culture.
I cannot get over how intertwined the different meanings of that word are: culture. It's everything.
I was so happy to be able to give away some of my surplus ferments this weekend; whether it was for old friends, new ones, just saying hi or thanking someone for their hard work, I got back joy and a sense of belonging that I cannot brew up alone in my basement.
I also got some fermented products in return, and it was that pinnacle of exchanges where each party thinks they are getting the better deal. I was just giving away my silly wine, and I got back exquisitely crafted cheese and sausage. Getting something that someone else has poured their time and resources into makes you feel special.
I could go on like this forever. There were many wonderful things to reflect on today.