Written by Amy
Many people would say that there’s nothing that can’t be solved by a nice cup of tea, and my Nan was certainly one of those people. I can promise you that for me there was very little that couldn’t be solved by a cup of tea with my Nan. A huge mug of tea, with ‘Not A Lot Of Milk’ and a stack of Ginger Nut Biscuits. So, in tribute to her, those countless cups of tea, the years of sass and good advice, and the legacy she left behind, may we, The Fermentation Station, introduce the first in what we hope will be a long series of charity ferments.
Every season we will work with a local independent artist to create a unique label distinct to them, and for that special ferment, ALL the profit will go to the charity of the artist’s choosing. It’s an opportunity for us to showcase a fantastic artist, someone whose work we love and stands for something powerful. It’s also a great chance for us to carry out a part of our business that’s vital and extremely important to us, which is giving back to others and working within our community to do better.
We are launching with ‘Not A Lot Of Milk’, in tribute to Olive, my Nan who was an incredibly strong, fierce and tenacious Queen. Her home is currently were we still run The Fermentation Station from, so she’s a huge part of our story as a business and the opportunity she gave us to launch. My Nan was diagnosed with an extremely rare genetic eye disease called ‘Retinitis Pigmentosa’ at the age of thirteen, which meant that throughout her life her eyesight gradually deteriorated. My Nan loves books. If it wasn’t her family bringing pleasure to her life, it was her talking books. As a young woman Nan still had clear enough vision to read herself but by the time my brother and I came along, Nan was deep into listening to her audiobook’s courtesy of the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB). Whenever we visited, you’d find her sitting with her earphones in deeply entrenched in her books. She’d go through at least two a week, if not more. And she loved to discuss which ones she thought were nonsense or the ones she was loving. The RNIB gave my Nan years’ worth of happiness and pleasure in those books and that’s why in her honour we’ve chosen to donate ALL the profits of ‘Not A Lot Of Milk’ to them.
The legacy my Nan leaves behind is one of pure inspiration for any individual, but especially for those who face adversity. I only wonder what she could have achieved with a complete sense of sight or if she had been born in 2021 instead of 1925. My Nan taught me many things, she imparted great words of wisdom (and some not so great too), she was iconic, and it’s hard to comprehend a world without her in it. For anyone who needs it I’ve tried to think of a few bits of Olive I’m happy to share:
- There’s nothing a cup of tea can’t fix – always take time to take stock and recuperate especially around family
- Always have running away money – this in fact means, always be independent and be able to viably stand on your own two feet
- Family comes first – blood isn’t always thicker than water but whoever your chosen family is, loyalty is paramount
- The only thing that holds you back, is you – there is no challenge, no adversity, no obstacle that can’t be overcome with sheer tenacity, willpower and spirit
- Girl Power!! – my Nan always pushed me to be the strong independent woman she raised me to be. She never minced her words and when we could do better, she made sure we knew it. She always made sure I knew I could conquer anything.
I miss her terribly; she was my right-hand woman. But every day I remind myself that I am my Nan. Her legacy lives on in the business we continue to grow, the stories we share, the morals in which guide my life. We watch our ferments bubble away in her home and I know she would be beaming with pride. So, this ferment is for her, for the RNIB who brought her so much happiness, and for every person who needs that time with a cup of tea with ‘Not A Lot Of Milk’. Grab a bottle here.