Janet Harron is the wild mother and she is the maker of the heritage food. her porridge is a whole 'nother reason to look forward to the weekend. her oatcakes are delicious, portable, and super snack food. and the flask that the varieties of beer vinegar come in - is the perfect size for toting a sip of water, a splash of coffee, or whatever.
This is how it came to be. in September 2007 Janet Harron and her husband Liam moved from Toronto to St. Johns. Liam was to be the brewmaster for the then-fledgling Yellowbelly Brewery. as a lifelong anaphylactic with a deadly allergy to peanuts and a growing interest in heritage foods, Janet started making “foods recognizable to your great-great-grandparents” – foods like granola and oatcakes – and sold them under the ‘Flour of Scotland’ label at the St. John’s Farmer’s Market. she appreciated how this act of creation connected her to previous generations. Janet is very enthusiastic about the history of food because, as she says: “one of the few things we can control in life is what we put in our mouths.”
One day at the brewery, Liam captured airborne wild yeast in a quest to create beer vinegar. beer was fed to the ‘wild mother’ to keep it alive. beer vinegar is an almost-forgotten heritage food that was known as alegar (sour beer) for centuries. vinegar was an important element in the survival of early Newfoundlanders, who cultivated vinegar “plants” similar to Janet’s wild mother for culinary and medical purposes. Newfoundland Beer Vinegar is now available at retailers across the island and on the mainland.
The name change to ‘Wild Mother’ was inspired not only by the wild yeast but also by the role of mothers and women in feeding the community. Janet believes that cooking our own food, growing our own food and learning about food can increase food sustainability in the province.
As a ‘feminist food company’, Wild Mother Provisions is intentional about supporting local social enterprises - for instance, their labels are made by The Hub printing service. Wild Mother also makes a point in supporting feminist organizations such as Sexual Health Centre and Persistence Theatre Company.
Newfoundland Beer Vinegar is a mainstay for Wild Mother, but keep an eye out for more good old things coming along.Beer Vinegar Uses