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Caldwell Starter Culture for Fresh Vegetables

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$21.99

Caldwell Vegetable Starter Front

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Caldwell's Starter Culture for Fresh Vegetables makes it easy to culture raw vegetables at home.  Caldwell Bio Fermentations has spent the last 20 years producing and researching raw cultured vegetables.  Out of this research comes extensive knowledge concerning the bacterial strains required for an efficient starter culture for vegetables. Browse our extensive list of Cultured Vegetable Recipes and get started today!

  • Each box contains 6 pouches.
  • Each pouch prepares 4.5 lbs of raw vegetables.
  • Culture vegetables at room temperature: 60-70ºF.
  • This culture is suitable for vegetable culturing only; not suitable for culturing fruit.

Fermented Vegetable Instructions and Troubleshooting


Caldwell Vegetable Starter Culture Ingredients:

  • Organic maltodextrin (as a carrier), active lactic bacteria (lactobacillus plantarum, leuconostoc mesenteroides, and pediococcus acidilactici)
  • This product contains no GMO ingredients. 


Shipping Information and Shelf Life: 

Caldwell Vegetable Starter Culture is shipped in a barrier-sealed packet as a freeze-dried culture. The starter keeps

  • At room temperature (68° to 78°F): 6 months
  • In the refrigerator (40° to 45°F): 2 years
  • In the freezer (0° to 25°F): 2 years


Caldwell Vegetable Starter Culture Allergen Information

Organic maltodextrin is derived from organic brown rice. Manufactured in a facility that occasionally handles wheat, soy, milk, eggs, and fish (including shrimps).


Actual product may differ from image shown above.

Questions on Caldwell Starter Culture for Fresh Vegetables

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  • From Debra at 7/8/2013 5:07 PM
    • Can I store Caldwell's Starter Culture in the freezer, along with the rest of my packaged cultures?
    • Yes, Caldwell's will keep in the freezer for about a year.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Shawn at 7/10/2013 9:17 PM
    • Are the ingredients organic? Want to buy this product but not if there is potential GMOs.
    • The Caldwell's Starter Culture does not contain any GMO ingredients.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Dee at 7/29/2013 12:23 AM
    • Can people with a dairy allergy use this product?
    • There is a small amount of skim milk powder in the starter. Your Nutritionist or Health Care Provider would be able to guide you based on the severity of your allergy to milk products.

      * Note: As of May 13, 2014, Caldwell has reformulated their vegetable starter and it is now dairy free.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From R. Carlson at 9/9/2013 1:28 PM
    • How long does the starter culture last if refrigerated? How long if a packet is opened?
    • At 40-45º in the fridge, the package would be good for 12 months. Opened, it should last about the same time if you have folded it over and secured it shut.

    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Sandy at 10/19/2013 10:32 PM
    • Should you use sea salt with the starter culture?
    • When culturing vegetables, either with a starter culture or without, any non-iodized salt should be fine to use.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Barbara at 10/22/2013 11:46 AM
    • I see you may be using sugar beet, Is your culture non GMO?
    • Caldwell's Vegetable starter does not contain any GMO ingredients.

      *As of March, 2015, the carrier in Caldwell is organic maltodextrin derived from brown rice.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From K Randall at 11/20/2013 3:56 AM
    • What is the shelf life of the Caldwell's product in unopened pouches? If I buy it today, how long can I keep it around before I use it?
    • Purchased today, your unopened Caldwell Vegetable starter should be good at room temperature for 6 months but we recommend storing the starter in the refrigerator or freezer to extend the shelf life to 12 months.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Michelle at 11/25/2013 12:02 PM
    • Can you cook with these fermented raw verges without killing the beneficial bacteria?
    • You can cook with fermented vegetables and they can add a lovely flavor and texture. However, cooking fermented vegetables will kill the bacteria.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Beth at 11/26/2013 11:46 PM
    • Can I make Kimchee with this culture?
    • Yes! This vegetable starter is a great way to start kimchee. Use the enclosed instructions to determine how much starter to use based on the size of your recipe.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Emmy at 12/5/2013 9:49 AM
    • Can I use this starter to make lacto-fermented ketchup? Thanks!
    • No, Caldwell Vegetable Starter Culture is not appropriate for culturing fruit. Try water kefir, kombucha, or whey, instead.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No

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Customer Reviews

Great product to ensure quality & variety of culturing strains! Review by Dahlke8
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Value

My husbands Crohn's disease has caused our family to take gut health seriously. With Caldwell Starter Culture, I can ensure that our family has a wide variety of strains of beneficial bacteria in our fermented veggies! It turns out a superior product every time no matter what veggies or recipe I use. I believe it is far superior in quality and taste compared to salt/whey only fermented veggies. The four stars are because it does increase the cost of fermenting quite a bit.

(Posted on 5/25/2015)

The only way to go on fermenting veggies Review by Colorado microbiologist mom
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I feel good about getting "good" bacteria only when I use this culture. Years ago in college, we made sauerkraut in Food and Dairy Microbiology lab. Of four crocks, three rotted, and only one turned into sauerkraut. We could have done some things wrong (too long ago to remember) but I will not make cultured veggies without a culture. This used to be the best because it did not have any unnatural ingredients. Recently they replaced the sugar with maltodextrin. PLEASE GO BACK TO THE ORIGINAL FORMULA!! Now there's no difference to set this culture apart from others on the market that also contain maltodextrin.

(Posted on 5/16/2015)

Great results with my first ferment Review by dplinn
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I had some disappointing results from my fermentations last year without this starter culture so I thought I would try this in hopes of getting better results.

So far I have only used this with beets but the results were excellent. I shredded the beets and put them in a fermentation crock with this starter culture and my normal brine solution. After two weeks at about 60 degrees, the beets were done to perfection.

I plan to try this with my cabbage and cucumbers later this year and hope for similar results.

(Posted on 4/28/2015)

veggie culture Review by Carol O
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I am pleased with the results and would like to see measurements if using only half the package, but I found it worked great. I'm very pleased with the results. The only thing I would change is the price.

(Posted on 4/20/2015)

very good Review by Hotrod
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I just sampled the batch of cultured veggies I made with you starter. Quite good!
I used the Vitamix to grind cabbage, carrots, celery, and cucumbers with the salt water. After adding the culture, I covered the container and left it on the counter for a week. I stirred it every day as I didn't have anything to weight the mixture down. At the end of the week, I put the container in the refrigerator at where it stayed for several more days. XLNT!! It has that nice pickly flavor I remember from years ago.

(Posted on 8/4/2014)

works perfect Review by meltdown
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i have just entered the lacto fermentation world. My first endeavor was tomato salsa. Turned out perfect, taste was phenomenal. My son was skeptical, tried some of the salsa and promptly exclaimed, " That is the best tasting salsa I have ever eaten."

(Posted on 7/23/2014)

Good Product! Review by Ryan
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Starter culture is a little pricey at first, but when you add up the cost of energy and loss of nutrition from conventional canning, the product becomes pretty inexpensive. This product gets going fast and the veggies taste wonderful. I highly recommend this product.

(Posted on 7/18/2014)

great product Review by karenh
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I think this is the best culture starter for veggies! I think the veggies are cultured better with a starter instead of just using salt brine. Worth getting!

(Posted on 6/12/2014)

Good results so far Review by Dolores
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I have only used 2 packets of the product. I made a big batch of kimchi that was nice and tangy and not too salty but still crisp.

I currently have a crock of cauliflower and carrots fermenting...don't know yet whether they were successful.

According to Caldwell's website, they have no longer use dairy as a medium for their culture which is good because I prefer not to eat dairy.

(Posted on 6/6/2014)

Great for Sauerkraut! Review by Tianna
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I've only used the first packet of this box but the results were awesome! I started off my first batch of sauerkraut using the starter culture and have been using excess liquid as a starter since.
However, I plan to use the starter culture packets again when I begin a new batch of fermented vegetables - something I don't want to taste like sauerkraut!

(Posted on 4/8/2014)

Does what you want it to. Review by James
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Takes some of the trouble out of fermenting veggies, and is also packaged well enough to keep on hand when you done have any whey to use.

(Posted on 3/6/2014)

I like the fact that it contains L. plantarum and other tested microbes for vegetable fermentation. Review by Fred
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It is a good product and it seems that it makes more bubbles or fermentation than the wild ferments I had been doing. There is good research on L. plantarum fermentation of such things as turmeric and other vegetables and your product contains a strain of L. plantarum. I use it to make kvass with a beet base and other vegetables and it does make a "better" tasting and smelling kvass. I know one can make kvass without adding a culture but I think it adds quality and consistency. I have a PhD in nutritional biochemistry and plan on doing some studies on the fermentation characteristics of the ferments.

(Posted on 2/26/2014)

Perfect for Culturing Veggies Review by Dani
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Thank you for having this product and all of your other ones available to the culturing consumer! This is my go-to site and resource for culturing products,recipes and education. This is a fantastic product...my veggies are bubbling with life every time!

(Posted on 2/26/2014)

Happy customer Review by Trueman
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I have always liked the store-bought sauerkraut, but I had no idea homemade could taste so wonderful until I made my own using Caldwell Starter Culture. Thanks so much for a very excellent product, and thank you also for the phone support, which helped me start fermenting with confidence.

(Posted on 2/25/2014)

Excellent Review by Lisa
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I make sauerkraut about every two weeks. The culture works, tastes excellent. My vote would be 5 stars.

(Posted on 1/25/2014)

Best culture for veggies I have come across Review by Marl
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I love the veggie culture. I have never used them before now. They are just neat for making exact quantiy of veggies.I will now make this a part of my culturing for veggies. I just love how Donna Schwenk uses them.

(Posted on 1/13/2014)

Vegetable Culture Review by Dave
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As a first-time culturer, Caldwell Starter Culture for Vegetables was totally fool-proof and easy to use. Made my first batch and am completely satisfied with the results. Our local Coop carries a blend which I tried to emulate and truly believe it turned out better than the product previously purchased. It is really so easy to do. Looking forward to other variations of vegetable blends and herbs and spices and perhaps may try making kefir, as that is only found in Wisconsin with a high sugar content. Super kudos to Eve for answering all my questions very timely and quelling my first-time fears, not knowing what to expect. Keep up the great work, Caldwell! My family and friends will definitely be ordering from you. Dave

(Posted on 1/9/2014)

Great product. I love it and will purchase it again. Review by Marl
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Great product for the price

(Posted on 12/31/2013)

Easy to mix and start Review by Mary
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I wanted to get started on cultured vegetable. This product helped me over the hurdle of what starter to use. I put it together with cabbage and additives in an hour and this morning it is working away. I can't wait to taste my product.

(Posted on 12/23/2013)

Excellent quality and price Review by Ana
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I have been buying these for quite a while and always get consistently great fermented vegetables. No mold and always just right. This is a quality product hard to beat. Thank you!

(Posted on 12/22/2013)



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