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Farm to Fermentation Festival

Spoiled to Perfection (TM) Copyright Marketing 2015, Alan Campbell Photography

The art of fermenting foods dates back thousands of years, but it’s more popular now than ever:

  • The TV channel, Food Network, has a hit on its hands, “Fermentation Nation,”  hosted by Alton Brown.
  • Dozens of books have been published on the subject in just the last few years (Seymour Katz’s 2013 528-page opus, The Art of Fermentation, ranks #2 on Amazon in the Cookbooks/Canning & Preserving category).
  • Chefs in top-rated restaurants nationwide are creating their own fermented specialties and dishing them up to customers.
  • Classes in DYI fermentation have popped up around the country and are filled to capacity.

And here in Sonoma County—often called “the mecca of fermentated foods”—the Farm to Fermentation Festival arrives at Santa Rosa’s Finley Center on Saturday, August 22.

This year’s Farm to Fermentation Festival is a DIY fermenter’s dream come true, loaded with samples, classes, a raffle, and even a VIP Libation Lounge serving up fermented beverages such as ciders, meads, beers and wines.

On hand will be food and beverage purveyors of fermented products, mostly from throughout Sonoma County, including AriseBakery (Sebastopol, Santa Rosa, Healdsburg); Alive & Healing (Forestville); and Wildbrine (Windsor). See the entire vendor list here.

Just a few classes on the jam-packed schedule include how-to’s such as “Cultured and Probiotic Salad Dressings,” “Making  Miso and Koji at Home,” “Crunchy Dill Pickles,” “Seaweed Krauts,” and “Beet Kvass Basics and Recipes.” You can read the entire list of classes here.

A few other classes require an add-on ticket, including Jonas Ketterle with a reserved tasting of cacao and Louella Hill’s demonstration of how to make a simple farmers cheese (she’ll also lead you through a tasting of local cheeses).

One of the Festival’s highlights will be the episode 2 premiere of “Spoiled to Perfection,” a new high-production Web TV series sponsored by Bubbies of San Francisco and created by Shoot Blue Productions. Each episode of “Spoiled to Perfection” features a different food or beverage purveyor in Sonoma County doing something interesting that revolves around pickling and fermentation. The series can be viewed on the Spoiled to Perfection website and on YouTube.

The first episode featured Jennifer Harris, a Sonoma County resident and fermentation expert who organizes the Farm to Fermentation Festival each year. She calls Sonoma County “the fermentation capital of the world.”

Premièring at the Festival, episode 2 features Ellen Cavalli of Windsor’s Tilted Shed Ciderworks, which makes small-batch cider from Sonoma County’s prized apples.

For more information about the festival, visit www.farmtofermentation.com

Photo credits: Spoiled to Perfection (TM) Copyright Marketing 2015, Alan Campbell Photography

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