Introduction to Fermentation

Our fermentation workshop provides a practical approach to ancient fermenting techniques that create modern flavors, enrich nutritional value, prolong shelf life of foods and turn waste into sanitary and fertile living soil.

Microbes are a very diverse group of organisms, most of which condition our lives for the better. Since it is important to understand the basic principles behind the idea of managing microbiomes, let’s begin with an introduction to exactly what is a microbiome.

The Workshop

The workshop consists of a talk discussing the origin and importance of microbes followed by a demonstration in the garden and kitchen. You will enjoy a hands-on experience making a fermented alcoholic beverage, as well as a food and drink experience.

2.5 hour workshop available at 8:30am or 1:30pm.

$22 per person for groups up to 8 persons.

Must be reserved in advance.

A Few Examples

Yeast (a micro fungus) spores exist in the air and on the surfaces of fruits, bodies, etc. These microbes will thrive on sugary substances coming off complex organisms to create alcohol in the process. During our workshop you will receive a hands-on experience and recipe on how to make homemade alcoholic beverages.

Vinegar bacterias which commonly travel on fruit fly feet are attracted to ripe fruit where you will find sugar, yeast and alcohol. It is this bacteria that causes the transformation of wine fermenting into vinegar: otherwise known as vino-agrio.

Some species of microbes that are implemented in compost fermentation help to create a sanitary and fertile humus from human waste.

And last but not least: sugar consuming microbes we will “see” in this exercise create lactic acid associated with milk digestion, but also help vegetables to ferment and create such products as saurkraut-kimchi or sourdough breads.

In the Garden

In the Kitchen

In the Gut

What is a Microbiome?

In many ways the best way to define the microbiome is to begin with the simple question, “What are we?” If you’d answer “human” to this question, you’re partially correct… But in fact, only 10% of the cells in our body are human!

Research has determined that we share our life with around 100 trillion organisms which comprise something called our microbiome. In essence, the microbiome is a matrix of what people generally understand as LIFE.

Our dependence on the microbiome within us has led many experts to observe that we are truly more of a super-organism than simply human. All complex organisms that evolved within can be viewed as sophisticated vehicles or vessels harboring unique centers of micro biotic intelligence, which allows the microbes to move about in search of and processing of food.

Microbes are so diverse in size, environmental requirements, diet and product/refuse that they are found virtually everywhere from deep under the ground to way high up in the sky. For our purposes of microbiome management, we will focus on a layer that includes surface soil and our animal and plant communities alone.

Why manage microbiomes?

From the perspective of a microbiome manager, humus is a sun light that has been trans muted by photo synthesizers into organic matter thanks to the presence of its microbiome. Consequently, microbe population density is very high in humus soil, as it is in all the digestive, reproductive and other systems pertaining to complex organisms.

Microbiome Management means caring for microbes in a way much like the way we care for our loved ones. We house them, feed them and protect them and their products.

In turn, we benefit from their presence. Our quality of life improves when we are on good terms with them.