Fermenting with Sandor Katz

Sandor Katz standing in front of a field of cabbage with Doug of Flack Family Farm.

Sandor Katz standing in front of a field of cabbage with Doug of Flack Family Farm.

For a fermentation fanatic (your's truly), meeting Sandor Katz in-person is a dream come true.
And for two weeks, at the beginning of August, I had the incredible opportunity, not only to meet him, but to learn from the Fermentation Master in a course given by Sterling College in Vermont.
Before I launch into my two-week live culture experience, I want to start right off by sharing with you what Sandor inspired us with on the last day;


"Fermentation is a metaphor for social change, and we are the starters!"


     With that in mind, here's an images- studded, words-only-when-necessary posting of my 2-week cultured experience guided by Sandor Katz, author of Wild Fermentation and The Art
of Fermentation.


     I attended the course with a fellow fermentationista, and friend, Stacy of Your Beeting Heart. Our sojourn began with many obstacles, including two cancelled flights, waiting for six hours for our luggage in New Jersey, and driving through flash floods in the dark of night, but in spite of our travails, we made it to the little town of Craftsbury, Vermont. (population: 1,200).
    We were a few hours late to our first day of class, but once we got there and met Sandor Katz and the other students, both Stacey and I know that we had done the right thing. 

Finally arrived after nearly 36 hours of traveling...

Finally arrived after nearly 36 hours of traveling...

Sandor Katz and fermentation students visiting the farm of Sobremesa.

Sandor Katz and fermentation students visiting the farm of Sobremesa.

Here's a partial list of some of the fermented goodies we made:

  • Lacto-fermented beverages with seasonal fruits
  • Tempeh
  • Sauerkraut. pickles, kimchi, and other fermented vegetables
  • Milk and water kefir
  • Cheeses
  • Sourdough breads
  • Fermented pancakes and other cultured flatbreads
     
An assortment of items fermenting.  Top right: Sandor and students making kimchi, Top left: Sauerkrauting                                                               Bottom left: Karen and Stacey making chutney, Bottom right: Sandor making chili

An assortment of items fermenting.  Top right: Sandor and students making kimchi, Top left: Sauerkrauting
                                                              Bottom left: Karen and Stacey making chutney, Bottom right: Sandor making chili

Sourdough making.                        Top left: lacto-fermented beverage with berries, Top right: Water kefir grains                                                    Bottom left: Preparing cucumbers to be fermented, Bottom right: kimchi in crock

Sourdough making.                        Top left: lacto-fermented beverage with berries, Top right: Water kefir grains
                                                   Bottom left: Preparing cucumbers to be fermented, Bottom right: kimchi in crock

Animal friends at Sterling College and beyond.

Animal friends at Sterling College and beyond.

We visited Peter Schumann (guy with white beard) ofThe Bread and Puppet Theater. Peter and his troupe have been performing and baking sourdough bread to share with their audiences for 50 years!

We visited Peter Schumann (guy with white beard) ofThe Bread and Puppet Theater. Peter and his troupe have been performing and baking sourdough bread to share with their audiences for 50 years!

Preparing oven for baking sourdough breads.

Preparing oven for baking sourdough breads.

Our Fermentation Feast that was prepared by the students and served on the last day.

Our Fermentation Feast that was prepared by the students and served on the last day.

Those two weeks in Vermont, fermenting with Sandor Katz was profound and enriched my knowledge and appreciation for cultured foods, community, and sustainability.
Best,