Santa Barbara Fermentation Festival – Fusing Fun, Education and Healthy Living

jbrandi_82413_fermfest-16On Saturday, July 19, 2014, Cultivate Events will host its 4th Annual Santa Barbara Fermentation Festival at The Center for Urban Agriculture at Fairview Gardens. The Festival features the region’s (and beyond) foremost experts on everything from pickles to kombucha to the health benefits of fermented foods, and runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The one-day, experiential festival celebrates the art of making traditionally fermented foods and beverages and empowers attendees to make these foods at home.

“Fermentation is so much more than kraut and pickles,” says Festival co-founder Katie Falbo of Cultivate Events. “There is cheese, bread, root beer, chutney, kimchi, kefir, olives, cured meats and even scoby fruit rolls ups!  Fermented foods are simple to make and highly addictive to everyone, even kids!”

Festival Highlights

jbrandi_82413_fermfest-132Started by Katie and her mother Lynn Hartman in 2010, this year’s Festival will feature tons of hands-on learning activities in order for attendees to fully engage in and learn about the fermentation process and associated benefits.

“We started the festival because we realized how powerful making friends with microbes was to our health, and we wanted to share that information with others,” says Falbo. “We love empowering others to contribute to the health of their families, community and planet.”

This year’s highlights include:

• A Fermentation Station, sponsored by Whole Foods Market, where attendees will learn first hand from master fermenters including Kathryn Lukas of Farmhouse Culture and Jenny McGruther of Nourished Kitchen.


• A Pickled Pavilion, nestled in the avocado orchard, where fermentation experts Catalina Martone of The Body Ecology Diet, Hannah Crum of Kombucha Kamp, and Mark McAfee of Organic Pastures Raw Dairy, will share the history, benefits and how-to’s of fermented foods.

• Dozens of Ferment-centric exhibitors such as Cultured and Saucy, Conscious Kombucha, Bragg Live Food Products, Mountain Feed and Farm Supply, and Bacon and Brine, featuring local and regional fermented foods, products, supplies and education.

• A Bacteria Buddy Passport Program, sponsored by Fairview Gardens, Isla Vista Food Co-op, Kombucha Kamp, and SOL Food Festival that introduces children 4-12 years old to the wild world of fermentation.

jbrandi_82413_fermfest-346Farm to Bar Happy Hour

Falbo expresses a bit of surprise at the growing popularity of this 4th year event. “It’s incredible how much everyone in the community has pitched in, large and small, to make the festival more amazing every year,” she says.

Among those ‘amazing’ additions this year (in our minds, anyway) is a first of its kind Farm to Bar Happy Hour taking place on site from 4pm-6pm! The happy hour will feature Barrelworks, Jun Brewery, Cutler’s Artisan spirits, Dog Hill Vineyard, Carpinteria Homebrewers, Municipal Winemakers, Valley Brewers and many more. Together, they’ll be concocting a variety of unique, farm fresh, adult friendly beverages including hard apple and peach cider, jun, almond blossom honey mead, feral beers, healing brews, wild fermented wines, krautinis, kombucha cocktails, sake and blueberry wine. And if you think you’ll be in need of something to munch on while enjoying these delicious drinks, pizzas will be provided by Brendan Smith of The Lucky Penny.

jbrandi_82413_fermfest-638Proceeds from the festival benefit The Center for Urban Agriculture at Fairview Gardens, a nonprofit educational farm that builds critical connections between community, agriculture and education. LoaTree highlighted Fairview Gardens’ Farm Apprenticeship program in a May 2014 post. Read it here.

Major festival sponsors are Whole Foods Market, Farmhouse Culture, Mountain Feed and Farm Supply, and LoaTree.

For more information, visit

All photos by Jeanine Brandi Photography.

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