Santa Barbara Fermentation Festival Hits it’s Stride

The Santa Barbara Fermentation Festival, now entering its sixth year as the Santa Barbara-based creation of mother/daughter duo Lynn Harman and Katie Hershfelt, has hit it’s stride. The festival returns this year to Rancho La Patera & Stow House on Sunday, September 11th from 11am-5pm in Goleta, CA.

Screen Shot 2016-08-26 at 11.03.38 AMWith interest in local food consumption, organics, sustainable agriculture and the relation of all of these to human health steadily on the rise, the Fermentation Festival fills a critical need in bringing food education to the masses. With its focus on the history, benefits, and preparation of fermented foods and beverages, the festival uniquely focuses on an important element of food that is often omitted from health and nutrition circles. It’s been only relatively recently that fermented foods and interest in their preparation has begun to skyrocket.

“The festival’s timing is extraordinary, as fermentation is growing in reputation from a homespun preservation technique into the mainstream,” said Katie Hershfelt, co-founder of the festival.  “Renowned chefs from coast-to-coast are using fermentation as a culinary tool while health practitioners are recommending fermented foods as a key element in creating a healthy lifestyle.”

The festival’s 2016 theme, Nurture What Nature Gave You, puts the focus on consumers’ increased interest in fermented foods not only as taste and menu enhancers but as a key to a healthy lifestyle.  The Santa Barbara Fermentation Festival is part of a global grassroots movement that is changing the way consumers view their food, their connection to the earth and their ability to thrive.

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“Beneficial microorganisms help digest food and protect against harmful pathogens,” said Lynn Hartman. “The Fermentation Festival aims to revitalize traditional food preparation, support beneficial bacteria and gut health and promote local food and farming. We want attendees to feel empowered to nurture the immune system that nature gave us. Beneficial bacteria from fermented foods grown in healthy soil is an easy way to do this.”

The 2016 Festival includes samples of 75+ artisan fermented foods from 50+ exhibitors, four educational stages featuring local and regional experts, and interactive hands-on activities. This all-ages experiential one-day festival celebrates the importance of traditionally fermented foods and beverages and empowers attendees to make these foods at home. Other highlights include:

  • Fermentation Station
  • Culture Corner
  • Pickled Pavilion
  • Farm-to-Bar (21+)
  • DIY Pickle Station
  • Culture Chat
  • Screamin’ Pickle Contest
  • Bacteria Buddy Passport for kids 4-12 years

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The festival’s 2016 major sponsors are LoaTree, the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County, Bragg/Bragg Health Foundation, Restore for Life and Rancho La Patera & Stow House. Profits from the Santa Barbara Fermentation Festival support the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County and its mission to end hunger and transform health through good nutrition.

To buy tickets, click here. For more information on the festival, visit


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