Here was the amazing lineup for the 2016 Festival.


presenter-iconSo Happy Together: Understanding the Microbiome’s Role in Human Health and Disease

Speaker: Dr. Embriette Hyde, Knight Lab, UCSD

embriettehyde_headshotDr. Hyde will challenge the audience to redefine what they think it means to be human, as they are encouraged to think about the micro-organisms that live in them, on them, and all around them. She will highlight current groundbreaking research that describes links between the gut microbiome and common diseases such as Irritable Bowel Disease (IBD) and obesity, discuss host-environment microbiome sharing and how our increasingly indoor lifestyles might be affecting our microbiome and health, and finish off with new research efforts into the relationship between the gut microbiome and fermented foods consumption.

Dr. Embriette Hyde, a Forbes 30 Under 30 Scientist, began studying the human microbiome as a graduate student in 2011. She investigated how the oral microbiome might be leveraged in heart disease, as well as forensics applications of the microbiome for estimating time since death. After joining Rob Knight’s lab in 2014 as a post-doc, Embriette broadened her focus to include the environmental microbiome and host-environment microbiome sharing. Embriette became Project Manager of American Gut in August 2015, and since then has expanded the project to include exciting new cohorts, including the fermented foods cohort, as well as spreading the project into Asia through a new aggregation site in Singapore. 

Turn Up the Heat: Make Your Own Fermented Gochujang

Speakers: Kirsten & Christopher Shockey, Ferment Works

Kirsten & Christopher Shockey

Love kimchi? Love pungent spice? Its time to turn your fermentation game to Gochujang, an important Korean condiment that can be liberally dolloped on anything you can think. It is traditionally a sun-fermented paste made from glutinous rice, chiles, and soybeans. It is like miso but different. It is both savory and sweet, pungent and delicious—oh and addictive. While this condiment is popular and commercially available it is difficult to find the true fermented version made without added corn syrup. It is easy to make your own—come learn how.

Kirsten K. Shockey and Christopher Shockey co-authored Fermented Vegetables. They got their start in fermenting foods on their homestead and a decade later pushed the art further with their farmstead ferment company, where they created over 40 varieties of fermented vegetables.Their current focus is continue to empower people to create successful ferments through their company FermentWorks. They live on a 40-acre hillside homestead in the Applegate Valley of Southern Oregon.

Natto and the Gossamer Threads of Goodness

Presenter: Heidi Nestler, Pickled Things

heidi_nestlerNatto is a traditional Japanese food made by fermenting soybeans. As a fermentation geek, Heidi is in awe of the starter culture, the mighty Bacillus subtilis natto, which transforms the taste and texture of cooked soybeans so distinctly, and in the process creates a superfood starring vitamin K2 and nattokinase. For many people, though, natto, which is often described as slimy and stinky, is at best an acquired taste. Other people take to it right away, so keep an open mind! In this workshop, Heidi will demonstrate how to make natto from scratch and what to look for in store-bought natto. She will also show how to prepare natto in several different ways so that it is most palatable. There will be plenty of samples!

Heidi Nestler is the Community Nutrition Night Coordinator for Quest Center for Integrative Health in Portland and teaches classes focused on fermentation and traditional foods. Heidi first became passionate about fermentation while living in rural Japan during the 1990s. Over the years she has studied with Sandor Katz in Portland and Tennessee and recently collaborated with Elizabeth Andoh on an article about DIY natto.  She recently started her own business, Pickled Things, which makes traditional Japanese fermented foods, including natto, in SE Portland.

From Seed to Sprout to Bread to Cheese: A Sunflower Seed’s Journey

Presenter: Jean-Pierre Parent, Symple Foods

Jean Pierre Parent HeadshotJean-Pierre will offer a unique presentation. He’ll take a humble sunflower seed (and the audience) through sprouting, fermentation into probiotic water, and secondary fermentation into raw bread and seed cheese – with delicious results!

From a review of Kitchen Sink Farming – “This series of books is written by an obviously crazy person; an author so dedicated to optimal life and vibrant health that he has made real, easy to find, close to the earth food even healthier, happier and peppered with smirk-giggle-snort humor.”

As a struggling writer in Los Angeles, Jean-Pierre Parent figured out how to both save money and get the healthiest he’d ever been by growing, sprouting, and fermenting almost all of his own food from his tiny one-room apartment. He’s studied food and nutrition for over 25 years both formally and experimentally, and is now a teacher, writer, and the owner of a probiotic drink company in Portland, Oregon.

Storytelling: Fermentation on Wheels

Presenter: Tara Whitsitt, Fermentation on Wheels

Tara will read an excerpt from her upcoming book, Fermentation on Wheels — part cookbook, part hero’s quest to follow one’s calling, with 50 recipes that tell the story of her two year 20,000-mile circumnavigation of the U.S., spreading the gospel of fermentation from her cozy 1986 International Harvester school bus/kitchen.

Tara is a nomadic artist, educator, and food activist. Her passion for growing food, living communally, and teaching fermentation inspired the grassroots educational project Fermentation on Wheels in fall 2013. She’s traveled the country with Fermentation on Wheels since, teaching by-donation fermentation classes and hosting potlucks that focus on accessibility, creativity, and bringing people together. Read more at

Vegan Cheeses and Fermentation

Presenter: Claudia Lucero, Urban Cheesecraft

claudialuceroHow can we magically make nuts and seeds taste like cheese? Through the magic of fermentation of course! You’ve likely heard of using rejuvelac to culture cashew cream, but there are many more interesting, fast and gluten-free ways to use fermentation and fermented foods for scrumptious, deeply flavored results. Claudia also makes traditional dairy cheese, so her standards for dairy-free, vegan and paleo cheeses are high. Learn how you too can make nut and seed cheeses that dairy cheese lovers will enjoy! Cheese samples will be available.

Claudia Lucero is the cheesemaker behind Portland, Oregon’s Urban Cheesecraft and author of One Hour Cheese. She developed and has marketed her DIY Cheese Kits since 2009, teaches classes all over the United States and partnered with Williams Sonoma on their custom cheese kit line. Her current project is dairy-free/vegan/paleo cheese with new kits slated to come out this year following her Kickstarter campaign. 

Slow Foods in a Fast World: Easy Ways for Busy People to get Activated

Presenter: Christina Sasser, Activation FoodsChristinaFunwFermentation2

In this demo workshop Christina will give some simple ideas, tips, and tricks to incorporate more fermented, live-cultured, and probiotic foods into every meal of the day, without requiring a lot of time and energy. Delicious recipes and samples will be provided!

Christina Sasser is the artisan chef behind Activation Foods. She specializes in creating organic, seasonal, and sustainable menus as well as a line specialty live-cultured products. She is also very passionate about spreading the gospel about good bacteria. She can often be found teaching at transformational festivals all over the west coast, as the co-curator of the Nourishment Lab.


Rewild Your Gut! Puppet Show: A Trip to the Microverse

Performers: Andrew Hitz, Lucas Nebert, Tara Whitsitt

puppetshowA puppet show of microbial proportions! Have you ever imagined what it would be like to hang out with microbes for a day? Join Rad, a curious kraut-loving teenager, on her eye-opening journey into the Microverse. From demystifying the misconceptions of E. coli, to gaining wisdom from an ancient forest fungus, Rad learns surprising parallels between microbes and her own species. Participate in a discussion after the show. How can Rad’s experience inform the everyday relationship between ourselves and the microbes all around and within us?

Rewild Your Gut is a troupe of three fermentation-loving friends from Eugene, OR who decided to combine forces to raise awareness about the benefits of fermentation. We are curious fermenters, farmers and educators working on the frontlines of sustainable food activism. Andrew Hitz has been crafting fermentation zines since 2012 and started the ReWild Yer Gut! puppet show shortly after to spread his love for microbes. Lucas Nebert is a PhD student studying the integral role of microbes in agriculture, and Tara has traveled the country with Fermentation on Wheels, sharing her love of fermented foods far and wide.

RAD acrobats2 RADacrobats1RAD! The Rose-city Acro Devils!

RAD is a partner acrobatics troupe formed in 2013, based out of Portland Oregon. They specialize in ground and partner acrobatics, but are constantly looking for ways to break the boundaries of traditional circus acrobatics. Chair and table hand balancing.

They love costumes, characters and doing much more then just being a Stunt squad. They want to tell a story in every movement. They want to be the chameleons of acrobatics, and be at the forefront of the new era of circus performance.

They’ll be roving around the Festival grounds throughout the day!