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Homebrew of fermentation: customize food for your microbiome

Intrigued by her grandmother’s traditional pickles and sauerkraut, Jennifer Harris first started fermenting foods ten years ago. A couple years later her roommate began cultivating her kombucha SCOBY and soon Harris was caring for her own kombucha “mother”.

Today, Harris is a self-described fermentation addict and she believes culturing foods is a way to improve your health (she says she doesn’t get many colds anymore) and to play Creator.

Fermentation is a natural process that is happening all around us. Like most of the wonderful things in this world, it preceded humankind. It is essentially the breakdown of molecules through enzymatic conversion.  It’s a way to incorporate living foods into your body’s ecosystem, which diversifies our internal flora and aids us when we run into a pathogen or toxin.”

Every year Harris coordinates the Sonoma County (CA) Farm to Fermentation Festival where fermenters unite to show of their brews (kombuchas, kefirs), traditional cultures (pickles, sauerkrauts, tempehs, kimchis) and culturing processes (crocks and air-locks).

Festival participants (appearing in our video):