11am-5pm: Festival  
12pm-4:30pm: 21+ Farm-to-Bar Area 

OUR MISSION

The 7th annual Santa Barbara Fermentation Festival is part of a larger grassroots movement that is changing the way we view our food, our connection to the earth and our ability to thrive. We connect our attendees to local and regional experts who share the history, farming practices, benefits and preparation of fermented, cultured and traditional foods that nourish our gut microbiome. We collaborate with cutting edge researchers who are defining the important role beneficial bacteria play in our health and the health of our planet.

Profits from the festival support projects that further our mission.

ABOUT THE FESTIVAL

Our all-ages experiential one-day festival invites attendees to enjoy samples from fermented food and beverage artisans, learn from more than fifty presenters on four stages, and participate in hands-on activities.

Festival Highlights

  • Nurture what Nature Gave You” Theme featuring fermentation, science and health care industry professionals on how fermentation directly impacts health.
  • Fermentation Station, where attendees can participate in hands-on demonstrations that show how easy it is to make traditionally fermented foods such as citrusy water kefir soda, spicy heirloom tomato salsa, fermented zucchini chips, Four Thieves kraut and onion relish.
  • Pickled Pavilion and Culture Corner, where fermentation experts will share the history, benefits and preparation of fermented foods such as Macadamia nut yogurt, pinquito bean miso, papaya salsa, raw chocolate butter pudding and wild soda.
  • Dozens of Ferment-centric Exhibitors, featuring 75+ different types of local and regional fermented foods samples, products, and supplies. 
  • 21+ Farm-to-Bar Area, where attendees can taste traditionally crafted wild ale, cider, mead, jun, shrubs, distilled spirits, fermentation-inspired cocktails, and other creative libations.
  • DIY Pickle Station where attendees can customize their own ferment with local, seasonal produce
  • Culture Chat featuring one-on-one learning opportunities with fermentation and health experts
  • Screamin’ Pickle Contest for amateur home fermenters who want to show off their craft for a chance to win the coveted glass pickle prize and tickets to SBFF 2017 and Wild Brew Fest 2017.
  • Bacteria Buddy Passport Program featuring hands-on activities for bacteria farmers ages 4-12 years old.

NEW FOR 2016!

  • Special emphasis on the microbiome and glyphosate research and the most recent data from the American Gut Project.
  • 2 Panel Discussions on the Pickled Pavilion Stage:  Nurture What Nature Gave You... A Conversation Around Microbiome Health and Healing Our Planet and Ourselves.
  • Screening Tent featuring all day screening of Patagonia Provisions and local filmmaker Chris Malloy's Unbroken Ground and other fermentation friendly films.
  • Expanded Farm-to-Bar Area featuring 25+ exhibitors, Good Lion & Test Pilot cocktail bar, an educational stage and hands-on learning opportunities
  • Improved layout - we're stretching across even more of the historic Rancho La Patera & Stow House, a picture-perfect setting with expansive lawns and shady pathways to explore
  • Live music - homegrown Santa Barbara musicians Erisy Watt, The Salt Martians, Ocho The Owl, Jackson Gillies and more!

History of the FERMENTATION Festival

Founded by mother and daughter team Lynn Hartman and Katie Hershfelt, the festival aims to revitalize traditional food preparation and promote local food and farming. Hartman and Hershfelt share a common vision: “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. Our festival is part of a larger grass-roots movement that is changing the way we view our food, our connection to the earth and our ability to thrive.” 

The first Fermentation Festival in the summer of 2011 was a workshop that shared fermented foods and recipes with the community at Shepherd Farms in Carpinteria. Hannah Crum of Kombucha Kamp, the first and only guest speaker, shared her knowledge of the positive impact that beneficial bacteria have on our health. Since then, the festival has grown to offer a diverse array of talks by fermentation experts, M.D.s, Naturopathic doctors and microbiologists, hands-on demonstrations, and the opportunity to taste dozens of artisan fermented foods.

In 2013 and 2014, the Fermentation Festival was held at Fairview Gardens, with profits from the festival directly benefiting the preservation of one of Santa Barbara County’s most treasured urban farms.

In July 2015, the Fermentation Festival spread its wings and made an appearance in Venice with its debut of the Los Angeles Fermentation Festival.

Meanwhile in order to accommodate additional speakers and exhibitors in Santa Barbara, the September 2015 Fermentation Festival was moved to the historic Rancho La Patera & Stow House in Goleta, California, its current home. 2015 profits benefited SOL Food and 2016 profits benefited the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County. 2017 profits are slated to benefit Slow Food Ventura County and the collaborative microbiome projects they are spearheading over the course of the year.

Due to popular demand of all things farm-to-bar, the Fermentation Festival launched Wild Brew Fest in March 2016 at SOhO Restaurant & Music Club. The newly added education forward alcohol festival is scheduled to return in March 2017.


FermENTATION FestIVAL in the News