maine: dandelion wine making workshop

posted May 5, 2016

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Dandelion Wine Workshop:

Want to figure out what to do with all of those dandelion petals in your yard? Make wine with them! In Harpswell, Maine, there will be an instructional workshop on how to turn your dandelion petals into wine. Each participant will leave with a 5 gallon wine bucket and airlock containing gallons of future dandelion wine!

  • Saturday, May 21, 2016 Time: 2:00-4:00 p.m.
  • Location: 286 Allen Point Road, Harpswell, ME
  • Cost: $50.00 per person ($25.00 deposit required)
    (Cash or checks payable “Stone Soup Institute”)
  • Wine samples will be available. 
  • To register call 207-833-2884
    Email: stonesoupins@comcast.net
    mail@stone-soup-institute.org

a gut feeling

posted January 17, 2016

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Last August we shared a New York Times piece on a new and growing body of research that suggests that the bacteria living in the human digestive track plays an intricate role in the production of hormones and regulation of mood. Research featured in that article found a correlation between certain strains of bacteria and psychological woes such as depression and anxiety. One study fed mice a strand of bacteria that made the mice act as “though they were on prozac.” It was awesome and kind of earth-shaking, and if you haven’t read it yet, you probably should.

That all being said, our sweet farming fermentation fanatics, are you ready for this stuff to get even more bananas? Check out this article out of an October edition of the Scientific American. Research explored here showed that fecal transplants between mice were able to dramatically change a mouse’s character. For instance, a bold mouse, when given a transplant from a shy mouse, become shy. A normal mouse, when given a transplant from an anxious human, becomes more neurotic. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg!

By all accounts, our micro biome is shaped by many factors– from our mother’s experience during pregnancy to whether or not we were breastfed to what kinds of bacteria we encounter in our every day life. We can imagine that research on bacteria might have the potential to explain all kinds of public health phenomena, from chronic depression to the obesity epidemic.

In the meantime, we’re hedging our bets by increasing our kimchi consumption.


fermentation festival, oct. 17, great barrington, ma

posted September 13, 2015

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The Berkshire Fermentation Festival on October 17th from 10-4pm at the Great Barrington Fairgrounds will offer a large assortment of cultural (har har) activities. With vendors sampling and selling their products, workshops, DIY demos, lectures, music, and book signings, and more, there should be something informative and delicious to occupy every member of your clan. The event will take place October 17 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Great Barrington Fair Grounds.

the latest from sandor katz!

posted May 1, 2012

It is my great pleasure to announce to you that my new book, The Art of Fermentation, is now available. Books are available for purchase on my website for $30 for the hardcover edition, list price $39.95. Just click here. Or if you have a local bookstore where you shop, please request that they stock the book. Or if you cannot afford to buy your own copy, request that your local library acquire it.

I spent more than two years working on this book, and I am thrilled that I can finally share it. (more…)


i ferment you

posted November 23, 2010

This week in the New Yorker magazine, Burkhard Bilger writes about Sandor Katz and the underground food movement. Bilger talks with Blake Eskin about making sauerkraut at home, the surprising ways in which bacteria are integral to human life, and some of the unusual foods he ate (or refused to eat) during his reporting.

Listen to the mp3 here: right-click to download.

Read  the abstract here, and make your way to the local library to read the article in full. Raw milk is also a topic in the article, for those interested.


greenhorn expeditions: Georgia and East Tennessee

posted March 10, 2008

Tennessee ———–

Sandor Katz is a fermentation fetishist. Sandor is a film advisor and elfin-mentor to the project. He lives in a cob cubby set into a hill in rural Tennessee, on a mountain sanctuary of lovely, lively back to the land freaks–almost all of whom relish, covet and evangelize about his three year old garbanzo miso.

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I was lucky enough to visit Sandor at his digs in the forest–to witness the crocks in his cellar, to sidle up to his cold-frames, and drive with him to some area farms and the Georgia Organic Conference.

East TNWe arrived at the conference after a short stop in Chattanooga–a very cool city with vital downtown energy, and a revitalized waterfront with legendary local pizza shop. Almost immediately Sandor introduced me to the Keener Family, tremendous farmers of Katadhin sheep and vegetables at Sequatchie Cove Farm in Sequatchie, Tennessee. Kelsey Keener, having gone to Santa Cruz to attend the AgroEcology program, has returned to Tennessee to start a farm on an island in the Tennessee River.

Williams IslandWe sat next to the boys at dinner, and when they heard I was homeless, they offered to take me back to sleep in the greenhouse at Williams Island Farm. We got there in the dark, yet even still I could see that we were driving into an industrial storage facility with great huge canisters, or I guess they are called tanks — 30 feet tall and shining with corrugation in the lights of the family Volvo. We got out surrounded by gravelly potholes full of the day’s rain, surrounded by 7 foot high razor wire fencing, and a forest of yellow concrete bollards. The boys told me that the only other residents of the island are a couple of cattle ranchers who apply sewage sludge to the land–causing a great stink.

We clamored down the gangway into a misty layer of the aforementioned stink and jumped into an aluminum launch boat. I had my trusty little headlamp out (well prepared for such circumstances, and slightly gleeful) and was zooming my little camcorder to try and film the beaver who was flapping his tail against the water. It took quite a while for the motor to turn over–actually the boys paddled for a while first–but then it sputtered to life and we were off, gliding across the dark river with the half moon behind us and the cliffs up ahead lit up with dormitory windows of Baylor Prep School.

We slept in the greenhouse that the boys made, and the boys drank the Frey wine we had rescued from the dinner tables surrounding us, played their guitars, and discussed the local issues (institutional purchasing, farmers market meetings, well drilling logistics) and Bryan played the guitar. The four of them are terribly earnest, terribly sweet, and super delighted with the misty mornings and fescue grass and solar powered chicken coop. Look out world–they are growing!