Fermentation Fest!

Please RSVP below so we know how many people to expect!









When: Sunday, October 28, 2018

Where: Merrywood Farmhouse at Great Day Gardens- 2261 Thomas Jefferson Road, Forest VA

What: Demonstrations by fermentation enthusiasts. There is no fee for the festival, but we do suggest a $15 donation to go toward the speakers who are donating their time.

What to bring: Your homemade ferments to share (please label with ingredients), cultures to share (SCOBYs, sourdough starter, mothers, bleu cheese mold…), jars to take home ferments, curious minds!

Kids are welcome, to sit in on demonstrations, but please be responsible for your child if they are being disruptive to other people in the workshop. We have lots of space for them to run around outside if they are old enough to be left unattended.

Here is the 2018 Schedule:

Session 1- 1:15-2:40 pm

Making (Hard) Cider at Home, taught by Mark Angelini, Cider is one of the easiest and most rewarding fermented beverages to make at home! Mark will discuss equipment, apple selection, pressing, and the various basics of the actual fermentation process from yeast to bottling.

Fiery ferments, taught by Katie Struble. This class will provide step by step instructions for how to create and care for spicy ferments, plus how to use them to bring ordinary side dishes, entrees, and baked goods to life.”

Session 2- 2:45-4:10 pm

“Not your mother’s” sauerkraut demonstration with Jane Morgan. A demonstration on making your own sauerkraut which will divert from the traditional recipe and show you how to customize your own sauerkraut by the addition of vegetables and spices, such as carrots, jalapenos, green onions, turmeric, garlic, and more.

What Makes Rye Sourdough Tick? taught by Heather Coiner, Rye is so much more interesting than the Jewish rye we all know. We’ll try baking off 1-2 kinds of rye sourdoughs, discuss what makes rye sourdoughs tick, and how they are different—way different—than wheat. Bring a jar to take home some starter, and we’ll have some flour for sale to get you started.


Session 3- 4:35- 6:00 pm

Probiotic Beverages, taught by Gentry Laskowski and Nancy Maurelli, This class will provide step by step instructions for how to create and care for a kombucha SCOBY and soda bug, plus how to use them to bring ordinary teas and juices to bubbling to life.

Kefir as a Multi-use Culture, taught by Michael Grantz, Kefir is the name of both a delicious milk drink and a diverse culture that can ferment a wide variety of sugars and starches. Michael will lead you through his process of making yogurt, alcoholic and fizzy beverages, and even bread using kefir as the starter culture.


Mark Angelini is part craftsman, homesteader, farmer, orchardist, and ecological designer. He has been making fermented foods and beverages of all kinds for just under a decade. He lives in Sedalia, VA with his wife Allison.


Michael Grantz is a self-taught baker and has made sourdough bread on a small commercial scale for 4 years. He and his wife Arden run Great Day Gardens, a market garden and wood-fired bakery based in Forest, VA. As of late, Michael enjoys playing with his puppies, Loki and Freyja, in his spare time.



Gentry Laskowski has been fermenting food for three years, since receiving kefir grains as a wedding gift. Now her favorite things to make are fermented hummus and lemongrass kombucha. She runs Thistle Ridge Farm with her husband, Dylan.
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Nancy Maurelli loves fermenting (kombucha, yogurt/cheese, bread, wine, veggies); sharing kitchen-skills; and growing for family and CSA in Roanoke City and Montvale VA. An herbalist-in-training, Nancy supports her farming habit by offering serene accommodations at Sister Nettle B&B in lovely Goose Creek Valley.
Heather Coiner co-owns Little Hat Creek Farm, a wood-fired bakery and ecological vegetable farm in Nelson County Virginia.
Katie Struble is an artist of the culinary persuasion who has just discovered the joy of preservation through fermentation! This year she has worked with local community gardens to create hyper-local ferments and lead similar skill-sharing classes.


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Jane Morgan is a jack of all trades in the bakery (at Great Day Gardens) she whips up sourdough bread and at home she is constantly creating cookies, krauts, and healthy meals for her family.